Information Leafblower: Palahniuk Archives

Palahniuk Archives

I Am Jack's Shameless Plug

But I kind of agree with this:

I liked your first three novels quite a bit—Survivor, Fight Club, and Invisible Monsters, I thought, made kind of a trilogy of ridiculous, and somehow bighearted, American nihilism—and while your next novel, Choke, was a misfire akin to other novelists' sophomore slump, you were clearly trying to struggle free from the cynicism that had enveloped your work. You were trying to grow.

So what was it that irrevocably stunted your growth as a writer? Why did you start releasing horrible novels with one-word titles—Haunted, Lullaby, Diary—every year like clockwork? Those three, the second Palahniuk trilogy, were generic gross-out thrillers, and they cemented your reputation as the Jean-Claude Van Damme of novelists; you were a victim of your own formula.

The last novel, Rant, was as perfunctory as an Elvis movie. The plot—something to do with car crashes causing people to time travel—was laughable, and everything that made your first books so exhilarating was by now the equivalent of a literary Starbucks. To write a Palahniuk novel, one just needs a taboo subject, a cast of five main characters who are secretly tied to one another far beyond the reach of reasonable coincidence, and then a string of trivia about an obscure topic like how to clean bodily fluids off of household items.

And here comes Snuff, about five people filming a gangbang who are tied together through secret connections. There's lots of information about porn films. There's a litany of trivia about Hollywood actors who nearly died while filming their roles. And there's a climax so intentionally outrageous that it couldn't have been written with a straight face. No doubt, people will love it because it is—like Mountain Dew and Dane Cook and various other safe and overpackaged products—extreme.

I still haven't picked up Snuff yet, although I will sooner or later. I'm just not that excited about it. I didn't even go to Chuck's reading/lecture event here in D.C. last week (mostly because I refused to pay the $30 cover charge, which I found quite ridiculous). I listened to the audio book version of Rant a few weeks ago and was practically bored to tears. I guess Chuck's stuff is not aging very well for me. By continually trying to shock everyone, he's sort of playing it safe. But I still love me some Survivor.

Verdict: Somewhat promising.

Keep in mind the trailer for Fight Club was awful.

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Can't wait. [via]

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SeeqPod Music beta - Playable Search

I was playing around on the net last night and came across Seeqpod, a cool little app that lets you form playlists of all the available MP3's on the nets, so I made a playlist for the weekend. Now if only it could export the MP3s and playlist order directly into my (and your) iTunes. That would be hott.

I can't recommend the Gruff Rhys track enough. Figures I find the perfect summer song just after Labor Day. Oh well, definitely give "Gyrru Gyrru Gyrru" a listen, it's absolutely brilliant and would have fit in perfectly on Guerilla. Quite possibly my favorite song of the year. I've probably listened to it 20 times since yesterday. Head over here to download the MP3. Also, here's the video that was directed by Dylan, who does all the visuals during the Super Furries live show. Gruff is touring the US at the end of the month and I've set up an interview with him during his stop in D.C. on the 20th, so look for that later this month.

I'm heading out of town for the weekend, which is a shame because there are some great shows tonight and tomorrow. Tonight is the Kora Records Third Anniversary party tonight at the Black Cat featuring Meredith Bragg and The Terminals, Donny Hue and The Colors and Olivia Mancini and The Housemates. I'm a big fan of Olivia and the Housemates, so I'm a bit bummed that I can't make the show. Instrumental Analysis has all the details on the show as well as some MP3s for you.

Tomorrow is the big Blisspop Presents show at the 9:30 Club with Georgie James, Soft Complex and The Dance Party and the DJ stylings of the one and only Will Eastman. Again, totally bummed I'm missing this. It should be a good time. Doors are at 11 p.m. (it's a late show) and tickets are a mere $10. If you need some MP3s, head over to I Guess I'm Floating.

MTV was on the set during filming on Chuck Palahniuk's Choke. How excited am I for this movie?

Creepy.

A 6-year-old Edina, Minn., girl is hospitalized after a freak accident at a swimming pool.

Abigail Taylor was severely injured Friday when she sat over an open drain hole in a wading pool at the Minneapolis Golf Club. According to a posting by her family on the Caring Bridge Web site, the drain's powerful suction tore out part of her intestinal tract.

The family's account said it's a "medical miracle" that she's still alive. The online account has since been taken down.

Her father, Scott Taylor, told WCCO-TV that the suction caused a 2-inch tear in Abigail's rectum and pulled out much of her small intestine. Doctors had to remove the part of her intestines that remained, the family's lawyer, Bob Bennett, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Where have I heard that before? Oh yeah.

Still kicking water, thrashing with both arms, I'm maybe halfway to the surface but not going higher. The heartbeat inside my head getting loud and fast.

