Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk
First Published: May 5, 2009
Begins here first account of operative me, agent number 67, on arrival Midwestern American airport great ###### area.
Reason for Reading: I've read quite a few reviews of Palahniuk's books and was intrigued enough to want to give him a try. I had the impression he might be like Christopher Moore (whom I love) but with a lot more edge. I received a Review Copy from Random House Canada.
Comments: I did not finish this book. I made it to page 91 out of 241 and just could not keep going anymore. Therefore, this is not a review but the reasons why I couldn't finish the book. First, the narrative is written completely in clipped, broken English which is full of (older era Chinese-like) Communist phrasing. This is very hard to read. At first, I thought it was a joke, but no, the whole book is written this way. It tired real fast for me. Second, the violence is brutal. There is a rape scene is the boys' bathroom which illustrates the level of violence. Plus the violence is set within a supposedly humourous satire which brings us to my third and final point. I did not find it funny, in the least. I did not laugh, giggle or even chuckle, not even once. I must say this book was absolutely not my cup of tea. I do not see myself reading the author again. Of course, your opinion may differ. Indeed Chuck Palahniuk is a best-selling author, with films made from two of his novels. Here is the publisher's description of this book, perhaps it will be more to your liking than it was mine.
“Begins here first account of operative me, agent number 67 on arrival Midwestern American airport greater _____ area. Flight _____. Date _____. Priority mission top success to complete. Code name: Operation Havoc.”
Thus speaks Pygmy, one of a handful of young adults from a totalitarian state sent to the United States, disguised as exchange students, to live with typical American families and blend in, all the while planning an unspecified act of massive terrorism. Palahniuk depicts Midwestern life through the eyes of this thoroughly indoctrinated little killer, who hates Americans with a passion, in this cunning double-edged satire of a xenophobia that might, in fact, be completely justified.
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