Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Tell-All by Chuck Palahniuk (2/5)

The back says: For decades Hazie Coogan has tended to the outsized needs of Katherine ‘Miss Kathie’ Kenton, a star of the wattage of Elizabeth Taylor and the emotional torments of Judy Garland. The survivor of multiple marriages, career comebacks and cosmetic surgeries, Miss Kathie lives the way legends should. But danger lurks when gentleman caller Webster Carlton Westward III arrives and worms his way into Miss Kathie’s heart and boudoir. When Hazie discovers that this bounder has already written his celebrity tell-all memoir, which also foretells her death, she must execute a plan to save Katherine Kenton for her fans – and for posterity...

I say: I knew that this would be a stretch for me when I read the synopsis, but since I’ve heard so much about Palahniuk’s writing, I thought I’d give it a go.

Which I did.

A very patient go.

Being the type of person that has little interest in films and actors, this was a painful read. The entire book is so sprinkled with names and names and names of actors and films it became really old really fast. Another thing that bothered me was the constant use of “to paraphrase [so and so]". Yes, perhaps this is the way that Hazie spoke, but it just annoyed me. The writing did little, if anything at all, for me and the only positive thing I have to say is that it was rather fast paced and a quick enough read at 179 pages.

Like I said, I knew when I read the synopsis that I wasn’t going to like the plot, and I didn’t. I figured out the twist too early to even invoke any type of interest in how the story was going to unfurl, and I was basically reading just to read. When the end came I just rolled my eyes and threw the book to the side.

I’ll still read another Palahniuk book if and when I come across one, because I don’t believe in judging an author by one book alone. However, I’ll make sure I borrow the next one instead of buying it.


  1. Palahniuk has really been going downhill for me. I loved Fight Club and I loved Survivor. I have high hopes every time he comes out with a new book but he falls short a lot for me.

    1. I've been reading/hearing the same about him. For me, I think the problem was that I don't particularly like his style of writing. But it's hard to say that after just one novel. Perhaps I'll borrow Fight Club from the library, as that seems to be the one people cite as his best.

      Thanks for the heads up though; letting me know to look for his earlier work.

  2. I hadn't heard of this book before your review. I've read Palahniuk before and can't say I really like his books. It seems to me that he tries to shock his readers and a lot of the content is quite graphic, unnecessarily so, in my opinion. But maybe you'll find a book by him that you enjoy.

    1. Well, the fact that this was in the discount bin may have been a clue for me... But then again, I live in Sweden and I've found magical reads in the discount bin. I think I may have to look at some of his earlier work since, as Meg said, he's been slipping lately. Not a fan of his writing, but I'll try Fight Club.