What To Do With Chuck Palahniuk

images.jpgEveryone knows Fight Club. Probably more know the very successful movie than the fact that it was originally a story and then a novel by a then unsuccessful young writer, Chuck Palahniuk. Since Fight Club, Palahniuk has published a long list of works, most which can be best described as transgressional fiction. Here at ACOR we like transgressional fiction and have therefore read a great number of Palahniuk’s novels.

But how good is this author? How important is his work?

Chuck Palahniuk has been viciously criticized for writing the crudest juvenile gross-out novels, each new one attempting to outdo the sleaze and degradation of the earlier works. But if your forte is sleaze and degradation, isn’t it a positive sign that you are investigating more imaginative scenarios to shock and disgust your readers?

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Make the Bookcase Higher

imgresWhen you realize that I probably ignore nine out of ten new book titles I run across during the month, it’s still amazing that I can limit these suggestions to one-a-day. Add to that all the books I already have on my new bookshelves and I can hear the blind fury coming down the stairs looking to snip my aging thread before I can even make a dent in all this desirable reading.

Rather than panic, though, I have found the time and needed concentration to read eight to twelve books each month and being a retired old man gives me an excuse to lie in bed with my iPhone or sit comfortably at my desk reading on my iPad. Then there is my new tactic: reading real ink and paper books sitting on my porch in my rocking chair with the sun keeping me warm (and sometimes a little sweaty).

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May Reading

landscape-1474296528-160916-elle-marley-4Here it is May and I have enjoyed some excellent reading already this year. I like this new process of just selecting twenty new titles to read without worrying if they are old suggestions resurfacing or if they are totally new and untried novels that hopefully will continue to energize my reading.

This month I have found room for at least a half-dozen ink and paper books. I find reading while sitting out in the sunshine is easier with a book that with an electronic device. Then when I crawl into bed I can read electronically in the dark. I have even discovered an easy and quite effective way to have the electronic device read the text to me so that not only do I not need a reading light but I don’t even need to keep my eyes open.

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