I absolutely adore reading - my love for books has had a huge impact on my life! I'm going to grad school to be a children's/YA librarian.
I read this with my book club. It's the second Chuck Palahniuk novel that I've read - the first being Fight Club, of course - and, much like Fight Club, when I put it down, I had a hard time sorting out exactly what I thought about it, so I waited a day to review it. Now that I've given myself time to think about it, hopefully I can put my thoughts into words and convey what exactly I think about this novel.
Like Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk was able to draw me into the story from the very beginning and I couldn't put the book down, which is a huge accomplishment. I think that's this book's strongest point - Palahniuk is such a strong writer. What I really love is the format of this book. I loved how I had no idea where I was in the story line, since it skips from chapter to chapter. This isn't a book that reads from front to back, but skips around from chapter to chapter. You could go from Chapter 17 to Chapter 2 to Chapter 36 right in a row. I didn't know how close I was to the end until I had already finished the book. I think that definitely helped to draw me in, but honestly, Palahniuk's story telling abilities probably would have done that anyway. The format was just an added bonus. Also, I really liked the ending. I felt that it wrapped things up nicely and I think that Palahniuk did a good job of tying everything together.
As for the actual story... it was just weird. I still don't really know what else to say about it. I did think it was fascinating how all the characters ended up being connected in the end, but I'm a bit concerned about Palahniuk's sanity, because it's just such a crazy idea for a story. I mean, I was expecting something a bit odd after reading Fight Club, but seriously, I think Palahniuk is a poster child for the saying that "there's a fine line between madness and genius." Because this story is just so strange. Fascinating, but strange. And graphic. While it did draw me in, I didn't really enjoy the story, if that made any sense. I wanted to know how it ended, but more out of curiosity than any sort of attachment to the characters or the actual story. Which is why I'm only giving it 3 stars. I don't know if I'll ever re-read the book or recommend it to anyone, other than people who I know to be Palahniuk fans, in which case, they will probably have already read this. It might be easier to say who I absolutely do not recommend this book to. So here's that list:
-anyone under the age of 16 (maybe even 18)
-anyone who's vaguely conservative
If you don't fit this list, you'd probably like this book. But beware that it's very strange. Very well-written, but strange.