Chuck Palahniuk: Survivor

Chuck Palahniuk: Survivor

Vintage

Some say that the apocalypse swiftly approacheth, but that simply ain't so according to Chuck Palahniuk. Oh no. It's already here, living in the head of the guy who just crossed the street in front of you, or maybe even closer than that. We saw these possibilities get played out in the author's bloodsporting-anarchist-yuppie shocker of a first novel, Fight Club. Now, in Survivor, his second and newest, the concern is more for the origin of the malaise.More...

Some say that the apocalypse swiftly approacheth, but that simply ain't so according to Chuck Palahniuk. Oh no. It's already here, living in the head of the guy who just crossed the street in front of you, or maybe even closer than that. We saw these possibilities get played out in the author's bloodsporting-anarchist-yuppie shocker of a first novel, Fight Club. Now, in Survivor, his second and newest, the concern is more for the origin of the malaise. Starting at chapter 47 and screaming toward ground zero, Palahniuk hurls the reader back to the beginning in a breathless search for where it all went wrong. This time out, the author's protagonist is self-made, self-ruined mogul-messiah Tender Branson, the sole passenger of a jet moments away from slamming first into the Australian outback and then into oblivion. All that will be left, Branson assures us with a tone bordering on relief, is his life story, from its Amish-on-acid cult beginnings to its televangelist-huckster end. All of this courtesy of the plane's flight recorder.

Novel

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The only thing I know is everything you love will die. The first time you meet someone special, you can count on them one day being dead and in the ground.

Reality means you live until you die. [...] The real truth is nobody wants reality.

The truth is you can be orphaned again and again and again. The truth is, you will be. And the secret is, this will hurt less and less each time until you can`t feel a thing. Trust me on this.

Honest is how I want to look. The truth doesn`t glitter and shine.

Page 219

The only difference between a suicide and a martyrdom really is the amount of press coverage.

People don`t want their lives fixed. Nobody wants their problems solved. Their dramas. Their distractions. Their stories resolved. Their messes cleaned up. Because what would they have left? Just the big scary unknown.

Page 282

What people forget is a journey to nowhere starts with a single step, too.

Page 153

Did perpetual happiness in the Garden of Eden maybe get so boring that eating the apple was justified?

Page 92

You have a choice. Live or die. Every breath is a choice. Every minute is a choice. To be or not to be. Every time you don`t throw yourself down the stairs, that`s a choice. Every time you don`t crash your car, you reenlist.

Our mistrust of the future makes it hard to give up the past.

Page 150

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