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Survivor | [Chuck Palahniuk]

Survivor

Tender Branson, the last surviving member of the so-called Creedish Death Cult, is dictating his life story into the flight recorder of Flight 2039, cruising on autopilot at 39,000 feet somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. He is all alone in the airplane, which will crash shortly into the vast Australian outback. But before it does, he will unfold the tale of his journey from an obedient Creedish child and humble domestic servant to an ultra-buffed, steroid-and-collagen-packed media messiah.
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Publisher's Summary

Tender Branson, the last surviving member of the so-called Creedish Death Cult, is dictating his life story into the flight recorder of Flight 2039, cruising on autopilot at 39,000 feet somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. He is all alone in the airplane, which will crash shortly into the vast Australian outback. But before it does, he will unfold the tale of his journey from an obedient Creedish child and humble domestic servant to an ultra-buffed, steroid-and-collagen-packed media messiah.

This is author Chuck Palahniuk at his deadpan peak, a mesmerizing, unnerving, and hilarious satire on the wages of fame and the bedrock lunacy of the modern world.

©1999 Chuck Palahniuk; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A perfect comment on our apocalypse-fixated times." (Spin)
"Brilliantly satiric and savagely funny." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Mordant....One's sympathy for the improbably doomed hero is fully engaged." (New Yorker)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (821 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.9 (499 )
5 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (492 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Wayne Irvine, CA, United States 07-02-11
    Wayne Irvine, CA, United States 07-02-11 Member Since 2013

    Mountain biking, surfing, skiing, literature, philosophy, psychology, theology and my ipod.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
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    "Relentless gratuitious nihilism"

    I enjoy the cynical, humourous and nihilistic writings of Kurt Vonnegut and Cormack Mcarthy because they entertain, contain characters of interest, and have clever writing and even some good plots. None of these qualities are available with Palahniuk--just gobs of nihilistic sociopathy with no apparent redeeming value. I must admit that I stopped after 4 chapters--couldn't take any more. Since the story is a terrorist's story told on a black box tape, I thought early on that the terrorist's plot would be foiled if I just stopped listening. Obviously some people were able to stomach the whole enchilada--maybe there is redemption in there somewhere, but it was intolerable for me. Good luck if you take this ride.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maureen Mountlake Terrace, WA, USA 05-17-08
    Maureen Mountlake Terrace, WA, USA 05-17-08 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    "Palahniuk surprises me every single time"

    At first, Fertility struck me as an odd name. Then, there was Gwen. Then Chuck gave us Tender Branson. Tender? It IS Palahniuk after all so in his second novel, why not. Often, I fall asleep to the "voice" of Tender Branson. A side affect of listening to every title (with the exception of two) is that not only is Palahniuk my favorite writer of fiction but it's just scary with the narrator of every title. Each narrator is JUST THAT GOOD. With Palahniuk, every narrator is perfect (I exclude Diary for reasons obvious if one would listen to the sample). As a result, Tender Branson has me imagining suicide. He is now perfectly etched into my brain by Paul Garcia as was Carl Streator courtesy of Richard Poe etc. I feel as if I am listening to the flight recorder of flight 2039 aka Tender Branson, my savior from very common living. Somehow I am sad. Not just a little but very deeply saddened and somehow feel so much like a fly on the wall of the Sherri's restaurant in Spokane. I'm the wedding coordinator providing the "other" type of sandwich during half-time in New Orleans. Hell, call me Trisha! This IS fiction but it feels so very real. Even laughing through some of the ridiculous home care antics of Tender it feels so real. For the record, I will NOT be killing myself anytime soon but this is how real the teleprompter at my appearance which allows me to write this review is that I would highly recommend this listen to any Palahniuk fan. Finally, it's so good I am afraid to even allow "Haunted" onto my iPod, ever. I would however like Audible to add Fight Club and the soon to come Snuff to the list for those of us on the hunt for all things Palahniuk.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Sydney, Australia 04-22-09
    Ron Sydney, Australia 04-22-09 Member Since 2012

    Literary graduate and published columnist turned glorified grease monkey.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    143
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    "Sorry, it just didn't do it for me."

    I believe if you don't have anything good to say, you shouldn't say anything. But I must speak up here. In fact this is my first ever negative review. I really tried to like this book because I loved Fight Club, but this one crossed the line for me. the author tries to make fun of depression and tries to show the humour in someone who tries to convince others to commit suicide and after so much of it, it just wasn't funny. The narrator is completely monotone throughout and the story is very slow and quite depressing. I actually regret buying it.

