Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
66 internautes sur 70 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Interesting takes from an uncanny observer15 août 2005
Charles S. Houser
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I was fascinated by the level of thinking that went into the movie FIGHT CLUB. It motivated me to read Palahniuk's novel which was the film's basis. The thinking, the cleverness, was there too. And though the novel was extreme, on the verge of being sci-fi or a futurist fable, there was something quite plausible about it as well. The emotional jadedness, the fear of emasculation, the fakery by which the nameless main character lived out his life all seemed quite authentic. I was genuinely intrigued by what Palahniuk had created and made a mental note to read more by this author.
STRANGER THAN FICTION is a collection of articles written by Palahniuk for a variety of magazines. If you're fascinated by the "fight club" phenomenon, you'll find some satisfying glimpses into that story's little sojourn into Hollywoodland and the popular consciousness scattered among these articles. But even more so, STRANGER THAN FICTION offers glimpses into the absurdities, shallowness, and violence that constitute the end-of-the-millennium, life-in-America backdrop for that novel: the world of amateur wrestling ("Where Meat Comes From"), conferences where writers have seven minutes to pitch their stories to agents, publishers, or movie producers ("You Are Here"), a demolition derby in Washington State for combine drivers ("Demolition"), people obsessed with building medieval castles in the late 20th century U.S.A. ("Confessions in Stone"), users of steroids ("Frontiers"), the homoerotic nature of life on a submarine ("The People Can"), and an amateur rocket-maker seeking to win a ten million dollar prize being offered to the first private group to put a rocket into the atmosphere ("Human Error"). My favorite pieces, however, were the longer ones gathered in the "Portraits" section: actress Juliette Lewis ("In Her Own Words"), gay editor and political observer Andrew Sullivan ("Why Isn't He Budging?"), shock-artist Marilyn Manson ("Reading Yourself"), and Michelle Keating, a handler of rescue dogs ("Bodhisattvas"). What you get from Palahniuk consistently is a vision of people coping--one way or another, but coping nonetheless. And in an end-of-the millennium sort of way, this is the closest any of us is likely to get to hope. As Palahniuk says of himself in "Almost California", a self-mocking description of his visit to 20th Century Fox when FIGHT CLUB was in development, "That's why I write, because life never works except in retrospect. And writing makes you look back. Because you can't control life, at least you can control your version."
21 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
B-Side Stories...18 juin 2004
- Publié sur Amazon.com
From the author whose novels have always focused on people out of the mainstream, "Stranger Than Fiction" is a collection of essays/stories/articles that focus on real-life weirdos and other non-conformists. - Demolition Derby drivers that crash around in farm combines. - Amateur wrestlers trying out for the Olympics - Men who build castles - Disaster rescue people and their dogs - etc... While most of the pieces are very good, there are a couple weak spots, most of which consist of the person just talking and very little writing by Chuck. I am a fan of his writing style and would have liked to see more of that instead of those couple interviews. My guess is that they were just thrown in to fill out the book. I gave it 5 stars because of those 6-8 pieces that I really liked (worth the book price alone). If you like this book, check out "Fugitives and Refugees", also by Chuck Palahniuk. It is a collection of pieces and lists about his hometown of Portland, Oregon.
