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Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk
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Survivor (original 1999; edition 2000)

by Chuck Palahniuk (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,76970546 (3.86)13
Member:aethercowboy
Title:Survivor
Authors:Chuck Palahniuk (Author)
Info:Anchor (2000), Edition: 1st Anchor Books ed, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:GT3, Read but unowned, Have read
Rating:*****
Tags:American, black comedy, existentialism, fiction, humor, literature, philosophy, postmodern, prose, satire

Work details

Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk (1999)

Recently added byMalcomnson, Giadoska, Darion, private library, DanL1980, meiloslyther, -sunny-, toujoursrousse
20th century (16) American (39) American literature (26) Chuck Palahniuk (22) contemporary (23) contemporary fiction (27) cults (134) dark (18) dark humor (36) ebook (20) fame (14) favorites (11) fiction (592) horror (15) humor (30) literature (24) nihilism (20) novel (74) own (24) owned (11) palahniuk (27) postmodern (12) read (102) religion (80) satire (91) signed (11) suicide (68) to-read (56) unread (27) USA (11)
  1. 00
    Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre (jayne_charles)
    jayne_charles: Both are darkly humorous takes on the modern world, media and the cult of celebrity
  2. 00
    John Dies at the End by David Wong (ACannon92)
  3. 00
    American Desert by Percival Everett (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: 'Survivor' and 'American Desert' are Psychological fiction and satirical fiction about Cults.
  4. 00
    The Other Side of Darkness by Melody Carlson (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: If you like Psychological fiction, like 'Survivor', You may also enjoy 'The other side of darkness', which shares these qualities and is also about Cults.
  5. 00
    L'Evangile de Jimmy by Didier van Cauwelaert (askthedust)
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    The Day Philosophy Dies by Casey Maddox (owen1218)
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Blurb........


Tender Branson, the last surviving member of the Creedish death cult, has commandeered a Boeing 747, emptied of passengers, in order to tell his story to the plane's black box before it crashes. Brought up by the repressive cult and, like all Creedish younger sons, hired out as a domestic servant, Tender finds himself suddenly famous when his fellow cult members all commit suicide. As media messiah he ascends to the very top of the freak-show heap before finally and apocalyptically spiralling out of control.


I read this in 2 days so it can’t have been too bad. The books I don’t really enjoy seem to drag on for an eternity. That said I didn’t put it down marvelling at Palahniuk’s satire, nor did I find it savagely funny like some of the back cover reviews.


I was entertained, and interested to read about Tender’s life, but that was it.
Maybe some authors just don’t resonate with me the same way they connect with other readers. Oh well, an average read on the Keane measuring scale.


3 from 5



Bought second-hand last year in a bundle of 3 Palahniuk’s on E-bay. (Oh great, I get to read 2 more then!) Show More
( )
  col2910 | Apr 17, 2014 |
Absolutely hated it.

Imagine if Chuck Palahniuk was a computer, with a specially made algorithm to make his books. It feels like that, with more sophomoric jokes.
1 vote OtherStoriesBooks | Dec 29, 2013 |
Reminded me a lot of Fight Club, but a little bit less crazy, kind of. ( )
  CassieLM | Apr 2, 2013 |
Survivor is a fast, interesting read. It maintains a consistent tone and style throughout—sort of good-naturedly nihilistic. Fully half the paragraphs in the book are one-sentence, creating the sense of a fractured but sincere narrative.

The book is structured as a confession, although not of a religious sort, as the last survivor of the Creedish church tells his story to the black box of a doomed aircraft. The cover of the book pitches it as funny and comic, but I mostly found the satire to be consistently doleful and thoughtful. (The final "miracle", however, was hilarious.) Tender Branson, the narrator of Survivor, has almost the exact opposite attitude as the narrator of Ellison’s Invisible Man—he’s perfectly willing to obey (without illusion) whoever will tell him what to do as he perversely subsumes his identity to whatever is most convenient at the moment: church, employer, media agency, clairvoyant love interest. His main shame is that he hasn’t committed suicide the way he was supposed to. Although one can argue that his failure to commit suicide is a decision to live, Tender’s choice to live (although how little he takes advantage of his life is an issue) creates an ironic existential crisis that comments on subjects including religion, mortality, blind obedience, sex, marketing, and self-imprisonment.

Survivor didn’t knock me over (somehow it didn't offend me as much as I kept hoping it would?), but it’s an intelligent satire in the mode of Vonnegut, and I can easily recommend it. ( )
  crunky | Mar 31, 2013 |
I've now read everything of Palahniuk's other than Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey. I read Survivor out of sequence because I never saw a copy for sale until recently. I was pleased to read it, because it was significantly better than Haunted, but also saddened because it seemed to confirm my suspicion that Palahniuk's earlier work much fresher and better written.

Told more-or-less forward but counting back down to the opening moment (including reverse page numbering), Survivor is relatively complex and very engaging. Palahniuk engages in some low-key yet profound worldbuilding that is more characteristic of Jonathan Lethem than of Palahniuk's usual style. Palahniuk sometimes has trouble with the balance between depicting his protagonist's brutal (and brutalizing) inner narration and evoking empathy for the protagonist and his or her plight. Not so here--the protagonist is both troubling and attractive. Palahniuk might do well to aim for this blend and not, as his more recent books would lead one to believe, for the most outrageous and disgusting extremes of human behavior and experience. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Mike Keefe and Mike Smith.
For Shawn Grant and Heidi Weeden and Matt Palahniuk.
The agent in this book is not Edward Hibbert, who represents my work with all his humor, energy, and skill.
No one in this book is as clever as my editor, Gerry Howard.
No one anywhere is as relentless and helpful as Lois Rosenthal.
This book would not exist without the Tuesday Night Writers' Workshop at Suzy's house.
Who has pages, tonight?
First words
Testing, testing, one, two, three.
Quotations
The only difference between a suicide and a martyrdom is press coverage.
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Disambiguation notice
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Book description
Tender Branson — last surviving member of the so-called "Creedish Death Cult" — is dictating his incredible 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 plane, which will shortly reach terminal velocity and crash 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 even share his insight that "the only difference between suicide and martyrdom is press coverage," and deny responsibility for the Tender Branson Sensitive Materials Landfill — a 20,000-acre repository for the nation's outdated pornography. Among other matters both bizarre and trenchant.
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Just before committing suicide, Tender Branson dictates his life story and reveals what life was like as a member of the Creedish Death Cult.

(summary from another edition)

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W.W. Norton

Two editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393047024, 039333807X

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