    12 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew York 01-23-15
    Andrew York 01-23-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    5
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Classic Palahniuk"
    Where does Survivor rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Somewhere in the middle- entertaining, but nothing life-changing. Has the same dark humor as a lot of his other work, but if you like the others, you will like this.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Chuck Palahniuk? Why or why not?

    Of course. I am a fan of Palahnuik's work, and this made me want to read more.


    Have you listened to any of Paul Garcia’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I liked the narrator's performance. I read some reviews that the narration was flat and unchanging, but it captured the perfect vibe for me on how this character would be telling the story- it sounds a lot like Norton's narration in the Fight Club film.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book- definitely some really dark spots, but it works if you enjoyed his other work. There was some pretty dark and twisted stuff in this book, probably more than some of his other work, which seemed more for shock value than anything else. Just as a heads-up, it may be a little too dark for some readers to enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    xavier 01-11-15
    xavier 01-11-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Kill yourself"

    I listened to two hours of that phrase being repeated seemingly endlessly. I'm not interested in what happened for the next four hours or so. I don't understand why anyone else would be either. I am planning to return this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah MARSHFIELD, MA, United States 01-02-15
    Deborah MARSHFIELD, MA, United States 01-02-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "MORE! Don't end, book!"

    I love when I lament coming to the end of a book. The whole thing was so insane, yet made perfect sense. The chapters counted down instead of up and the story unfolds backwards and forwards at the same time. However, I was never lost.

    This book, however short, is too complicated to give a synopsis and give it justice.

    I don't really know what else to say except that I found the writing to be brilliant. The story was fun and somehow completely relatable, despite the madness.

    You should read this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RabbitAdoption Southern CA 12-24-14
    RabbitAdoption Southern CA 12-24-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I am left with my heart pounding and wanting more"

    First, this book is not for everyone. It is dark. No, it is beyond dark. It is what would happen if you channeled Jack London, Stephen King and Patricia Cronwell into one author.

    That warning aside, and if you ignore it and purchase this Audible, you will be forever lost from the moment you hit play. Do not blame me, you were warned.

    It is the kind of book that grabs you by the collar from the very first chapter. I was held in a strangle hold listening to Paul Garcia read in a dry tone as one by one people die. I had no problem imagining that he was the character, that voice dry and nearly emotionless, yet somehow bursting at the seams with emotion that sits just below the surface.

    It is a dark book. It is the kind of book that gives you nightmares. It is the kind of book where the plot makes no sense in my ordered mind, except in the dark recesses of my soul, it resonated. I understood, I believed.

    There is little gore, no sex, just a dry voice droning in your ear, retelling a story as it played out. A man waiting for death, needing to get his story out to the masses before he is gone so he does not die as anonymous as he lived. His life is spelled out by a calendar that tells him what he needs to do each day at what time and for how long. He was born for no reason other than to serve others, like a modern day slave, yet not like a slave.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tonya Moore 12-15-14
    Tonya Moore 12-15-14 Member Since 2014
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    4
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    "freaking awesome"
    Where does Survivor rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Best book read so far.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love how the reader and language is so dry, but hilarious.


    What does Paul Garcia bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Again his voice and tone is perfect for what is being said. And how you would imagine the characters would speak.


    Any additional comments?

    Just preview it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kris 11-23-14
    Kris 11-23-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    42
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    Story
    "Outside the Box and loving it"
    What made the experience of listening to Survivor the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed the fact that I knew the ending, but had no idea about the journey that would lead us to the end.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character, Tender Branson, occupies the majority of the plot line. His life story is the subject of the book, and a unique one it is.


    What does Paul Garcia bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The mono tonal lack of inflection takes some time to get used to and enjoy. However, as the story progresses, it becomes clear that this type of performance does justice to the character and his story. If I were to read it myself, I would not have know the character's real voice and why it is so.


    If you could rename Survivor, what would you call it?

    Tender Branson. It is his life story after all, it's a cool name, and as we discover, it holds meaning.


    Any additional comments?

    Do it. Buy it. Chuck is one of the most interesting story tellers. Even if this is not one of his best (that's not what I'm saying) it is a read well worth while.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wanda Brooks Virginia 11-17-14
    Wanda Brooks Virginia 11-17-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "VERY nice!"
    What made the experience of listening to Survivor the most enjoyable?

    I really enjoyed this book. I've not read anything from this type of perspective before and i really found myself enjoying the main character and understanding his faults and finding sympathy for him.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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