I knew exactly three things about this book before I started reading it.
- It is written by the guy who wrote Fight Club, which I haven’t read, but I liked the movie.
- I must not read anything about it before reading the book itself – no reviews, and definitely not the back cover blurb.
- It is said to be good.
In fact I heard all of this from Eric, and he himself had neither seen nor read the book.
After I finished the book, I looked at the back cover just to see what I had so carefully been avoiding all the way – and it’s clear that it would have spoiled all the fun if I had seen it earlier. (It is one of the worst-chosen blurbs I’ve seen in a long time. Whoever wrote it should be fired.)
I’d like to tell you what I thought, because I it’s a good book… but since I don’t want to spoil it for you, in case you’re planning to read “Diary”, I cannot really say much at all. Hmm.
Let me just say this, then:
It won’t leave you indifferent – to use a tired cliche, you’ll either love it or hate it. Don’t buy it if you want your books to be about a fundamentally decent world. I wouldn’t recommend it to my mother, but I liked it myself.
The story is imaginative and unpredictable all the way to the end, even surreal. Like with Fight Club, even when you think you know what’s going on, you don’t know it all. There’s never a dull moment, and nothing is wasted.
The style is disturbing, and occasionally calculatedly jarring, but it suits the story. Not having read any of Palahniuk’s other books, I found his tone sufficiently different to be interesting in itself.
Just make sure not to read anything more about it before you read it. Don’t buy it from Amazon because you won’t be able to avoid the editorial review. Support your local bookseller instead.