Earlier this week I got an update from Cameron MacLaren, the producer who owns the option on the Invisible Monsters movie adaptation. Today, Cameron made the news public by way of a newsletter blast. Check out below for some updates on the production, including someone officially sitting in the director's chair. read more »
Coupland sneaks in a stop-gap novel cum lecture that simultaneously distills his favorite themes and breaks new ground.
Released as part of the Massey Lecture series with a minimum of fanfare, I missed this sneaky aperitif of a novel upon its initial release. I'd blame Canada, but despite taking place there, the Masseys aren't inherently Canadian in nature. The annual event has featured its share of non-Canadian luminaries, such as Noam Chomsky and Martin Luther King Jr., to name a recognizable two. Americans tend to get a bad rap for ignoring other people's culture, but Coupland is popular enough in the states that his involvement should have gotten more attention south of the border, especially considering the form said involvement took. Player One: What Is To Become Of Us, was the first Massey Lecture to be presented as a fictional work, each of the book's five chapters being delivered as a one hour lecture in a different Canadian city. read more »
Our popular documentary on Chuck Palahniuk, Postcards from the Future is now shipping... with a big fat signature by Chuck right on the cover. We've got a limited amount of these and once they're gone, they're gone. So if you haven't seen this documentary yet, now is the time to order this 2-disk DVD set. If you have seen it, but covet having this signed edition, follow your temptation and click the link below.
Postcards From The Future: The Chuck Palahniuk Documentary takes a look at author Chuck Palahniuk ís landmark year of 2003. With back to back books and subsequent tours hitting the public, Chuck ís year was filled with success, controversy, and even phenomena. But what many fans don ít know is that this entire year kicked off with a mysterious conference held on his work in a small town in Pennsylvania.
As guests of the conference, my fellow documentarians and I attended the three day event and captured some of the most exclusive material a fan could hope for. Chuck read from his novels, hosted multiple Q&As, gave an hour long exclusive presentation, participated in a screening of Fight Club, signed books and, best of all, sat down for a very candid one hour interview. But it wasn ít until the days of editing this piece together that followed that we realized the true gift of the conference for Chuck had attended with a very important motive and message for his fans: To evolve a generation of young readers into writers. read more »
One of the darkest novels about human goodness.
Clarice Lispector died young but not quite unknown in Brazil, and her novels are neglected but not quite unknown internationally. Those who have read her agree that she was a thoughtful, twisted, occasionally brilliant author of short novels about very little on the surface: a woman killing a cockroach, for instance. The ingenuity lies in what Lispector did with her mundane situations: she turned them into fables of horrible psychological bullying, protestations against the weirdness and incoherence of things, dirges for the loss of magic. In Lispector's world, events are both intimately connected and entirely unconnected. Anticlimax is the norm and everywhere present. Virtue is unrewarded, but so is crime. And the great irony is that for all the darkness, Lispector's writing is still beautiful, life-affirming, enchanting. read more »
Looking for something new from Chuck? Can't wait until October 18th for the release of Damned? Well you're in luck, because there's a new short story in the August issue of Playboy. The short is called Romance and here's the official word, straight from the Chuckster's mouth:
The story is called "Romance," and it's the most redemptive story I've ever written. Look for a good, old-fashioned boy-meets-girl love story culminating in the birth of beautiful babies. I'll be reading it on tour in October for "Damned."
Gotta say, I'm excited to read this one... the story, not the magazine. Well, the magazine, yes, but the articles in it. The articles, dammit!!
You know the drill, folks. Every month a new book is selected and a new moderator steps up to lead the discussion. This month, we will be reading and discussing The Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat by Andrez Bergen.
From the back cover:
Cut to Melbourne, Australia–the most glamorous city in the world. It also happens to be the only one left standing, but nevermind that, we’re there now and I’d like you to meet your narrator, a certain Floyd Maquina, a likable chap with one hell of a story to share. See, the powers that be are knuckling down on the Deviant menace that plagues the city, and our boy Floyd’s unknowingly got himself in the thick of it. Cue guns, intrigue, kidnappings, conspiracy and all sorts of general mayhem that make for cracking good headlines.
Does Floyd stop the bad guys? Does he get the girl? Does he make Humphrey Bogart proud? Grab some popcorn and read on.
The Astral: An Interview With Kate ChristensenInterview by Kasey Carpenter
THE ASTRAL. The title alone suggests several concepts. Those familiar with Greenpoint, Brooklyn may know the building of which the title pays homage to. The other definition deals with the protagonist of the novel, one Harry Quirk, a wilting poet who suddenly finds himself accused of cheating on his dogmatic wife Luz, an accusation he knows to be false, and tries with every breath, up to a point, to correct in Luz’ thinking. In his life, in his writing, in the inextricably wound thread of it all, he fights the need for transcendence, he flees the astral plane that might just be where he needs to be to renew his poetic sensibilities and give him what he needs to weather the storms of his own little teapot.
Of course, that in and of itself does not a conflict make – Christensen needs the water a little hotter for Harry, so we throw in a lengthy couch surfing session taking place all around town, his Freegan daughter who, aside from her peculiars, is Harry’s greatest confidant and supporter through all of this. Oh and his only son Hector is convinced by a cult that he is The Messiah. Good times for poor Harry.
Her portrayal of the artist Oscar Feldman in THE GREAT MAN, which won her the 2008 PEN/Faulkner award, displays her talents at writing the wily male. Harry Quirk, an artist of a different stripe, and on the other side of the infidelity fence, is in capable hands. read more »
A terrorist missive of middle-class angst.
Ballard Man. That's what she called me. Despite the fact I'd only read- no, purchased- a solitary book by the author.
Let me set the scene. It was a time known as "the late 90's." The book in question was Crash, Ballard's controversial exploration of symphorophilia. "She" was a matronly assistant manager at Borders Books, where I was grinding it out as a bookseller. You see where this is going?
Every time she said it, the moniker rustled the wisps of hair on her lip like a prairie wind, her tone hinting at a desire to have cold, fetishistic car sex with me. I was too naive to realize it at the time, but the nickname was both an invitation and a threat. When I finally got around to reading the book, I realized how close I had come to winding up on the back of a milk carton. It would be ten long years before I was able to stomach a second helping of Ballard. read more »
Gothic Hillbilly Noir?Interview by Brien Piech
On the morning of Chuck’s Snuff tour stop in Minneapolis I had awoken short the sight in one eye. Never one to miss a Chuck reading, with a prepaid ticket and voucher for a signed copy in hand, and being an old hand at injuries from my many years as an idiot, I went ahead and kicked-started the old Triumph Bonneville, like an idiot, and rode to the reading James Joyce style. Per internet rumors, I was fully expecting to see Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting, Filth) as the reported “opening act,” so the name Donald Ray Pollock brought about a “Donald Ray who?”
No, my hardcover Trainspotting would not be autographed. But there was this Donald Ray Pollock guy. Fine. I’ll maintain a wait and see attitude.
On the cover of his collection of short stories, Knockemstiff, was a praiseful blurb from Chuck himself. The discovery of Craig Clevenger’s awesome The Contortionist's Handbook came immediately to mind as an instance Chuck’s nod paid off in spades. How had I not heard of this Pollock guy? read more »
Over the years we've received some great Chuck Palahniuk inspired artwork from fans. Banners, portraits, and of course book covers. But it's the fans that go the extra mile and actually design the entire dust jacket of their favorite Palahniuk book, that light me up. Here are three by Ben Perry, as well as an explanation from the designer below.