Palahniuk is coming to town in a couple weeks, and I’m interested in seeing him, but probably only in theory. I’ve always been fascinated by the stories about people fainting or vomiting or convulsing or whatever when he reads “Guts,” because that’s a kind of imagination magic you don’t see anymore. You watch a movie where people are beheaded or worse and don’t pass out, but you hear — don’t see, hear — a story about a guy getting his guts sucked out through his anus and you pass out. It gives me hope in humanity, a little bit, the same way that I’m encouraged when people are outraged by Bret Easton Ellis (though that hasn’t happened for a decade or so). What do I mean? I mean there’s still a line somewhere, still some sort of inherent moral compass, still some feeling of good and bad or right and wrong. It’s OK, I think, to have that sense, and OK to be reminded that it exists. Keeps us from destroying ourselves.
That said, I read “Guts” and some other nonsense last night and was reminded why I haven’t been excited by any of P.’s books since Fight Club. I was about 19 when Fight Club hit. I doubt I could reread it today. The last P-book I read was Diary, and I only made it about fifty pages in before I returned it to the library. It wasn’t disgusting; it was boring, which is a whole other kind of disgusting.
His new book is called Snuff. It’s about pornography and mass-fucking. Yeah, OK. I’m reading HG Wells instead.