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Some say that the apocalypse swiftly approacheth, but that simply ain't so according to Chuck Palahniuk. Oh no. It's already here, living in the head of the guy who just crossed the street in front of you, or maybe even closer than that. We saw these possibilities get played out in the author's bloodsporting-anarchist-yuppie shocker of a first novel, Fight Club. Now, in Survivor, his second and newest, the concern is more for the origin of the malaise. Starting at chapter 47 and screaming toward ground zero, Palahniuk hurls the reader back to the beginning in a breathless search for where it all went wrong. This time out, the author's protagonist is self-made, self-ruined mogul-messiah Tender Branson, the sole passenger of a jet moments away from slamming first into the Australian outback and then into oblivion. All that will be left, Branson assures us with a tone bordering on relief, is his life story, from its Amish-on-acid cult beginnings to its televangelist-huckster end. All of this courtesy of the plane's flight recorder.
Speaking of little black boxes, Skinnerians would have a field day with the presenting behavior of the folks who make up Palahniuk's world. They pretend they're suicide hotline operators for fun. They eat lobster before it's quite... done. They dance in morgues. The Cleavers they are not. Scary as they might be, these characters are ultimately more scared of themselves than you are, and that's what makes them so fascinating. In the wee hours and on lonely highways, they exist in a perpetual twilight, caught between the horror of the present and the dread of the unknown. With only two novels under his belt, Chuck Palahniuk is well on his way to becoming an expert at shining a light on these shadowy creatures. --Bob Michaels
The rise and fall of a media-made messiah is the subject of Palahniuk's impressive second novel (after the well-received Fight Club), a wryly mannered commentary on the excesses of pop culture that tracks the 15 minutes of fame of the lone living member of a suicide cult. Tender Branson, aged 33, has commandeered a Boeing 747, emptied of passengers, in order to tell his story to the "black box" while flying randomly until the plane runs out of gas and crashes. Branson relates in his long flashback the vicissitudes of his life: a member of the repressive Creedish Death Cult, supposedly founded by a splinter group of Millerites in 1860, he is hired out as a domestic servant who must dedicate his earnings to the cult. Despite his humble beginnings, Branson finds himself on the edge of fame and fortune when the cult members begin their suicide binge, and he keeps himself on the media radar by using the psychic dreams of his potential romantic interest, Fertility Hollis, in which the girl accurately predicts a series of strange disasters. After a brief period at the top of the freak-show heap, Branson succumbs to the excesses of his trade when his agent mysteriously dies at the Super Bowl as Branson predicts the outcome of the game at half-time, simultaneously triggering a riot and turning him into a murder suspect. Branson's spookily matter of fact account of his bizarre experiences does not excite tension until the narrative is well under way, but the novel picks up momentum during the homestretch when Branson goes on the lam with Fertility and his murderous brother Adam, and the story steamrolls toward its nightmarish climax. Palahniuk's DeLilloesque cultural witticisms and his satirical take on the culture of instant celebrity invest the narrative with a dark humor that does not quite overcome its lack of a coherent plot. Agent, Edward Hibbert. (Feb.) FYI: Fight Club is being filmed by David Fincher.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
I've been a fan of C Palahniuk for years and only read this one recently. Very enjoyable romp. I read it soon after reading another 'Black Box' by Jennifer Egan and 'Vortex' by... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Neil Hoffman
Just like all of his novels, Survivor is less linear than most fictional novels. A light read, but definitely worth picking up. I really enjoy Chuck Palahniuk's writing. Read morePublished 15 months ago by JGIRO403
One of my favorites by Palahniuk after Fight Club.
Amazingly written, but not for those without a bit of a dark sense of humor!
Received product within the estimated time and at a great price. Excellent book to boot. Definitely a great way to order your favorite or new books.Published on June 6 2013 by Aalliekat
Product arrived really quick with no issues. Condition was exactly as advertised, if not better. The book itself is fantastic and I haven't been able to put it down. Read morePublished on April 29 2013 by David Schwartz
I have read a lot of books and a lot of Chuck's books and I have never come across anything so over hyped. This book is aweful, don't waste you time or money. Read morePublished on Sept. 16 2011 by Darkreader7
I ordered this book off of EBAY because I love it so much and could never find a secondhand copy in any bookstore (as if Chapters is getting any of my money)
I read fight... Read more
If you enjoy reading page after page of phoney methods for removing "x" type of stain from "Y" surface, then you might like this book. Read morePublished on Feb. 8 2008 by Mark Twain
Well, Mr Palahniuk certainly had a short stay on the tower of good writers. He lasted for all of one book, his publishing debut 'Fight Club', better know as the homoerotic favorite... Read morePublished on Dec 13 2007 by Benjamin Anderson