The bright sparks of light crossing and crisscrossing my eyes, I turn and look back ... but it doesn't make sense. This thick rope, some kind of snake, blue-white and braided with veins, has come up out of the pool drain and it's holding on to my butt. Some of the veins are leaking blood, red blood that looks black underwater and drifts away from little rips in the pale skin of the snake. The blood trails away, disappearing in the water, and inside the snake's thin, blue-white skin you can see lumps of some half-digested meal.

It goes on from there but I'll spare you.

A hearty hat tip to Goldenfiddle, who originally spotted the story.

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Yesterday morning I bought the new Feist album, A Reminder, via iTunes and gave it a spin during my morning commute. It still might grow on me, but my first impression is that it's too lo-fi and not as hooky as her debut record, but I digress...

One song that really jumped out at me though, is track 10, "Brandy Alexander." Check the lyrics:

Though I'd like to be the girl for him
And cross the sea and land for him
On milky skin my tongue is sand until
The ever distant band begins to play

He's my Brandy Alexander
Always gets me into trouble
But that's another matter
Brandy Alexander

He's my Brandy Alexander
Always gets me into trouble
But that's another matter
Brandy Alexander

Though you know what I love most of him
I'm walking on needles and pins
My addiction to the worst of him
The low moon helps me sing

I'm his Brandy Alexander
Always get him into trouble
I hide that I'm flattered
Brandy Alexander

I'm his Brandy Alexander
Always get him into trouble
I hide that I'm flattered
Brandy Alexander

Goes down easy
It goes down easy [7x]

Brandy Alexander [4x]

The reason that this song jumped out at me is Brandy Alexander is the name of the protagonist in Chuck Palahniuk's excellent third novel*, Invisible Monsters. Here's a plot summary via Amazon:

Welcome to the world of perverse self-mutilation, insane coincidences and extreme makeovers speckled with violent acts and prescription drugs. After surviving a gunshot wound that destroyed half her face, Shannon meets the vivacious Brandy Alexander, whose glamorous nature seduces her into traveling cross-country in a delightful and ironic crime spree. In typical Palahniuk fashion, the story leaps about in an erratic and initially bewildering manner, but ultimately makes sense.

Always gets me into trouble? Check.
My addiction to the worst of him? Check.
I hide that I'm flattered? Check.

From the book:

"The nurse leads me past in my cardboard slippers, my tight bandages and deep funk, and Brandy Alexander looks up at the last possible instant and winks. God should be able to wink that good. Like somebody taking your picture. Give me joy. Give me fun. Give me love."

Interesting.

You can read and online graphic novel of Invisible Monsters over at Chucky P dot net.

* It was actually the second novel he wrote, but it didn't get published until after Fight Club and Survivor.

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Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey

Rant takes the form of a (fictional) oral history of Buster "Rant" Casey, in which an assortment of friends, enemies, admirers, detractors, and relations have their say on this evil character, who may or may not be the most efficient serial killer of our time.

Buster Casey was every small kid born in a small town, searching for real thrills in a world of video games and action/adventure movies. The high school rebel who always wins (and a childhood murderer?), Rant Casey escapes from his hometown of Middleton for the big city and becomes the leader of an urban demolition derby called Party Crashing, where on designated nights, the participants recognize each other by dressing their cars with tin-can tails, "Just Married" toothpaste graffiti, and other refuse, then look for designated markings in order to stalk and crash into each other. It's in this violent, late-night hunting game that Casey meets three friends. And after his spectacular death, these friends gather the testimony needed to build an oral history of his short life. Their collected anecdotes explore the charges that his saliva infected hundreds and caused a silent, urban plague of rabies....

Expect hilarity and horror, and blazing insight into the desperate and surreal contemporary human condition as only Chuck Palahniuk can deliver it. He's the postmillennial Jonathan Swift, the visionary to watch to learn what's —uh-oh—coming next.

Sounds AWESOME.

Completely unrelated: If you're in D.C. tonight, come by The 4 P's to see the screening of Lord Don't Slow Me Down.

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I braved IKEA today and bought one of these. Unsurprisingly, it was a bitch to put together. But once it was assembled, I was finally able to unpack a few boxes with some very important contents.


Unpacking #1, originally uploaded by leafblower.


Unpacking #2, originally uploaded by leafblower.


Unpacking #3, originally uploaded by leafblower.

My old "bookcase" is now housing my vinyl collection. Once I get everything set up to my satisfaction, I'll take some pictures of the DJ room. It's pretty sweet.

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Now you know what Chuck Palahniuk does when he's not working on his latest novel...as well as what he thinks of my promotional tactics. More pictures here.

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