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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tell-all
This is my second Chuck Palahniuk book - and it certainly won't be my last. I first read "Survivor" and couldn't stop at just one! Chuck Palahniuk is by far one of the most original and engaging writers I have come across. He'll leave you guessing and wondering until the end; he ensures a good page turner. In addition, he seems extremely intelligent. You can...
Published on March 19 2006 by Jeff Walker

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where do you get inspiration?
"I loved you a lot more when you were dead." This is what a mother tells her daughter in Diary. It is completely in keeping with Mr. Palahniuk's tone which is dark, with occasional flurries of pessimism.
Diary continues in the tradition of Lullaby - novels that are surreal and could be shelved in the "horror" section. An important bit of information to know is...
Published on Sept. 17 2003 by JR Pinto


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tell-all, March 19 2006
This review is from: Diary: A Novel (Paperback)
This is my second Chuck Palahniuk book - and it certainly won't be my last. I first read "Survivor" and couldn't stop at just one! Chuck Palahniuk is by far one of the most original and engaging writers I have come across. He'll leave you guessing and wondering until the end; he ensures a good page turner. In addition, he seems extremely intelligent. You can tell he knows what he's talking about in his books. His details are clear and his writing style is unique, but very good. Days after I'm still reciting lines from "Diary" in my head... it gets stuck!
Do yourself a favor and read some Chuck.
Also very highly recommended: KATZENJAMMER by Jackson McCrae and RUNNING WITH SCISSORS by Burroughs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where do you get inspiration?, Sept. 17 2003
By 
This review is from: Diary: A Novel (Hardcover)
"I loved you a lot more when you were dead." This is what a mother tells her daughter in Diary. It is completely in keeping with Mr. Palahniuk's tone which is dark, with occasional flurries of pessimism.
Diary continues in the tradition of Lullaby - novels that are surreal and could be shelved in the "horror" section. An important bit of information to know is that the format of this book is a "coma diary" written by a woman to her husband. It is NOT a book written in the second-person, despite the liberal use of the word "you."
The book starts like all of Mr. Palahniuk's books do, with plenty of interesting trivia. In this case it's about art history, human anatomy, and graphology. I won't go into to the plot of the novel - which is impossible to describe - but it fits into the category of "one sane person in a town full of crazies."
The best part about reading a Palahniuk novel isn't the story, but all the interesting asides and digressions along the way. There are plenty of them here to keep the reader interested. (BTW, look underneath the dust cover).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Immediately grabs you and pulls you in!, March 15 2012
This review is from: Diary: A Novel (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book. Chuck Palahniuk's protagonist Misty writes in a diary to her comatose husband Peter, detailing their lives and the current happenings on Waytansea Island in case he comes around.

Peter's coma is the result of a failed suicide attempt. While he is in the coma Misty learns of hidden rooms in the homes he has recently renovated. Each of the rooms is covered with graffiti of Peter's anger and warnings to the inhabitants. She is called to each home and threatened with lawsuits by the owners. At the first of these occurrences Misty meets a fellow named Angel who seems to take an interest in the graffiti and ensconcing himself into Misty's life.

Soon strange things begin to happen to Misty, she begins having horrible headaches and finds herself in a trance-like state with the only thought in her mind being painting. She is pushed by her mother-in-law, daughter and the residents of the island to paint every time she is in their presence. She is compelled to pick up her paintbrushes and spends weeks locked in an attic room of the Island's historic hotel painting with such a fervour she forgoes eating and wears a catheter so she won't have to leave her work. Once she is done she has created 100 paintings that are all part of a large painting she has never seen that is to be revealed in an exhibit for the summer people which flock to the island.

With the help of Angel, Misty uncovers a tradition to replenish Waytansea's wealth by bringing a female artist destined for greatness to the island by marriage to one of their sons. The son gives his life as a sacrifice which is the catalyst for the process to begin. The one thing the inhabitants of the island don't count on is that Misty's husband Peter is homosexual and Angel was his lover and the confidant of his disdain for the tradition and also the man Peter is intent to run away with.

