Diary | book review

The Details

Title: Diary
Author: Chuck Palahniuk
Series: n/a
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 261
Publisher: Anchor
Original Publication Date: 2003
Genre(s): Adult fiction, Thriller, Suspense


The Synopsis

Misty Marie Kleinman grew up poor, sitting on a cigarette-burned shag carpet with her hippie waitress mother, drawing beautiful houses in a perfect town on a gorgeous island. In art school, she met the man who would make her childhood fantasies come true: Peter Wilmont, “the walking peter.” Every woman on campus is disgusted by him, except Misty. For some strange reason, she can’t resist the assortment of old, rusted, junky jewelry he wears every day, and every day she sees him, he gives her more and more. This is the beginning of the end for Misty Marie Kleinman, and she doesn’t even know it. Or she does know it–has always known it–but just needs help remembering.

The Plot

What better way to read a weird, creepy book than to stay up until 5 a.m. finishing it? Well, that’s what I did, and let me tell you, I was thoroughly creeped out. I’d like to tell you as little as possible about this book because if I say too much, it won’t have the right effect on you, and that’s no good. This is the kind of book you want to pick up with almost no insight into what it’s about. It’s one of those books that you stumble upon information as the book goes on and you have no idea what’s going on until you finally finish it in the wee hours of the morning feeling anxious and paranoid and the walls are moving and you think maybe it’s time to get to bed. …

This is, embarrassingly, my first Palahniuk book, though not by choice. I’ve wanted to read Fight Club since seeing the movie as a kid, and my girlfriend, who’s a huge Palahniuk fan, has recommended pretty much all his works. In fact, I bought Diary for her a year or two ago for her birthday, telling her one day I’d also read it. Well, she didn’t care for it too much, like many other Palahniuk fans; I, on the other hand, was blown away. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have any of his other works to compare it to like everybody else, but I thought this book was brilliant. The whole thing is written as a diary in third-person. You don’t really find out who the narrator is at first, and even after the fact, I was still second-guessing it. This book really makes you second-guess.

The story is weird. Really weird. And you don’t entirely understand everything, but that’s okay, it just makes it all more exciting and suspenseful. I’ve never quite read anything like this, really. Nothing makes sense until it just…does. I was constantly reading, stumbling upon things, making connections, looking up from my book like “what!?

It’s really hard to review a book like this because I truly don’t want to give anything away. Also I slept 5 hours so I’m tired and rambling like an idiot — forgive me.

The Characters

This is another one of those books where you hate every character, sometimes even the main character though I did sympathize with her, yet you still enjoy the book. I got that feeling while reading books like Gone Girl (well, and all of Flynn’s books, to be honest) and The Girl on the Train. So, other than Misty, everyone was literally so god-awful. No one really wanted to help Misty, not really. They were all creepy and self-absorbed and totally nuts. Misty, I sympathized with her. She made poor decisions and all, but could you really blame her?

The Writing

I think I’d compare Palahniuk’s writing to Vonnegut’s, both amazing writers and two of my girlfriend’s favorites. Palahniuk knows how to keep the suspense and really creep out the reader. He has this way of writing that really sucks you in and pushes you down the rabbit hole. I especially liked his numerous references to art, psychology, and philosophy — it was all really enlightening and interesting. I truly think Palahniuk is brilliant, and I can’t wait to read more of his works. This review was too jumbled, and that makes me sad because it’s really a good book, so I hope you believe my tired, crazy words.

The only bad thing about the book? The cover of the paperback. I hate it. Help.

The best thing about the book? I can’t really decide if it’s a supernatural story about a cult-like island and a crazy prophecy, or if it’s just all very coincidental and just a story about girls who grow up poor that are looking for an escape, any kind of escape.

I like to think it’s both.

Favorite Quote(s)

“Today is the longest day of the year—but anymore, every day is.”

“Everyone’s in their own personal coma.”

“Inspiration needs disease, injury, madness.”

“You’re always haunted by the idea you’re wasting your life.”

“Leonardo’s Mona Lisa is just a thousand thousand smears of paint. Michelangelo’s David is just a million hits with a hammer. We’re all of us a million bits put together the right way.”

“Maybe it’s just a daughter’s job to piss off her mother.”

“It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scars to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.”


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6 thoughts on “Diary | book review

  1. Hey don’t be embarrassed that this is your first book by the Fight Club author. I haven’t read anything by him, and I loved Fight Club! The movie, that is. I loved the quote above the synopsis. I’m wired exactly like that. Great review, Ultimate Book Geek!

    Liked by 2 people

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