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Publisher's Summary

Chuck Palahniuk's world has always been, well, different from yours and mine. These pieces from Stranger Than Fiction, his first nonfiction collection, prove just how different, in ways both highly entertaining and deeply unsettling.

Encounters with alternative culture heroes Marilyn Manson and Juliette Lewis; the peculiar wages of fame attendant on the big-budget film production of the movie Fight Club; life as an assembly-line drive train installer by day, hospice volunteer driver by night; the really peculiar lives of submariners; the underground world of iron-pumping anabolic steroid gobblers; the immensely upsetting circumstances of his father's murder and the trial of his killer; each essay or vignette offers a unique facet of existence as lived in and/or observed by one of our most flagrantly daring and original literary talents.

©2004 Chuck Palahniuk (P)2004 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"He writes especially amusingly about the crazy incongruities created by the fictions of Fight Club and its fans' devout faith that the whole thing must be real....Mr. Palahniuk's candor and humor can get him through just about anything; each piece here is studded with small but priceless grace notes from an exceptionally droll and sharp-eyed observer." (The New York Times) "An eye-opening look at the raw material that goes into Palahniuk's fiction, as well as proof that the novelist's art is derived from keen observation and recording of details." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Excellent and hilarious

Upon reading a previous two reviews wherein the listeners expressed dislike for this material, I had to post that I completely disagree. Granted, this isn't for people looking for slapstick comedy or an action-adventure story; but if you like stories about quirky, odd characters, I think you'll find this collection to be fascinating and hilarious -- a lot of it had me and my girlfriend laughing out loud in the car as we listened. It is written and also narrated with excellent style.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Leslie
  • Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, USA
  • 04-16-05

Truth is better than Fiction

I am a big fan of Mr. Palahniuk's fiction, but i have to say this collection of non fiction essays really charmed me. He sees a level of detail and activity in everyday events most don't, and as he is the narrator, there's a certain intimacy to this recording that makes it very pleasant to listen to. This was a great listen - a collection of well told stories that both entertain and provided me with a glimmer of insight into one of my favorite writers.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Roy
  • Beaumont, TX, United States
  • 04-28-09

Stranger than Fiction

Chuck Palahniuk has gone nonfiction on us in "Stranger than Fiction: True Stories." Those new to his work will be caught up in the individual chapters right away. Don't skip the Introduction either because he discusses writing and his approach to the book.

This particular volume is a collection of articles previously published in various magazines. For those who listened to "Fight Club," there are insights into how the movie was made. His description of life as a submariner and the basic lesson he reveals at the end of that piece is worth the price of the book.

He will make you laugh, bring you to tears, and make you think. The reading is excellent. I hope that Palahniuk will write more about his work and bring us more nonfiction.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Ive known Chuck for years

I kinda feel like ive known Chuck for years now....this story had a speed dating kind of feel listning to highlights of an old timers life of way back when...the transitionin from one story to the next has as much of a break as one paragraph to another....when writing of himself.... its like hes reflecting to one of his old friends and brings some of the insights together....i enjoyed it!

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Post book blues

I am more than impressed as always with this author. I love it especially when he himself narrates. I loved loved loved this book so much!!!!

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Titled Correctly!

Chuck Palahniuk delivers true stories straight in line with his fiction. He delves into an unusual and sometimes darker side of society and history. This book is a must for Chuck Palahnuik fans.

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  • Story
  • Cutlett
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 06-09-13

A pompous and irritating exercise.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

No saving grace.

What could Chuck Palahniuk have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

His style sounds like a person who has a smirk on his face.

Would you be willing to try another one of Dennis Boutsikaris and Chuck Palahniuk ’s performances?


What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Annoyance. I was 10 minutes into it when I felt like saying "either shut up or get to the point." People are fascinating but I don't consider their behavior of people in sex clubs in Montana or obsession with demolition derbies particularly interesting and certainly not "stranger than fiction"

Any additional comments?

We've all seen a scene in a film where an egotistical writer has a group of swooning women sitting around him as he regales stories or waxes his philosophy. This book sounds like what that writer is saying if you listened in.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Mysteries and Thrillers mislabeled True Crime?

I should get a refund, this isn't true crime. It's a story that I ordered under True Crime. No it's the author of Fight Club talking about stories he's heard or seen, with a bit of his own stuff. I didn't finish it. Can't really rate this as bad, just not what I wanted and mis-filed by Audible.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Charles
  • Houston, TX, USA
  • 07-22-05

The good stuff.

I really enjoyed these funny/crazy stories. Chuck P. is always a great listen.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ken
  • Portland, OR, USA
  • 07-18-05

Not enough great stories

Only a few of the stories stand out, of those, one of the most interesting is the first, the Testicle Festival in Montana. I was hoping that the rest of the stories were equally odd, shocking, and of
an unknown subject. The story on castle building in America comes closest. But as for the rest? I enjoyed the interview with Marilyn Manson, but I was disturbed that the author sees fit to breech the trust he?s given to have access to Mr. Manson. If a condition of the interview was to not mention that Mr. Manson rises when women enter the room, an interesting fact that shows Manson?s at least polite if over provocative, why did the author so violate this condition? That?s
not the only time he doesn?t keep his word. The author drops names like rain drops and its clear he enjoys the celebrity milieu, but if I were famous, I wouldn't meet with him. There?s just no telling what he'd try and take from me without permission. As for the other stories, his dabbling with minimalism is interesting, but at other times, his writing is overly self important. He?s at his best when he tells the story rather than list his credentials bragadoccio. I get the point Mr. Palhahnuick: you wrote Fight Club. How many times do you need to hit me over the head with this? Afraid I might forget? Curiously, he notes with seeming lack of interest that people
in different cities are actually starting fight clubs. You know what would have made a hellofa story? Actually going to one of these fight clubs, finding out what goes on, whether they match the movie, and so on. But explaining that the movie is based on a collection of the author?s own experiences just makes me feel kind of sad, taking all the good juice from the topic. I can?t help wondering if this collection of stories is premature. The author is capable, but there?s so much in here that?s doesn?t stand as tall as the best of the stories, that had the poor ones been tossed, the book would proabably been too thin to publish.

4 of 11 people found this review helpful