The book comes to an end with a final twist the reader doesn't see coming. Chuck Palahniuk proves once again what a talented writer he is and will continue to be thrilling the reader in a way no other can.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Typical Palahniuk---very good, March 9 2006
By 
This review is from: Diary: A Novel (Paperback)
Diary is an incredibly entertaining, yet morbid, novel to read. I was pulled in right away and didn't put the novel down until I was finished with it, the way I was when I read Jackson McCrae's "Katzenjammer" with its Palahniuk-like themes and great writing style. Leaving his usual urban theme, Palahniuk gives us a whole new world to explore with his macabre vision. Definitely recommended. Compared to other books by Palahniuk, this one did not really have those unexpected twists where you had to put the book down and think everything you've read over; but it had some amazing analysis of human nature and life in general, and the things we do. Read this book and see how much of your own diary is written on your hands and face.
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2.0 out of 5 stars My least favorite Palahniuk book...., May 28 2004
By 
Eric (El Sobrante, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Diary: A Novel (Hardcover)
At first I was eager to read Diary, so when I got the chance, I was HUGELY disappointed. Diary is about a woman named Misty who is a artist, and who draws houses and people who see her work, they tell her that is their house. Then she get's calls about how their kitchen is missing, and how their closets are missing. Very strange. The book just keeps on more disappointing and more DISAPPOINTING! With the constant dialogue, I just more and more disquisted with this novel.
The reason I gave the book 2 stars because personally have read all of Palahniuk's work, this was not his best effort. If you want to read someone good by Palahniuk, then read Fight Club or even his travel book Fugitives and Refugges. Sorry Chuck, this book was not for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Palanhiuk's Best, May 6 2004
By 
Brandon L. Rush "Brandon R." (Cuba, NY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Diary: A Novel (Hardcover)
I just finished "Diary" today, and I must say that I really enjoyed it. This is perhaps his best work since Invisible Monsters. I was a bit skeptical at first, after being dissapointed with Lullaby. This book is a bit different, but in many ways it is still trademark Chuck.
The story starts off being a dark comedy, with tragic reflections on inspiration, art and hope dried up. Art is the focus of the main character, and clearly, Chuck has done his homework. As an artist, I found Chuck's statements about art to be laugh out loud funny, insightful, cynical, and well...downright realistic. There are few likeable characters in this book, aside from the main character (who is only likeable in that readers will feel sorry for her and be rooting for her to overcome circumstances), who is the "author" of the diary. As you dig deeper into Diary, you will find that these unlikeable characters are downright evil, as the story cascades into a bizarre, twisted, and frightening close.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can You Feel This?, Aug. 31 2003
This review is from: Diary: A Novel (Hardcover)
Grace says, "We all die." She says, "The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will."
From my personal favorate writer and my own personal savior, Chuck Palahniuk, comes his sixth novel. Although I wouldn't consider this his finest by a mile, it's still a very well-crafted and intriguing book. The plot follows a middle-aged woman who after the failed suicide attempt and coma of her husband, must work tables to support her daughter and mother-in-law. Strangely enough she keeps getting calls from people whose vacation homes have been altered by her husband. These home are missing rooms, blocked off, hidden. When she goes to investigate, these rooms are filled with startling messages from her husband. The island she so peacefully lives on also starts to change and her mother-in-law and daughter both seem to be acting very suspicious.
The novel is written in a very unique way also. It's written in the form of a coma diary. A diary from the main character to her husband for him to read if he ever comes out of his coma. Like all Palahniuk novels, Diary is written in a very dark mood. I did feel that the novel was a little "lighter" than most his work. Though still very dark. The one thing that attracts me to Palahniuk's work is that he is very insightful on our society. Many times while reading one of his novels including Diary, I find myself reading a phrase again, awed at the substance that I'm taking in.
