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The Resource Diary : a novel, Chuck Palahniuk

Diary : a novel, Chuck Palahniuk

Label
Diary : a novel
Title
Diary
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Chuck Palahniuk
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Storyline
Tone
Review
  • Palahniuk’s sixth novel takes the form of a so-called coma diary written for Peter Wilmot, who is comatose after a running-car-in-garage suicide attempt (he started with the gas tank half-empty, proving his inability to do anything well). While Peter wastes away in a hospital, his family and friends waste away on Waytansea Island (“Everyone’s in their own personal coma,” Palahniuk writes with his trademark optimism). Peter’s art-school-prodigy-turned-bitter-waitress wife, Misty, can’t afford the family mansion anymore. Tourists have overrun the whole island, and the old-money families have spent all of their old money. But no one on the island seems to care about their community-wide coma. They just want Misty to paint. She refuses--until she begins to suffer tortuous headaches that only abate when she paints. The islanders seem suspiciously keen on seeing Misty’s work continue, and the only way to keep her painting is to keep her miserable. Palahniuk’s fans haven’t seen plot twists this good since Fight Club, but this book lacks the manic humor that makes his better novels so engrossing. The fantastically grotesque premise propels the story, but the writing lacks the satirical precision that made Palahniuk a hero to young nihilists everywhere (see his take on the travel book, reviewed on p.1858). Instead, it often reads like a self-indulgent complaint about the terrible suffering of artists. Still, excellent plotting and a compelling allegory will satisfy the majority of Palahniukites. (Reviewed July 1, 2003) -- John Green
  • /* Starred Review */ With a first page that captures the reader hook, line and sinker, Palahniuk (Choke ; Lullaby ) plunges into the odd predicament of Waytansea Island resident and ex-art student Misty Marie Kleinman, whose husband, Peter, lies comatose in a hospital bed after a suicide attempt. Rooms in summer houses on the mainland that Peter has remodeled start to mysteriously disappear—"The man calling from Long Beach, he says his bathroom is missing"—and Misty, with the help of graphologist Angel Delaporte, discovers that crude and prophetic messages are scrawled across the walls and furniture of the blocked-off chambers. In her new world, where every day is "another longest day of the year," Misty suffers from mysterious physical ailments, which only go away while she is drawing or painting. Her doctor, 12-year-old daughter and mother-in-law, instead of worrying about her health, press her to paint more and more, hinting that her art will save exclusive Waytansea Island from being overrun by tourists. In the meantime, Misty is finding secret messages written under tables and in library books from past island artists issuing bold but vague warnings. With new and changing versions of reality at every turn, the theme of the "tortured artist" is taken to a new level and "everything is important. Every detail. We just don't know why, yet." The novel is something of a departure for Palahniuk, who eschews his blighted urban settings for a sinister resort island, but his catchy, jarring prose, cryptic pronouncements and baroque flights of imagination are instantly recognizable, and his sharp, bizarre meditations on the artistic process make this twisted tale one of his most memorable works to date. (Aug. 26) Forecast: Doubleday's marketing plan for Palahniuk is appropriately surreal—"street team guerrilla marketing" will supplement the usual advertising and author tour routine. The book's premise, relatively sedate at first glance, may make it a harder sell than previous novels, but once readers pick it up, they won't be able to put it down. --Staff (Reviewed July 7, 2003) (Publishers Weekly, vol 250, issue 27, p50)
  • "Genius is pain," or so John Lennon said, and Palahniuk's sixth novel (after Lullaby) takes that grim assertion as its axis. Misty Marie Kleinman, a trailer-trash art student whose Thomas Kinkade sensibilities are embarrassingly out of place amid voguish peers intent on high-concept excretory art, falls for a creepy drifter whose home on picturesque Waytansea Island is identical to her own storybook imaginings. The idyll turns sour as the island is overrun with rich summer people, and her husband attempts suicide after desecrating several of their homes with prophetic scrawls. Waiting tables in the local hotel to support her daughter and mother-in-law, washing down aspirin with wine, and anatomizing the seediness of her life in a caustic journal addressed to her comatose spouse, Misty seems to have permanently deferred her dream. Yet she is destined for a strange renaissance. What follows is a blend of paranoiac horror along the lines of Rosemary's Baby and an inventive fable about the uses of art and its relation to suffering and the universal unconscious. Neither plot nor theme is brought to a persuasive conclusion, but the journey is consistently engaging. Recommended for most public libraries where Palahniuk's provocative books are appreciated. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/03.]—David Wright, Seattle P.L. --David Wright (Reviewed July 15, 2003) (Library Journal, vol 128, issue 12, p125)
  • /* Starred Review */ Failed artist becomes wife of carpenter on picturesque island—then, in Palahniuk's remarkable sixth novel (after Lullaby, 2002), everything goes to hell.Actually, Misty Kleinman is not so much a failed artist as a woman who always wanted to draw, went to art school, and never quite got up the gumption to try being an actual artist. She fell into a relationship with Peter Wilmot, the really-off guy at school, and moved with him to Waytansea Island. But that's not where Palahniuk starts off: instead, he gives us Misty later on, when she has a 12-year-old daughter, Peter is a vegetable in the hospital (thanks to a clumsy suicide attempt), an unglued sense of reality prevails. You see, Waytansea Island is beautiful and has been discovered by wealthy mainlanders who clog the roads, take up space on the ferry, and generally act like human cholesterol, things that hardly make old-family islanders like Peter shiver with delight. Peter took his own revenge in a striking manner: he worked on the houses of mainlanders while they were gone, so that when they returned they found that entire rooms had—disappeared. These rooms were covered in threatening, apocalyptic graffiti and then walled off. Misty keeps getting called out to look at them once they're uncovered by angered customers—"The woman with the missing closet. The man with his bathroom gone"—and she tries desperately to care, as Peter lies in his coma. A waitress in the island's grand old hotel, Missy is stuck with her mother-in-law, who has an obsessive interest in when Misty will start to paint again. Misty starts getting ill, something that drives her painting in a way nothing ever has before, and soon she's able to do little else but paint. Palahniuk restrains his more comic voice to deliver moving passages on inspiration, art, and suffering as a driving force. Only in the end, when things start linking up, does the novel, oddly enough, begin to unravel.A loose-limbed nightmare both vaporous and all-enveloping: awe-inspiring. (Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2003)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
119709
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Palahniuk, Chuck
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Women painters
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Coma
  • Married women
  • Contractors
  • Islands
Label
Diary : a novel, Chuck Palahniuk
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
459370
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
260 pages
Isbn
9780385509473
Lccn
2003043900
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780385509473
  • (Sirsi) ADK-6044
Label
Diary : a novel, Chuck Palahniuk
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
459370
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
260 pages
Isbn
9780385509473
Lccn
2003043900
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780385509473
  • (Sirsi) ADK-6044

Library Locations

    • Southeast BranchBorrow it
      5803 Nuckols Crossing Rd., Austin, TX, 78744, US
      30.1876256 -97.7419319
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