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Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk
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Pygmy (2009)

by Chuck Palahniuk

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,596654,558 (2.88)40
  1. 10
    A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (fugitive)
    fugitive: I make this recommendation primarily based on the unique artificial dialects created by both Palahniuk and Burgess.
  2. 00
    The Mysteries of Algiers by Robert Irwin (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: Narrative from a twisted, terroristic, undercover anti-protagonist
  3. 00
    Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer (souci)
    souci: Actually a better look at fractured English.
  4. 01
    Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban (fugitive)
    fugitive: The protagonist uses a fractured, and manufactured language which takes some getting used to.
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» See also 40 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
I may be in the minority, but I enjoyed the language of this book. I loved the cryptic descriptions of what was going on and found it easy to understand once I had got into the mindset of Pygmy. Yes, there were some very graphic scenes, but this is what once expects from Palahniuk. I feel the book was let down by the plot: it would appear that so much went into the language that Palahniuk had nothing left for planning a good story. ( )
  martensgirl | Aug 18, 2016 |
chuck is probably a normal guy, but his books are very weird. i love them, but they are not for the faint of heart. pygmy is written in the twisted english vernacular of a 13 year old boy sent as an exchange student from 'a totalitarian state,' (russia?) with a plan, along with several other students, to destroy the u.s. a bit hard to read, because of the language, but engaging and unputdownable. if you're looking for offbeat and VERY different, chuck is your man, and pygmy is one of his most unsual ( )
  zenhead | Jun 26, 2016 |
I gave up on it. As best I can tell, my least favorite of Palahniuk's books. So it really should not go in my "read" folder, but they don't have a "read part of it and quit" folder. ( )
  Phyllis.Mann | Jul 13, 2015 |
I love the satire on Americana and our collective jingoism and xenophobia. However, the dialogue, while initially interesting, became very tedious and the gimmick wore thin early on in the novel. ( )
  benuathanasia | Apr 29, 2015 |
As a religious reader of Palahniuk's books, I have to say that this one was something of a disappointment. The pidgin used throughout makes the book very difficult to read. I actually had to give up and listen to the audio book.

That being said, it's not bad. I just feel that it is something of a puff piece. It's funny and interesting, but there's just not a lot going on. I also felt that nothing was particularly original. I felt I'd heard it all before.

It's short and worth the time, but not his best work. ( )
  Juva | Mar 17, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
Readers of Palahniuk’s excellent early work (“Fight Club,” “Invisible Mon­sters”) will sense a shallow, phoned-in quality to his new novel. Despite its transgressive trappings and cultural-­critique posturing, “Pygmy” is as defanged as Marilyn Manson.
 
For all its satirical tail-swallowing, however, the novel's strongest currents of feeling swirl around the hero's experiences in the education system. Behind the often quite funny overkill and casually exiguous plot, it's essentially a fantasy about being a small, picked-on outsider in high school while fancying yourself a secret agent on a mission of revenge.
 
Sloppy yet smart, Chuck Palahniuk's "Pygmy" veers from sublimely ridiculous to just plain ridiculous, sometimes within a single paragraph.
 
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Epigraph
He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future. - Adolf Hitler.
Dedication
To Amy Hempel - There is no other cheese.
First words
Begins here first account of operative me, agent number 67,
on arrival Midwestern American airport greater ##### area.
Quotations
All beauty created of the deity eventual to pass through American mouth, viscera, excreted anus.
Perhaps true profound affection defined by no entering vagina without consent.
Thank you, much esteemed madam living skeleton.
Succulent barrier much thrusting mammary glands shield operative me, swinging lady buttocks further thwart attacks.
Tongue of operative me lick, licking, touching back tooth on bottom, molar where planted inside forms cyanide hollow, touching not biting.
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Pygmy -- a young adult from a totalitarian state, disguised as an exchange student -- plans a terrorist attack and depicts U.S. Midwestern life through the eyes of a hateful, indoctrinated little killer, in a satire of American xenophobia.

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