If your a Palahniuk fan, it's safe to say you won't be disappointed with Diary. It's definately a different approach by him, but still very much his style. I felt it seemed somewhat slow in the beginning of the book through the first several chapters, this is just to build-up the plot though. Once the build-up is past, the rest of the novel speeds by. Once I pick up a Palahniuk novel I find myself unable to let it down. Which is why I read them so fast. To anyone new to Palahniuk I would probably recommend reading one of his earlier novels first like "Choke" or "Invisible Monsters," and of course Palahniuk's immortal "Fight Club." And if you enjoy any of those, it's just a matter of time before you read all of his work.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Oddly Enthralling Story, Aug. 25 2003
By 
Bookreporter (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Diary: A Novel (Hardcover)
Chuck Palahniuk writes novels with exoskeletons so visible they're hard to ignore. You can see the bones of every paragraph, every sentence; they stick out so much you can barely find the substance of the story hidden within the structure. In his recent bestseller LULLABY, for example, there are so many parallel lines in mirror-patterned paragraphs that every page creates the sensation of deja vu; reading it feels like an epileptic seizure of nervous tics and twitches, a written version of Chinese water torture. The bones of the novel obscure any scrap of genuine appeal in the characters along with much interest in whatever the writer is actually trying to say.
Palahniuk's new novel, DIARY, has most of the author's signature verbal tics, such as his habit of starting every other sentence with "And" or his aggravating reliance on casual (or lazy, depending on your view) sentence structures like "Peter and Misty, they'd go to art museums and galleries." But the characters in DIARY refuse to be obscured by any mere stylistic distractions. They pop out of the word-cages Palahniuk writes around them in a way that seems almost in spite of their creator. (He doesn't, after all, tend to invent particularly nice, meek little people.) And they drive the oddly enthralling story along toward ever- creepier territory.
Misty Kleinman was your average homely loser in art school when she met Peter Wilmot. She knew of him before, of course. Everyone knew of him --- he was the campus weirdo. He came from Waytansea Island, a former rich-family hideaway turned tourist trap, and he wore gross baggy sweaters with pieces of tacky old costume jewelry. He courts Misty with a bizarre combination of aggression, encouragement and hostility that only makes sense much later --- when it's far too late. By that time, Misty is married to Peter, living on the island and working as a waitress/maid at the historic Waytansea Hotel. They have a young daughter and are also looking after Peter's mother. Or rather, Misty is. Peter is in a coma after a suicide attempt, and this novel is Misty's diary, which she is writing in case he ever wakes up. But that's only the beginning of the story.
Things start getting weird when homeowners around the coast begin to call Misty, outraged that rooms in their recently remodeled houses are missing. Peter, before he went comatose, had a habit of scrawling violent, deranged messages on the walls of rooms in houses he was remodeling, then blocking off the doorway and plastering over the room. Vacationing homeowners would turn up at their summer places to discover their closets and breakfast nooks missing; eventually they'd find the room, see the messages, call Misty and threaten to sue.
One such homeowner is Angel Delaporte, who starts visiting the houses along with Misty on the pretense of analyzing Peter's wild handwriting. Meanwhile, Misty's imperious mother-in-law keeps demanding that she get back to painting; when Misty finally does pick up her sketchpad again, in a fever of hallucination brought on by Grandma's picnic lunch, she paints so frenziedly and so compulsively that she stops eating, stops leaving her room, stops speaking to her kid, and stops showing up for work. It's clear she's headed for something seriously catastrophic --- but whatever you might think is going to happen, the truth turns out to be weirder.
If you like Chuck Palahniuk generally, you'll love this novel. If you usually find him annoying, give this one a chance. Misty's hypnotic voice and the story's slowly building creepiness are powerful enough to overcome any stylistic trickery that might otherwise be off-putting.
--- Reviewed by Becky Ohlsen
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4.0 out of 5 stars A New Direction for Palahniuk -- But Still Good:, May 3 2005
This review is from: Diary: A Novel (Paperback)
Do you ever get the feeling that you have been in a certain situation before? Have you ever learned something so quickly and easily that it seemed like you were remembering it, not struggling with a new concept?
