Chuck Palahniuk showed himself to be his generation’s most visionary satirist in this, his first book. Fight Club’s estranged narrator leaves his lackluster job when he comes under the thrall of Tyler Durden, an enigmatic young man who holds secret after-hours boxing matches in the basement of bars. There, two men fight "as long as they have to." This is a gloriously original work that exposes the darkness at the core of our modern world.
CHUCK PALAHNIUK SERIES:
Victor Mancini, a medical-school dropout, is an antihero for our deranged times. Needing to pay elder care for his mother, Victor has devised an ingenious scam: he pretends to choke on pieces of food while dining in upscale restaurants. He then allows himself to be “saved” by fellow patrons who, feeling responsible for Victor’s life, go on to send checks to support him. When he’s not pulling this stunt, Victor cruises sexual addiction recovery workshops for action, visits his addled mom, and spends his days working at a colonial theme park. His creator, Chuck Palahniuk, is the visionary we need and the satirist we deserve.
Love, betrayal, petty larceny, and high fashion fuel this deliciously comic novel from the author of Fight Club.She's a fashion model who has everything: a boyfriend, a career, a loyal best friend. But when a sudden freeway "accident" leaves her disfigured and incapable of speech, she goes from being the beautiful center of attention to being an invisible monster, so hideous that no one will acknowledge that she exists. Enter Brandy Alexander, Queen Supreme, one operation away from becoming a real woman, who will teach her that reinventing yourself means erasing your past and making up something better. And that salvation hides in the last places you'll ever want to look.
From the author of the underground sensation Fight Club comes this wickedly incisive second novel, a mesmerizing, unnerving, and hilarious vision of cult and post-cult life.
Tender Branson—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. 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, author of a best-selling autobiography, Saved from Salvation, and the even better selling Book of Very Common Prayer (The Prayer to Delay Orgasm, The Prayer to Prevent Hair Loss, The Prayer to Silence Car Alarms). He'll reveal the truth of his tortured romance with the elusive and prescient Fertility Hollis, share his insight that "the only difference between suicide and martyrdom is press coverage," and deny responsibility for the Tender Branson Sensitive Materials Sanitary Landfill, a 20,000-acre repository for the nation's outdated pornography. Among other matters both bizarre and trenchant.
Not since Kurt Vonnegut's Mother Night and Jerzy Kosinski's Being There has there been as dark and telling a satire on the wages of fame and the bedrock lunacy of the modern world. Unpredictable, compelling, and unforgettable, Survivor is Chuck Palahniuk at his deadpan peak; and it cements his place as one of the most original writers in fiction today.
Haunted is a novel made up of twenty-three horrifying, hilarious, and stomach-churning stories. They’re told by people who have answered an ad for a writer’s retreat and unwittingly joined a “Survivor”-like scenario where the host withholds heat, power, and food. As the storytellers grow more desperate, their tales become more extreme, and they ruthlessly plot to make themselves the hero of the reality show that will surely be made from their plight. This is one of the most disturbing and outrageous books you’ll ever read, one that could only come from the mind of Chuck Palahniuk.
Stories you'll never forget—just try—from literature's favorite transgressive author
Representing work that spans several years, Make Something Up is a compilation of 21 stories and one novella (some previously published, some not) that will disturb and delight. The absurdity of both life and death are on full display; in "Zombies," the best and brightest of a high school prep school become tragically addicted to the latest drug craze: electric shocks from cardiac defibrillators. In "Knock, Knock," a son hopes to tell one last off-color joke to a father in his final moments, while in "Tunnel of Love," a massage therapist runs the curious practice of providing 'relief' to dying clients. And in "Expedition," fans will be thrilled to find to see a side of Tyler Durden never seen before in a precursor story to Fight Club.
Funny, caustic, bizarre, poignant; these stories represent everything readers have come to love and expect from Chuck Palahniuk. They have all the impact of a sharp blow to the solar plexus, with considerable collateral damage to the funny bone.
"A billion husbands are about to be replaced."
From the author of Fight Club, the classic portrait of the damaged contemporary male psyche, now comes this novel about the apocalyptic marketing possibilities of female pleasure. Sisters will be doing it for themselves. And doing it. And doing it. And doing it some more . . . Penny Harrigan is a low-level associate in a big Manhattan law firm with an apartment in Queens and no love life at all. So it comes as a great shock when she finds herself invited to dinner by one C. Linus Maxwell, aka "Climax-Well," a software mega-billionaire and lover of the most gorgeous and accomplished women on earth. After dining at Manhattan's most exclusive restaurant, he whisks Penny off to a hotel suite in Paris, where he proceeds, notebook in hand, to bring her to previously undreamed-of heights of orgasmic pleasure for days on end. What's not to like? This: Penny discovers that she is a test subject for the final development of a line of sex toys to be marketed in a nationwide chain of boutiques called Beautiful You. So potent and effective are these devices that women by the millions line up outside the stores on opening day and then lock themselves in their room with them and stop coming out. Except for batteries. Maxwell's plan for erotically enabled world domination must be stopped. But how?
