First two chapters of Chuck Palahniuk’s new book

Senior Editor
05.05.10 31 Comments

It doesn’t seem like it’s been two years since Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk’s last book, but apparently it has. Time really flies when you don’t get around to reading stuff.  Anyhoot, he’s got a new one coming out yesterday called Tell-All[Slight update: Pygmy actually came out last year. Dude writes fast.] Described as “Palahniuk’s rude sendup of name-dropping and the culture of celebrity worship revolves around the fate of Katherine Kenton, a much-married star of stage, screen, and television, living in obscurity and searching for a comeback vehicle,” the Onion A/V Club has downloadable PDFs of the first two chapters.  Here’s an excerpt:

Act one, scene one opens with Lillian Hellman clawing her
way, stumbling and scrambling, through the thorny night-
time underbrush of some German schwarzwald, a Jewish
baby clamped to each of her tits, another brood of infants
clinging to her back. Lilly clambers her way, struggling
against the brambles that snag the gold embroidery of her
Balenciaga lounging pajamas, the black velvet clutched by
hordes of doomed cherubs she’s racing to deliver from the
ovens of some Nazi death camp. More innocent toddlers,
lashed to each of Lillian’s muscular thighs. Helpless Jew-
ish, Gypsy and homosexual babies. Nazi gestapo bullets spit
past her in the darkness, shredding the forest foliage, the
smell of gunpowder and pine needles. The heady aroma of
her Chanel No. 5. Bullets and hand grenades just whiz past
Miss Hellman’s perfectly coiffed Hattie Carnegie chignon, so
close the ammunition shatters her Cartier chandelier earrings
into rainbow explosions of priceless diamonds. Ruby and em-
erald shrapnel blasts into the flawless skin of her perfect, pale
cheeks. . . [Check out the rest]

Aw, you had me at “homosexual babies.”  Occasionally I’ll be drawn into a Palahniuk book and proceed to tear through it, only to reach an ending that’s kind of unsatisfying and lame.  But at the least, he always nails the first part.  Unlike that fat a-hole Dr. Phil*, always telling me to lose weight and get my life together, you’re so preachy, dude, seriously.

*On a slightly related note, I checked Amazon while I was writing this and the guy has written 13 books.  Are human beings actually reading these?  He’s a big fat guy who writes weight loss books.  A good way to tell if you’ve failed at life is if you’re reading a Dr. Phil book.

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