survivor review that will make you want to kill
I tried to dig back on some of these old threads in here but didn't find anything about this review I read on amazon. This guy is from Portland and probably got the living shit beat out of him by Chuck in a bar back in the days;his review totally thrashes the book in every single way he could think of. Survivor is probably my favorite book and after reading this review I was just shocked at how someone could dispise it with such passion.
I love how he predicts Chuck's underachievments with Survivor and gives Fincher all the credit for FC. It's probably the funniest thing I've read in a while. He should right a comedy.
He even made a comment about us, chuck's fans, so I thought you all might enjoy it:
Conformism and Popular Fiction, March 26, 2003
Reviewer: A reader from Portland, Oregon or somewhere else like it
You could read the first half of SURVIVOR at an intersection while waiting for the light to change. You could read the second half on a Great America rollercoaster.
This is not a good thing.
A very stupid book that requires no intellectual effort, SURVIVOR belongs to a category of literature that one might call "the fiction of transportation": it is an easily digestible book that one reads in order to "kill time" while in an airport or some other means of transportation. In its post-consumer stage, the book is then discarded and quickly forgotten, like the wrapper in which a McDonalds hamburger is contained.
I do not have problems with the ideas packaged in this book because they are "offensive" or "unpleasant" (these are the reasons that the author claims his work was initially rejected); I have problems with its ideas because they are puerile.
The author spells out the book's meaning in a series of self-explanatory claims, each one of them a painfully stupid cliche. For instance: "You realize that our mistrust of the future makes it hard to give up the past" (SURVIVOR, p. 150). The few glimmers of originality in this book were pilfered from other authors and film artists. The scene in which Branson screams, "I WANT TO GO TO PRISON!" (Ibid., p. 54) is an apparent homage to the film AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON; the reverse pagination was stolen outright from Breat Easton Ellis' GLAMORAMA, a great novel by a great author whom Palahniuk has spent his brief career imitating.
Palahniuk's writing abilities are equal to those of a twelve-year-old. There is nothing interesting, compelling, or intense in this book. The crux of the novel, for instance, is the moment in which Adam narrates the origin of Tender's sexual neurosis. Tender was traumatized to the point of no longer wanting to have sex when he witnessed a lethal childbirth. Palahniuk's Adam describes the trauma in this way: "She screamed, and the baby died" (Ibid., p. 34). This kind of deadpan summary does not inspire much confidence in the writer's narrative "talents."
[b]Predictably, SURVIVOR has gained a massive cult following. The reason for the book's popularity among an ever-widening pubescent audience is their residual awareness of FIGHT CLUB---the film, not the novel. Palahniuk's followers, ironically, are the real conformists: they worship the author as if he were Tender Branson (!) (the protagonist of SURVIVOR) and uncritically welcome whatever the man vomits onto the page.[/b]
SURVIVOR, of course, would have never been published were it not for the financial success of David Fincher's film version of FIGHT CLUB---a film that is powerful for reasons that have nothing to do with Palahniuk. Were it not for David Fincher (the better craftsman), no self-respecting publisher would have touched SURVIVOR.
When they reach their twenties, the more intelligent of these people will rub their eyes in wonderment and marvel at their past credulity and mindless conformism.
“If you can quit, probably you should.”
-Alexander Blackburn, then editor of Writer’s Forum in Colorado