The newest Palahniuk novel concerns Madison, a thirteen year old girl who finds herself in Hell, unsure of why she will be there for all eternity, but tries to make the best of it.
The author described the novel as "if The Shawshank Redemption had a baby by The Lovely Bones and it was raised by Judy Blume." And "it's kind of like The Breakfast Club set in Hell."
No author can shock readers quite like bestselling author Chuck Palahniuk ("Fight Club," "Choke," "Damned"), whose meditations on the darkest depths of the American ego have been known to induce fainting fits in his audiences. Palahniuk channels both Stephen King and John Cheever in this singularly sinister and hilarious short story, straight from the passive-aggressive front lines of modern marriage, where a wife's frustration, along with the family cat, become weapons of mass destruction.
Rachel married Ted because he was uncomplicated and loyal. But he was also devoted to his wretched house (done up in black granite, black appliances, even black dishware) and his first love, an old, flatulent cat named Belinda Carlisle. Once Rachel becomes pregnant, Ted reluctantly agrees to move and give up the cat. But the house doesn't sell, and Belinda Carlisle still haunts their home: every day the creature becomes fatter and more malodorous. When the house burns to the ground in a freak conflagration and the couple's daughter, April, is born blind soon thereafter, the marriage is never the same again. Only on a business trip three years later does Rachel begin to reckon with the damage.
In an Orlando motel room far from Ted and April, Rachel wonders: Is her simple-minded husband more vindictive and manipulative than even Rachel could have imagined? How far will she go to keep the upper hand-a bit of emotional and physical torture, perhaps? Will she win the battle, only to lose so much else?
If all is fair in love and war, there are few contemporary writers better equipped than Palahniuk to travel the extremes, right to the chilling intersection of "I do" and "I'm damned."
The hyperactive love child of Page Six and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? caught in a tawdry love triangle with The Fan. Even Kitty Kelly will blush.
Soaked, nay, marinated in the world of vintage Hollywood, Tell-All is a Sunset Boulevard–inflected homage to Old Hollywood when Bette Davis and Joan Crawford ruled the roost; a veritable Tourette’s syndrome of rat-tat-tat name-dropping, from the A-list to the Z-list; and a merciless send-up of Lillian Hellman’s habit of butchering the truth that will have Mary McCarthy cheering from the beyond.
Our Thelma Ritter–ish narrator is Hazie Coogan, who for decades has tended to the outsized needs of Katherine “Miss Kathie” Kenton—veteran of multiple marriages, career comebacks, and cosmetic surgeries. But danger arrives with gentleman caller Webster Carlton Westward III, who worms his way into Miss Kathie’s heart (and boudoir). Hazie discovers that this bounder has already written a celebrity tell-all memoir foretelling Miss Kathie’s death in a forthcoming Lillian Hellman–penned musical extravaganza; as the body count mounts, Hazie must execute a plan to save Katherine Kenton for her fans—and for posterity.
Tell-All is funny, subversive, and fascinatingly clever. It’s wild, it’s wicked, it’s bold-faced—it’s vintage Chuck.
The author of Fight Club takes America beyond our darkest dreams in this timely satire.
People pass the word only to those they trust most: Adjustment Day is coming. They’ve been reading a mysterious book and memorizing its directives. They are ready for the reckoning.
Adjustment Day, the author’s first novel in four years, is an ingeniously comic work in which Chuck Palahniuk does what he does best: skewer the absurdities in our society. Smug, geriatric politicians bring the nation to the brink of a third world war in an effort to control the burgeoning population of young males; working-class men dream of burying the elites; and professors propound theories that offer students only the bleakest future.
When Adjustment Day arrives, it fearlessly makes real the logical conclusion of every separatist fantasy, alternative fact, and conspiracy theory lurking in the American psyche.
With Fight Club and Choke, Chuck Palahniuk established his reputation as a tricky, unpredictable writer with enormous gifts and a highly individual vision. Lullaby -- an odd, unsettling, memorable, yet uncategorizable novel -- builds squarely on that foundation.
Researching a series of articles on sudden infant death syndrome, reporter Carl Streator uncovers a curious coincidence: At each crib-death site, he finds the very same book, Poems and Rhymes Around the World, always open to the same African lullaby. By way of experiment, he recites the lullaby to his editor, who dies the following evening. Convinced that he's stumbled onto a piece of dark, murderous magic, Streator hits the road on a mission to destroy all existing copies of Poems and Rhymes, accompanied by an eccentric team that includes two members of a local coven and a real estate agent who specializes in haunted houses. What follows is a charmingly demented road novel that moves from California to New York to New Mexico to Florida and encompasses witchcraft, militant vegetarianism, serial murder, political assassination, and ecological disaster.
