Saturday, March 01, 2008

Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk

Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk

Tender Branson is a member of a Creedish religion that, when the "Deliverance" happens and all the members still living in the commune kill themselves, is considered a cult. Creeds have been taught that once the deliverance happens, they are to kill themselves. However Tender doesn't feel like killing himself. He's not happy, but he's not sad either. He just exists, cleaning and giving etiquette lessons to a rich family.

The story is essentially Tender dictating his life story into the black box of an airplane he has hijacked. There is no one left on board, as Tender has seen to it that everyone is safe. We learn about Fertility, Tender's friend who can see into the future, and Adam, Tender's brother who was expected to be dead. After some suspicious suicides, Tender becomes a celebrity for being the last remaining member of the Creedish cult.

There's a bit of a social commentary on celebrities in this book, but it's not at all preach-ish. Palahniuk mocks celebrities through Tender's stories and it is pretty entertaining.

Adding to the intrigue of this book is the fact that the chapters and pages count down rather than up. But the best part of the book is when you're done and you take it all in. The end of the book is complete, yet left completely up to the reader and his/her imagination on what happened. Does Tender live or die? There are some clues dropped throughout the whole book that could lead you either way. If you visit Palahniuk's site, he gives his interpretation.

While I didn't find the overall plot gripping, I was googling this book when I was done because the ending didn't sit well with me. And when I realized that it wasn't meant to sit well with the reader, I was really intrigued. How often is it that a twist in the book comes after the book is finished?? It takes talent for a writer to pull that off.

First Line: "Testing, testing. One, two, three."




Unknown said...

I've only ever read Fight Club by this author... this looks pretty good, I'll have to keep an eye out for it!

Anonymous said...

I have a new novel coming out that I was wanting to be reviewed. The synopsis is this:

People are never what they appear to be. That’s why getting to know a person is so important. A person’s hair, the way he dresses, his composure, that’s what people notice. It’s not like you can pick a pedophile or a sex addict out of a crowd. You never meet a person and think, “That guy is a pedophile.” Or “That guy is a sex addict.” You say, “That man had a nice smile.”

Or, “What a great guy.” For a group of prisoners, however, that’s all they think. Murderer? Child molester? Scam artist? Better yet, “What did YOU do to get here?”

Anonymous is a series of stories. Stories are what make the world go round. And they’re also what keep a group of prisoners going. Everyday, locked up in their cell, these prisoners spill their guts to the others through toilets and drain pipes, hoping to “pass” the time until they are able to see the light of day. Some of the stories, they disclose things that only locked up criminals should hear. The other stories, they explain why most people would agree that this group of misfits should be locked up.

The next time you see a nice looking man out and about, make sure you say to yourself, “That guy has nice teeth. He could be a sex offender.”

For more info, please refer to link ( I don't have anymore proof copies available but if you would accept a PDF, I can supply that. If you like Chuck Palahniuk, then this book is for you.

Thanks, Jason Tanamor