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Diary: A Novel

by Chuck Palahniuk

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,347811,124 (3.48)79
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.… (more)
Recently added byprivate library, kudragrade, eeconley31, SeppeD, alexisandscott, evilive, mknapil
  1. 10
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    John Dies at the End by David Wong (ACannon92)
    ACannon92: Similar Writing Style, Similar Topics
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    The Palace of Dreams by Ismail Kadare (Cecilturtle)
  4. 00
    The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson (twomoredays)
    twomoredays: The entire time I was reading The Gargoyle I was reminded of Palahniuk's work. Marianne of The Gargoyle reminds me of some of Palahniuk's female characters, but at the same time everything is cast in such a different light in Davidson's work that it stands apart. Fans of Diary may very well be interested in The Gargoyle and likewise fans of The Gargoyle should check out Diary.… (more)
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English (79)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (81)
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
I started this book like four times and never got passed the 100th page but after almost a year of it sitting around I finally picked it up and read the whole thing and it wasn't that bad. ( )
  Teri_O | Nov 11, 2020 |
"Diary" was certainly interesting, especially once I started to understand the flow and get into it.

The main character, Misty, has been told by her mother-in-law to maintain a daily diary that she can present to her husband once he recovers from his coma, the way old seafaring families did a couple of centuries ago. As a reader, you have to pretend you're her husband.

From childhood she's envisioned, drawn and painted her fantasy island of old, wealthy houses, all from her own imagination. Then in art school she meets Peter, a young man from Waytansea Island, and it turns out her imagination was of a real island, who is determined to marry her and have children.

Waytansea Island is full of old homes and old, decadent families that grow rich and poor over the course of many generations, or as they say "from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves," but after twice being saved from poverty by an artist, now actively searches for her when the money runs low again.

During this story they're at one of their poor generations, with all the residents leasing their homes to what they call "summer people" and their island is full of tourists, the ferry running six or more times a day, corporate advertising all over and litter on the beaches from all the tourists.

Everyone in the old families on the island tell Misty to quit waiting tables at the Waytansea Hotel and get back into artwork, because it's up to her to save them all, even though she doesn't think she's a skilled artist. But her mother-in-law has odd confidence that she will...

The book is very weird and at first I didn't quite understand the pattern of how it was written, that it's written directly to Peter, and the references of "you" and "your" are to Peter, with Misty referring to herself in the third person. And that lots of times a character asks another a question, but no answer will come, the subject changes. Once I understood that, then it was good, although I felt it sort of fizzled at the end.

I'm looking forward, after this, to reading more of Chuck Palahniuk's books. ( )
  KevinRubin | Aug 11, 2020 |
This is my least favourite Palahniuk book, and I'll tell you why. It feels like 1970s horror film turned into a book, while filling it like a turkey with Palahniukisms.

It's got atmosphere and is well-written, but feels quite empty. And yes, cinematic. And quite lonely. At times it's funny and a bit scary, and it's even hard to put away but all in all I'd much rather recommend "Rant" or "Snuff". ( )
  pivic | Mar 20, 2020 |
I really liked the set-up behind this book. Palahniuk does a great job of setting up the suspense and the mystery behind the motivations of Misty's husband and his failing resort home-town.

The problem for me was it seemed to rush into the ending too quickly, about half-way through the book feels rushed and while I still liked it, it just didn't live up to my initial expectations. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
I found this book to be absolutely insane (in a good way). Totally mind-blowing. I loved how everything ended. Palahniuk's words are harsh and his ideas are out-there, but he weaves those two things together to make a beautiful, interesting story. Honestly, I thought the book was pure genius. ( )
  Borrows-N-Wants | Sep 22, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chuck Palahniukprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bekker, Jos denTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For my grandfather, Joseph Tallent, who told me to be whatever I wanted. 1910-2003
First words
Today, a man called from Long Beach.
Quotations
We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.
We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.
(Je těžké zapomenout na bolest, ale ještě těžší je pamatovat si to pěkné. Po štěstí nám nezůstanou žádné jizvy. Z klidu a míru se tak pramálo poučíme. (s. 188))
Where do you get your inspiration?
Čemu nerozumíme, to si můžeme vysvětlit jakkoli. (s. 86)
Snad kvůli tomuhle ho Misty milovala. Milovala tě. Protože jsi v ni věřil o tolik víc, než si věřila sama. Očekával od ní o tolik víc, než od sebe očekávala sama. (s. 87)
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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.

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