Beneath its lurid, supernatural surface, Lullaby is a deeply serious work that has much to say about the pressures and problems of a frantic, overstimulated society. Magic, as Palahniuk describes it, is a potent metaphor for the endless distractions of seductive, predatory media, for the forces that invade -- and control -- our every waking moment, bombarding us endlessly with sensory input and mostly useless information. By turns funny, outrageous, and frightening, Lullaby is the work of a writer deeply attuned to the traumas and distortions of contemporary life.
A gang of adolescent terrorists, a spelling bee, and a terrible plan masquerading as a science project: This is Operation Havoc.
Pygmy is one of a handful of young adults from a totalitarian state sent to the US disguised as exchange students. Living with American families to blend in, they are planning an unspecified act of massive terrorism that will bring this big dumb country and its fat dumb inhabitants to their knees. Palahniuk depicts Midwestern life through the eyes of this indoctrinated little killer in a cunning double-edged satire of American xenophobia.
From the master of literary mayhem and provocation, a full-frontal Triple X novel that goes where no American work of fiction has gone before
Cassie Wright, porn priestess, intends to cap her legendary career by breaking the world record for serial fornication. On camera. With six hundred men. Snuff unfolds from the perspectives of Mr. 72, Mr. 137, and Mr. 600, who await their turn on camera in a very crowded green room. This wild, lethally funny, and thoroughly researched novel brings the huge yet underacknowledged presence of pornography in contemporary life into the realm of literary fiction at last. Who else but Chuck Palahniuk would dare do such a thing? Who else could do it so well, so unflinchingly, and with such an incendiary (you might say) climax?
Madison Spencer, the liveliest and snarkiest dead girl in the universe, continues the afterlife adventure begun in Chuck Palahniuk’s bestseller Damned. Just as that novel brought us a brilliant Hell that only he could imagine, Doomed is a dark and twisted apocalyptic vision from this provocative storyteller.
The bestselling Damned chronicled Madison’s journey across the unspeakable (and really gross) landscape of the afterlife to confront the Devil himself. But her story isn’t over yet. In a series of electronic dispatches from the Great Beyond, Doomed describes the ultimate showdown between Good and Evil.
After a Halloween ritual gone awry, Madison finds herself trapped in Purgatory—or, as mortals like you and I know it, Earth. She can see and hear every detail of the world she left behind, yet she’s invisible to everyone who’s still alive. Not only do people look right through her, they walk right through her as well. The upside is that, no longer subject to physical limitations, she can pass through doors and walls. Her first stop is her parents’ luxurious apartment, where she encounters the ghost of her long-deceased grandmother. For Madison, the encounter triggers memories of the awful summer she spent upstate with Nana Minnie and her grandfather, Papadaddy. As she revisits the painful truth of what transpired over those months (including a disturbing and finally fatal meeting in a rest stop’s fetid men’s room, in which . . . well, never mind), her saga of eternal damnation takes on a new and sinister meaning. Satan has had Madison in his sights from the very beginning: through her and her narcissistic celebrity parents, he plans to engineer an era of eternal damnation. For everyone.
Once again, our unconventional but plucky heroine must face her fears and gather her wits for the battle of a lifetime. Dante Alighieri, watch your back; Chuck Palahniuk is gaining on you.
Buster “Rant” Casey just may be the most efficient serial killer of our time. A high school rebel, Rant Casey escapes from his small town home for the big city where he becomes the leader of an urban demolition derby called Party Crashing. Rant Casey will die a spectacular highway death, after which his friends gather the testimony needed to build an oral history of his short, violent life.
Misty Wilmot has had it. Once a promising young artist, she’s now stuck on an island ruined by tourism, drinking too much and working as a waitress in a hotel. Her husband, a contractor, is in a coma after a suicide attempt, but that doesn’t stop his clients from threatening Misty with lawsuits over a series of vile messages they’ve found on the walls of houses he remodeled.
Suddenly, though, Misty finds her artistic talent returning as she begins a period of compulsive painting. Inspired but confused by this burst of creativity, she soon finds herself a pawn in a larger conspiracy that threatens to cost hundreds of lives. What unfolds is a dark, hilarious story from America’s most inventive nihilist, and Palahniuk’s most impressive work to date.
Transgressive fiction authors write stories some are afraid to tell. Stories with taboo subjects, unique voices, shocking images--nothing safe or dry.
Burnt Tongues is a collection of transgressive stories selected by a rigorous nomination and vetting process and hand-selected by Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club, as the best of The Cult workshop.
These stories run the gamut from horrific and fantastic to humorous and touching, but each leaves a lasting impression.
Some may say even a scar.