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Isolated greatness padded by short, unfocused stories21 juin 2004
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Though he refers to himself as an Amy Hempel knockoff, Chuck Palahniuk resides among the best phrase-turners in American pop fiction - if he does nothing else - teasing readers with jabs for rabbit punches and haymakers to come even when the narrative runs from the rails. Palahniuk's distinct talent for clipped, blunt prose still punctuates "Stranger Than Fiction," an anthology of essays and rants collected from recent magazine assignments, but every other aspect of the book is uneven: It is shabbily assembled, and few pieces are in depth or well-considered enough to be stand-alone gems. A moneymaker for both author and publisher Doubleday but not much more, "Stranger Than Fiction" hardly lives up to its title: Steroids, Marilyn Manson and castles are interesting enough, but not in the realm of Palahniuk's novels. Revealing himself more than ever before, Palahniuk comes off as a guy's guy with a taste for adventure and socializing and multitasking, more content, at least in the non-fiction arena, to hit and run than turn a subject inside-out. For each segment that creates a full-bodied portrait - Palahniuk's committed, admiring feature on amateur wrestlers - there is the rootless, immature opener, "Testy Festy," a piece on a Montana sex carnival so pornographic it'll run off more potential buyers than it will attract, or the Tim O'Brien wannabe, "The People Can," as Palahniuk catalogs the life of a submarine well enough to frustrate the reader for its brevity. Palahniuk has planned an "on writing" book soon enough; in that case, best to leave out a short paean to Hempel and her minimalist style ("Not Chasing Amy") and expand it to the treatise Palahniuk intends, as evidenced by his Internet workshop. Same for the tribute to Ira Levin's socialite novels, "Sliver," "The Stepford Wives" and "Rosemary's Baby." The one story for which this book seems made is a portrait of Palahniuk's father, who as a boy watched his father kill his mother than himself, and then in 1999 was murdered at 59 by the ex-husband of his new girlfriend. Palahniuk refers to it in parts of a few separate essays but never makes it a story unto its own (the date of some of these essays become apparent, too, when Palahniuk refers to his father's death as in recent past in one work, and "a few years ago" in another). There is room for three or four "Fight Club" anecdotes, which again should have been poured into one rumination on the entire project. The haphazard morsel approach on serious subjects reads like random toss offs whether Palahniuk intended it or not, while featurettes on Juliette Lewis and Manson are entirely too long and boring - a postscript on the Lewis piece about Palahniuk being kidnapped in a limo is better than both the star-fawning works are combined. "Stranger Than Fiction" only becomes a must-read for ten pages during "You Are Here," a classic Palahniuk rant on ever-increasing tendency of aspiring writers to think of their own lives in seven-minute screenplays, unable to create the fictional motifs and vehicles necessary for a readable book. Palahniuk makes a compelling, focused argument disciplined right down to the piece's hook line: "Your seven minutes are up." Better fighting the abstract battle against intellectual apathy than celebrity journalism, Palahniuk hasn't exactly embarrassed himself here. But he shouldn't quit his day job either.
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Truly stranger than fiction1 décembre 2005
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I think this is Palahniuk's best work since Fight Club. Each story in the collection takes the reader into a fascinating fringe land. From the shocking tour of the world of amateur wrestling ("Where Meat Comes From") to the poignant experiences of a rescue dog trainer ("Bodhisattvas"), the author uses the words of his subjects as well as his own to make darkly honest literary jewels.
Most interesting to me was the story of three Americans building castles in the modern world. They press on despite money-shortages, questioning neighbors, zoning problems, and hostile bankers. What really got me was the contrasting natures, goals, and backgrounds of the three builders. Each so different, yet they share a common but unusual achievement. It's striking that while they live within driving distance of one another, they don't even know of each other's existence.
The only true negative of the book is a puff piece on shock-artist Marilyn Manson. Mostly an interview, the author merely reiterates Manson's shopworn yarn about his life, tragedies, art, yada, yada. This article alone doesn't reach for some deeper truth and comes across as inauthentic.
I recommend you read this book today or, at the very latest, tomorrow.
17 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Possessing a few full and a few hollow promises.2 juillet 2004
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I started reading Chuck Palahniuk's books a few years ago when I read Fight Club and loved it, so Stranger Than Fiction seemed like an interesting read, and for the most part it was. It's nonfiction, and the stories it tells are interesting while giving us a little insight on how Chuck's mind actually works. What we're given is a compilation of stories and articles Chuck had written for magazines, so for those of us that don't buy into magazines, it's interesting to finally see some of the stuff he's written for them. The downside is that not all of the stories are interesting. The stories about steriod use, a day as a dog, the submarine, and the psychics are all great reads, ones that I enjoyed a lot. The personal ones were also good, which felt more like excerpts from a novel he may have written than magazine articles, but there are also the boring ones, which unfortunately bring the score down a few notches. I was personally bored by the article about castles. I bought the book to hear more Palahniuk's voice, and some of the articles do deliver, but then there are others that do not have the voice or sounds a little rough around the edges. All in all, it's good if you have a little time and want to read another Palahniuk book, but don't be expecting another Fight Club.