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Diary | Chuck Palahniuk | review | book | Lollipop


By Chuck Palahniuk (Doubleday)
by Raven Nightshado

"June 23: A woman calls from Seaview to say her linen closet is missing."

Chuck Palahniuk has done it again. The author of Fight Club and Invisible Monsters has turned out yet another tight, fast, hard look into some World Wide Weird.

The setting is the resort community of Waytansea Island, a quiet harbor of silent despair floating in an ocean of filthy rich new money paragons. The narrator is Misty Marie Kleinman, a middle-aged waitress whose dreams of art school were shattered when she married Peter Wilmot. Peter is a vegetable, having tried to kill himself and failed. From all across Waytansea Island, Misty Marie is receiving strange phone calls from concerned residents, clients of her almost-deceased husband's remodeling business, whose houses have been violated in the form of missing rooms.

Diary is a novel of complex contradictions. Diary is a glimpse into the lives of the most dysfunctional family ever. Diary is a murder mystery where the victims aren't dead… yet.

Written in the form of a journal, with entries over several months' time, Diary is a chilling look beneath the surface of the people you thought you knew. It has a funny way of making the reader feel like they're in the story. An obvious reason for this is that it's written in the unusual style of second person perspective (i.e. "your daughter, Tabbi, she has a strip of masking tape over each eye"). Another reason, slightly more insidious, is that Palahniuk is good – very good – at expressing the kind of thoughts on paper that most of us think about accidentally, and then try desperately to forget.

As he did in Fight Club, Palahniuk introduces us to the parts of ourselves we'd rather not know. This makes for a chilling ride through the minds and hearts of his characters.

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