Monday, June 1, 2009


A slow week brought on by too much time spent goofing off in front of the computer. Only one book this week.

Pygmy: Chuck Palahniuk - Imagine the movie sixteen candles foreign exchange student as a secret operative sent to kill Americans. Well, that's pretty much Pygmy. Palahniuk is back in form with this strange book about a terrorist sent to the U.S. as part of the student foreign exchange program. The country he's from is irrelevant, though it's something between Maoist China, Breznev era USSR and modern North Korea. Everybody over there hates everybody over here for being overfed, sexually warped and immoral assholes.

As far as satire goes, Palahniuk does a pretty good job of nailing America up on its cross for its sins. We're flighty and faddish. We're scary, thick-headed, and more than a little oblivious to the damage we casually do all over the globe. Even so, a lot of countries still want to get into our pants, even if they also want to kill us.

It's a pretty odd book, one of his better, though the pseudo-foreigner language patterns loses its charm after about a third of the way through. It becomes a little tiresome trying to translate the awkward, obscured phrasing, though it's often funny --in the same way Long Duck Dong was funny in Sixteen Candles.

Once this infernal 100 books is over I'll probably go back and re-read it.


Hoyt said...

Thanks for the plug, Bill....I saw this yesterday at the Borders Express and almost purchased it....I will now.

By the way, I'm waaay behind on my reading....maybe I can get a start again with summer here.

primalscreamx said...

It's funnier and more interesting than Snuff (which I didn't like) and Rant (which, overall, I did). It flows a bit like his very early stuff like Invisible Monsters and Soul Survivor, but isn't as trippy as Fight Club or Haunted.