Author: Chuck Palahniuk
After a botched suicide attempt leaves her husband Peter a vegetable, Misty Wilmot begins a “coma diary,” a record of her miseries on the once exclusive Waytansea Island. As Misty struggles as a waitress for the invading hordes of tourists, her dreams of becoming a famous painter seem long dead. But Misty notices strange events erupting around her. Apocalyptic messages are found in houses that Peter renovated, and Misty uncovers eerie warnings that seem meant for her. As waves of outsiders continue to overrun the island, its long-time residents become determined to get Misty painting again, as part of a nefarious plot to reclaim the island.”
GEMS: I bow down to Palahniuk and his absolutely perfect use of ‘You’ in the telling of this story. He pulls the point of view off beautifully and the direction of reference is placed toward the intended audience, the coma ridden Peter Wilmot. An impressive and original piece of work that again sticks with you long after you read the last sentence. I found myself still pondering different parts of the story for days and marveling at the gutty grit with which so many issues and themes are revealed. After reading a Palahniuk tale, you can’t help but look at humanity with eyes wide open and see all the wonderful, shocking and often laughable flaws. Each story is a social experiment that leaves the reader stunned, horrified and thankful that someone has the tenacity to be honest. I loved it! This excerpt says it all and resonated so strongly for me that I had to highlight it. We don’t learn from happy, sweet stories or events — unfortunately, we must be scarred.
“It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.”
Palahniuk will not appeal to everyone. This isn’t necessarily a flaw, but a reality for most authors. He has a cult-like loyal fan base but may not attract a large demographic especially across the age gap. However, if you have an open mind and crave something original, I say give it a try. Nonetheless, whether you love Palahniuk or not, you won’t easily forget the experience.