Welcome to one of the central themes within Chuck Palahniuk's newest novel, Diary. Almost all of us have had these feelings before. There is even a word for the concept, Déjà vu. So the theme, in and of itself, is not original.
What is original is Mr. Palahniuk's take on the idea.
Diary is the story of Misty Willmot. As you might expect, the story is written in the format of Misty's diary. Misty is struggling to support her daughter and mother-in-law as a waitress. Her husband lies in a coma after a nearly successful suicide attempt. And all the formerly rich residents of the island she inhabits won't stop pestering her to resume painting, which she abandoned when she was a young woman.
You might be thinking that this is not a terribly exciting story. And you would be right. However, this is Chuck Palahniuk's writing, so you can rest assured that things won't stay predictable or routine for long.
Along the way, you will learn a lot about famous artists throughout history. You will learn about some of the unfortunate afflictions that can strike coma victims. And you will learn about odd habits of building contractors such as writing on a wall before it is painted. You will see this taken to an extreme, as Misty's husband vandalized rooms in the houses that he was remodeling and sealed the rooms off. And you will learn just what his haunting, insidious graffiti means. Finally you will understand the tremendous feelings of deja vu Misty experiences on Waytansea Island, from the island houses that she painted perfectly years before setting foot on the island, to the all-too-accurate comments written on the page of every book she opens at the library.
The style of this book is clean, concise, and potent. Palahniuk makes the most of every word, reminiscent of a boxer that does not throw a lot of punches, but whose punches are precise. As such, the novel weighs in at just 261 pages, but every last one of those pages is a punch that lands with crushing force.
I find it hard to relate my overall feeling about this novel. I found it to be a very easy read, and finished the book in about six hours. I was riveted the whole time. At the end, after the final piece of the puzzle was revealed, I found my eyes getting watery from the sheer perfection of the completed tale.
I also get the feeling that there are more themes, and levels of understanding, which will reveal themselves after a second or third reading. Thank goodness this book is actually compelling enough to read several times.
Be prepared for plenty of biting social commentary. No Palahniuk book would be complete without this element. However, this book continues the trend which began in Lullaby, with far more subtle ideas interlaced within a fantasy/horror storyline. This appears to be a distinctive second stage in the works of Palahniuk, apparently having moved beyond the transgressive fiction that originally gained fame in such books as Fight Club and Invisible Monsters.
I highly recommend this book. That being said, this is a Chuck Palahniuk book, and is probably not suitable for kids or anyone who wishes to avoid writing that touches upon "unpleasant" subjects. Pick up a copy! And while you're at it, I need to recommend another recent novel I truly loved: The Losers' Club: Complete Restored Edition by Richard Perez -- gritty, lively, funny - a great "used" book purchase.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Fulfilling Departure, Feb. 22 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Diary: A Novel (Paperback)
Diary is a departure for Chuck Palahniuk. Best known for his bleak urban dramas, Palahniuk has set out to capture the mindset of a Coma Diary of a woman who's husband lies unresponsive in the hospital after attempting suicide. Similar to how Rikki Lee Travolta set out to capture the mindset of the downfallen Hollywood actor addict in My Fractured Life, Palahniuk really delves into giving the reader the full experience of seeing the world through the eyes of Misty Tracy Wilmont. The picture is sometimes bizarre, as anyone who read Palahniuk's Fight Club would not be surprised by. It is definitely a good book, but you need to go into it with an open mind. Those looking for a recreation of Palahniuk's previous work (Fight Club, Choke, Lullaby) will be taken off guard by the new surroundings he has chosen for this story and may be better served with trying on The 25th Hour by David Benioff, American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis, or My Fractured Life by Rikki Lee Travolta. But for those who can trust Palahniuk to introduce new territory, Diary will surely fulfill.
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Diary: A Novel
Diary: A Novel by Chuck Palahniuk (Paperback - Sept. 14 2004)
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