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Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk
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Pygmy (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Chuck Palahniuk

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,788725,654 (2.87)40
Member:mclobes
Title:Pygmy
Authors:Chuck Palahniuk
Info:Anchor (2010), Edition: 1 Reprint, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:None

Work details

Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk (2009)

  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 74 (next | show all)
Too hard to read, but full of insights on white western culture, two extreme clashing cultures. ( )
  simonspacecadet | Jul 29, 2018 |
I'm a pretty big fan of Chuck. Read all his books. Really love Survivor, Choke, Fight Club, and like the other novels to a slightly lesser degree. Smart, funny, dark stuff. Wasn't that into Haunted. The short story form seemed to bring out his "hey, check out this super-creepy thing I thought up" tendencies while crippling the brilliant plotting and satire of his novels. And then came Snuff. Which I got nearly nothing out of. Some mildly funny porn movie titles. That's about it. And I can get that at my local video store.

So Pygmy is definitely an improvement on that, but still really didn't measure up to his usual quality for me. I got used to reading the broken English narration, but I couldn't get over the issue of why supposed "reports" by a foreign agent to his home country would be in English, which he can't speak. Just seemed like an excuse to write "funny" bad English which didn't really make sense. Plotwise, it had it's moments but just wasn't as interesting to me as his other books, and the characters seemed a bit one-note.

Let's hope Chuck comes back to the smarts and satire and backs off on the gross-out factor, next time round. ( )
  Chamblyman | May 19, 2018 |
A new way of writing however highly distracting. This book requires a lot of patience and a dose of of satire to go along with it.
  jaeger84 | Jan 13, 2018 |
The only good thing I can say about this book: Boy, Chuck Palahniuk sure did commit to the narrator's voice. ( )
  bucketofrhymes | Dec 13, 2017 |

Out of all his books I've read so far by Chuck, I was only agitated by Pygmy but the premise of the story was wonderful it was just the way he chose to write it, the style of broken English for the extent of the entire novel makes it very irritating. I kinda think Chuck likes making our skin crawl so I can accept that. ( )
  Jychelle88 | Oct 16, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 74 (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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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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.

(summary from another edition)

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