Words for Dessert: Diary By Chuck Palahniuk

Words for Dessert is my little home for Book Reviews. :)

Diary
Chuck Palahniuk
Anchor, 2004
Trade Paperback
262 Pages
A Genre that can only be described as Palahniuk’s flavor…
Dark Humor/Mystery/Suspense/Contemporary

Misty Wilmot has had it. Once a promising young artist, she’s now stuck on an island ruined by tourism, drinking too much and working as a waitress in a hotel. Her husband, a contractor, is in a coma after a suicide attempt, but that doesn’t stop his clients from threatening Misty with lawsuits over a series of vile messages they’ve found on the walls of houses he remodeled.

Suddenly, though, Misty finds her artistic talent returning as she begins a period of compulsive painting. Inspired but confused by this burst of creativity, she soon finds herself a pawn in a larger conspiracy that threatens to cost hundreds of lives. What unfolds is a dark, hilarious story from America’s most inventive nihilist, and Palahniuk’s most impressive work to date.
GoodReads Summary

I first read this book back in 2005 or 2006 when I was 15 years old, again in 2008, and I recently skimmed through it trying to remember if I enjoyed it or not. While it’s not my favourite, it’ll always hold a special place in my heart.

“Can You Feel This?”

I did.

This book with its angst filled existential nihilistic narrator is the one that introduced me to Chuck Palahniuk’s style of storytelling (not Fight Club?! I know…). This was also the first book I chose for myself (and not forced upon in school) outside of the Teen/YA genre (and I’ve had a hard time looking back since).

Diary can be a hard read for new comers to this genre/Palahniuk’s writing… or at least, I found it a little hard but at the same time, it’s still a quick read with only 262 pages. This book stirred quite a bit of an internal struggle for me. There were some points (graphic in gore-y disturbing details and imagery) that made me want to put the book down and take a breather and at the same time push through because I needed to know more. I think that’s just how Palahniuk works though, it’s a little fascinating how his dark tales can affect you.

I was really interested in the art and history aspect of this novel because it was brought into the story in such a strange and kind of freaky way. Misty Wilmot’s struggles and suffering really put me on edge and as the story unravels… well… without revealing anything I can only say, it’s seriously messed up. And I can understand why Palahniuk uses his character’s talent for art and personal struggles to his advantage. Most artists (successful or not) use their darker thoughts and struggles as inspiration for their art as well as an outlet to let go of these demons. It was clever.

The book also has a few moments that caught me off guard leaning forward on the edge of my seat with my mind screaming “WHAT?!”

I smile just thinking about it. Ahh… Good times.

This was the first book that gave me the whole “What the hell did I just read” reaction and I’m quite happy for it. I’d definitely recommend it for someone who wants to step into a new genre. I can’t guarantee that it’ll be everyone’s cup of tea but all the same, still an enjoyable read.

My 15 year old me would have probably rated this book a 5 out of 5. But nowwww…. I think I’d rate it a 4. Why? Well I’m still a squeamish person and some of those visuals I could have lived without haha. Petty… I know.

Have you read this book or any of Chuck Palahniuk’s books/shorts? What did you think?
Any recommendations (of his writing or writing similar to his style/genre) to give me? (Other Palahniuk flavors I’ve read are Fight Club, Choke, Tell-All, and Guts.)

Until Next Time~!
Sam

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