C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

cHUCK pAHLANIUK: Relax!

A lot of authors come and go or are trapped in the midlist and never break out, soon to be dumped by their publishers and agents after having their hopes briefly elevated. Others soar briefly, but the brand doesn’t catch on and now industry insiders wink at each other, telling each other the has-been was a flavor of the month. (These same editors, agents and publishers were certain they’d discovered the next Philip Roth not long before.)

Jay McInerney, for instance, wrote three really good books I loved: Ransom, Story of My Life and Bright Lights, Big City (which was made into a very good movie starring Michael J. Fox.) I tried to read the author’s next work but I felt he was suddenly trying to write as if he was an English author from a previous century. His solid stuff exhibited a sharp post-modernist wit but somewhere between his experimental popular fiction and what he wrote afterward, he wandered off. He’s still a successful guy and writes about wine and has made it big in the magazine world. However, he’s unknown to a new generation of readers and so, has become a bit of a footnote. In the 80s, you had to read him. Now? Really optional. He’s got a new book out, so maybe he’s working on a comeback.

Which brings us to: In a recent interview Chuck Pahlaniuk said he still didn’t feel like a success. (Wha–?)

I have proof he is a great success. Of course he wrote Fight Club (and a great movie was made of the book which is so close to the book they lifted almost all the dialogue.) Choke was made into a movie. He’s written quite a few books now actually: Lullaby (liked it), Diary (loved it), Survivor (liked it), Rant (not for me), Snuff (okay), Haunted (okay) Invisible Monsters (not for me) and Stranger the Fiction (really solid and readable.) He could stop there and have about as much output in numbers of books as Kurt Vonnegut had. Nothing to sneeze at.

BUT HERE’S THE PROOF PAHLANIUK IS A SUCCESS:

In a review of  Rant (which was laudatory, long and detailed) not once did the reviewer even mention Fight Club!

Chuck. You’ve made it into the pantheon.

Congratulations.

Filed under: book reviews, Books, Writers, , ,

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