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Diary by Chuck Palahniuk
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Diary (edition 2003)

by Chuck Palahniuk

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5,88475711 (3.49)71
Member:SerapiSreXuS
Title:Diary
Authors:Chuck Palahniuk
Info:Anchor Books (2003), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction

Work details

Diary by Chuck Palahniuk

  1. 00
    Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin (SomeGuyInVirginia)
  2. 00
    John Dies at the End by David Wong (ACannon92)
    ACannon92: Similar Writing Style, Similar Topics
  3. 00
    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 (73)  German (1)  French (1)  All (75)
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
“Peter used to say that an artist’s job is to make order out of chaos. You collect details, look for a pattern, and organize. You make sense out of senseless facts. You puzzle together bits of everything. You shuffle and reorganize. Collage. Montage. Assemble.”

This is my 3rd Palahniuk book the first being the infamous Fight Club (watched the movie first & that led me to the book & introduced me to Palahniuk - should really write a review some day) and Survivor (which I got off the library) - there are a total of 7 Palahniuk titles in the library system (Survivor, Diary, Haunted, Stranger Than Fiction, Tell-all, Damned & Choke) all of which I have not read (and -surprisingly- no Fight Club, Lullaby or Invisible Monsters which are titles I remember off the top of my head from bookstagram/booktube/GR reviews/recs! Only Choke and Diary were titles I "recognised"). Anyhow will probably get to the titles in the library first before sourcing others.

Ok, that was OT. On to the book!

As per the title, this story is a -- of diary entries, so the writing is epistolary in nature with a first person POV/voice. The tale revolves around Misty Wilmot who marries into a rich island community family who view her as the awaited for saviour of the islands continued future via her art. Which she has stopped doing. And which they are waiting for her to produce. Pretty far out.

If you have read Palahniuk you should know that you can't expect a comfortable read. You will be disturbed and maybe even offended to say the least. I don't know but I think I can somewhat safely say that if you are a fan of Black Mirror that Palahniuk would probably be something that may appeal to you. As I was saying - have only read two Palahniuk books but one of the things I have actually latched on to is the pattern of info bites/factoids is something I think you will really enjoy or really get bored of. I, for the most part, still find it pretty interesting. In Diary the factoid themes: concerned facial muscle anatomy and facial expressions, graphology, a long list of artists and their suffering and hardship and mentions of Carl Jung, left brain right brain, this one Carl Jung Psychology Test which I did the same time I read it in the book along with Misty and Peter and lots of other random-seeming parallels and info-bites.

“You said how Michelangelo was a manic-depressive who portrayed himself as a flayed martyr in his painting. Henri Matisse gave up being a lawyer because of appendicitis. Robert Schumann only began composing after his right hand became paralyzed and ended his career as a concert pianist. (...) You talked about Nietzsche and his tertiary syphilis. Mozart and his uremia. Paul Klee and the scleroderma that shrank his joints and muscles to death. Frida Kahlo and the spina bifida that covered her legs with bleeding sores. Lord Byron and his clubfoot. The Bronte sisters and their tuberculosis. Mark Rothko and his suicide. Flannery O’Connor and her lupus. Inspiration needs disease, injury, madness."

Pretty grim reading. Going into about 30%-40% of the book I was really wondering where we were going with all this. But it does pick up somewhat and stuff started coming together (despite so much randomness) and there was an ending (somewhat open ended but works in the sense of the Diary entries narrative I suppose). Solid 3 for all them info-bites. Can't exactly go to 4 because - disturbing reading yo. Haha.

Another Palahniuk ticked off the list... let's see how many books I managed to read before I get "Palahniuk-fatigue"...

Source: Borrowed from the library.
First review draft posted: 11feb2017 ( )
  kephradyx | Jun 20, 2017 |
this book perfectly exemplifies why i finish every book that i start. i actually thought to myself "i really could just put this down and never pick it up again" when i was about 75% of the way through. but then the last 20% of this book changed everything for me. (it would get less than 2 stars if not for the pretty fantastic ending.) until that point in the book i thought the entire thing was an overdone metaphor that was missing a solid story.

reading this i felt the same way i did when reading his choke - that some of it was brilliant and some of it was awful. he has these flashes of insight and luminosity, surrounded by swill. this book is strange, sometimes incoherent, and often annoyingly written, but the ideas all come together at the end in a way that i loved. (i think it makes the rest worth getting through, that 20% is wonderful.) in that last chunk of the book i even started to like all of the repeating phrases that i'd found so frustrating up until that point in the book. even the metaphoric stuff started to ring more true to me (especially the part about art's reflection of the artist).

i enjoyed the ending much more than the rest of this book, bringing it up to 2 stars. i don't know how much more of his stuff i want to read, but i'm unclear how i feel about him overall so will probably keep trying him out...

i did love this line, about life after misty had tabbi (whose name i kept reading as tabibi until that last 20% of the book when her name coalesced for me, as the story did): "Then Tabbi came along. Then Misty fell asleep and woke up fat and tired and middle-aged." ( )
  elisa.saphier | Apr 16, 2017 |
This novel was not as raw and twisted as some of Palahniuk's works-- which I mean as a compliment. The subtlety allowed me to just read the book without constantly being reminded that the author is sick and twisted. The plot, while making no attempt to be believable, was well spun and well told. Palahniuk did a superb job of weaving in a constant mood of dread which stuck with me during the entire read. This is probably my favorite of his novels that I've read. ( )
  technodiabla | Jan 12, 2017 |
2003 ( )
  ChrisPisarczyk | Mar 17, 2016 |
Good stuff.. ( )
  johnfishlock | Dec 18, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chuck Palahniukprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bekker, Jos denTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385509472, Hardcover)

“CAN YOU FEEL THIS?”

Chuck Palahniuk, the bestselling author of Fight Club, Choke, and Lullaby continues his twenty-first-century reinvention of the horror novel in this scary and profound look at our quest for some sort of immortality.

Diary takes the form of a “coma diary” kept by one Misty Tracy Wilmot as her husband lies senseless in a hospital after a suicide attempt. Once she was an art student dreaming of creativity and freedom; now, after marrying Peter at school and being brought back to once quaint, now tourist-overrun Waytansea Island, she’s been reduced to the condition of a resort hotel maid. Peter, it turns out, has been hiding rooms in houses he’s remodeled and scrawling vile messages all over the walls—an old habit of builders but dramatically overdone in Peter’s case. Angry homeowners are suing left and right, and Misty’s dreams of artistic greatness are in ashes. But then, as if possessed by the spirit of Maura Kinkaid, a fabled Waytansea artist of the nineteenth century, Misty begins painting again, compulsively. But can her newly discovered talent be part of a larger, darker plan? Of course it can …
Diary is a dark, hilarious, and poignant act of storytelling from America’s favorite, most inventive nihilist. It is Chuck Palahniuk’s finest novel yet.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:26 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

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)

(summary from another edition)

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