Beautiful You by Chuck Palahniuk (2014)

L: 6.5/10

M: 5/10

Analysis from a buoyant vagabond, searching for a cause:

(Disclaimer) Mr. Palahniuk will forever be carved into my Mount Rushmore of authors. I’ll follow him into whatever filthy, disgusting, revolting, foul hole he digs, and shovel the slime and bile on top of me, encasing me in a vomit, stomach-turning grave. It was he, who sparked a love for reading with Fight Club and Choke in my High School days, and I will forever be grateful.

Now for his latest offering, Beautiful You. Chuck always dives deep into research for whatever story he crafts. At times, such as this, he makes it painfully clear he knows every cranny of knowledge there is to know about whatever fitting (or at times ill-fitting) topic he touches. Chuck drowns you in aphrodisiacs and sex acts, at times droning on so long the most incredible turn boring. I’m on board through the setup, mirroring a paperback novel with Fabio on the cover and, at times, directly mimicking the Fifty Shades of Grey universe. The characters are interesting, and as Chuck has done in the past, he begins with a flash-forward (?) and then flashes back (I was never great with time travel.) This entices you to find out how everything can elevate so high and digress so low for all those unfortunate victims spawning out of Chuck Palahniuk’s sick imagination. The end doesn’t quite live up to the building surge of ridiculousness, but Chuck, I’ll always love you.

Analysis from an owl coffee mug hoarding spinster:

What the holy hell did I just read? Far be it from me to question the brilliant mind of Chuck Palahniuk, but I’m left scratching my head, and to be entirely transparent, crossing my legs! Beautiful You was easily the most researched and beautifully written $5 smut romance novel I’ve come across. I assume no one picks up one of Chuck’s works on a whim, and therefore you expect a certain degree of focused insanity going into the book. Yet, it never quite delivers the “that fucking brilliant bastard” moment you crave and have become accustomed to in his writing. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone as it took me a great deal of time to get through it myself. I felt oddly aroused by truly grotesque things, and that’s not a warm fuzzy feeling I want to share with my peers. Honestly, the ending was probably the only part of the book that I enjoyed, but more for the sheer stupidity of it all. I felt like the recipient of the old “this is the worst thing I’ve ever tasted…try some” gag. It’s as if Chuck set out to write a book just to fuck with us all and at the end feel validated that he could write anything and his adoring followers would devour it like the mana from heaven his words usually are to a twisted audience. Still, I can’t give it a 1 or even a 3 because he’s so fucking good at whatever he does. I might not have enjoyed it, but I’ll never forget it. That witch’s floor dragging pubes will never leave my mind’s eye. Never. Well played, Mr. Palahniuk. Well played.

Chuck-Palahniuk 02

Chuck Palahniuk

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