Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk

Pygmy (2009)

by Chuck Palahniuk

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,459615,128 (2.9)39
  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.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 39 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
As a big Palahniuk fan this was the only book of his that I couldn't even finish despite trying to push myself to do so. I don't know what to say besides it was a mess. I get the general concept and what he was trying to pull off but it was just so poorly executed. ( )
  morgantaylor | Oct 10, 2014 |
Not Chuck P. at his best. Though it gives an interesting portrayal inside of the mind of a would be terrorist... maybe a third of the way through it becomes formulaic and rather redundant. ( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
Interesting prose and structure; visceral and vicious, disgusting and funny, perhaps too gratuitous. Powerful and thrilling; some scenes too overtly concocted, too playful. ( )
  bontley | Aug 24, 2013 |
first off, i did the audiobook during a very long drive. most likely, your experience with this book will be greatly determined by its format. the english is horribly broken and, i assume, therefor much easier to listen to than read.

best thing about the book - the descriptions. great stuff, entertaining perspective of a kid who hates everything/everyone greatly and goes to great lengths to describe common day things in pleasingly amusing ways.

a lot of thought went into examining the US in a new perspective. worth a read/listen. ( )
  mortensengarth | Aug 24, 2013 |
Pygmy is one of those books you don't enjoy but on balance, when it's all over, are glad you read. It feels like a worthy literary experience rather than an intellectually or emotionally satisfying one. The weirdly constructed first person English in which the story is told is initially difficult to decipher, but then strangely hypnotic. It emerges as literally the language of propaganda; not just that into which the eponymous narrator had been indoctrinated in his unnamed, cartoon-totalitarian homeland, but that of the crass, hypocritical middle America in which he finds himself.

The cleverest thing about Pygmy is this use of language; the way it draws you into the mindset of the thoroughly brainwashed, hormonally charged teenage terrorist and then lets you watch from within as he both subverts and is subverted by his new, equally irrational and inhumane environment. It's unfortunate that the plot isn't equal to this narrative voice. In his quest to skewer the pop-psychology cliches of modern American life, Palahniuk piles them on so thick and fast that they blur into meaninglessness. Then he tops it off with an unsatisfying ending that feels as unlikely and contrived as all the cliches that went before. Maybe he was trying to make a point about the pervasiveness of banality, but it just feels like he lost his nerve.

I do think that this is a good read for writers. The technical achievements - and failings - are instructive. Palahniuk reminds us that there are many ways to tell a story. Like it or not, there's a lot to learn from the way he's told this one. ( )
2 vote Scriptopus | Apr 13, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (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.
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future. - Adolf Hitler.
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.
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.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

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.

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
12 avail.
674 wanted
7 pay6 pay

Popular covers


Average: (2.9)
0.5 13
1 52
1.5 7
2 57
2.5 16
3 95
3.5 19
4 96
4.5 4
5 31


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alumn

Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk was made available through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sign up to possibly get pre-publication copies of books.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 95,735,613 books! | Top bar: Always visible