Chuck Palahniuk's Make Something Up: Stories You Can't Unread

Make Something Up: Stories You Can't Unread - Chuck Palahniuk

Stories you'll never forget—just try—from literature's favorite transgressive author

Representing work that spans several years, Make Something Up is a compilation of 21 stories and one novella (some previously published, some not) that will disturb and delight. The absurdity of both life and death are on full display; in "Zombies," the best and brightest of a high school prep school become tragically addicted to the latest drug craze: electric shocks from cardiac defibrillators. In "Knock, Knock," a son hopes to tell one last off-color joke to a father in his final moments, while in "Tunnel of Love," a massage therapist runs the curious practice of providing 'relief' to dying clients. And in "Expedition," fans will be thrilled to find to see a side of Tyler Durden never seen before in a precursor story to Fight Club.

Funny, caustic, bizarre, poignant; these stories represent everything readers have come to love and expect from Chuck Palahniuk. They have all the impact of a sharp blow to the solar plexus, with considerable collateral damage to the funny bone.
[ synopsis from goodreads ]



This is probably the lowest I have ever rated a Chuck Palahniuk novel (I honestly don't remember ever giving a CP novel anything below 5 stars???) but I think it's because this is a short story book and I just do not connect with short story novels well. I can only think of two that I have ever actually liked? The rest I just have not clicked with. And that's especially disappointing when they're written by my favorite authors.

But it's a true testament to what I like. I need character development and reasoning and explanations. I need to fall in love with characters and have questions answered. And short stories just do not have the time to do that. Especially since most of these clocked in at around 10 pages each? As much as I wanted to like each and every story in this book, I, sadly, did not.

That being said, there were quite a few that I did like. My favorites were Zombies, Romance, Phoenix, Cold Calling, Torcher, Why Aardvark Never Landed on the Moon, Fetch, Expedition and Inclinations.

But, honestly, a lot of these didn't even feel like they were written by CP? I mean, I know authors want to write other things sometimes and try new things. But CP has a very distinctive style. It's one of the reasons why he's my favorite author. And many of these stories didn't have that. The ones that I enjoyed most were the stories that fault like they had that very distinctive style.

Well, anyway, it's still a great book to read if you're a CP fan. I read this over the course of about three weeks, reading a story a night. I told everyone they were my "bedtime stories" and then pretty much cackled like mad after saying that. (Which no one understood but somehow made me laugh harder.) And I really enjoyed reading it that way. It was quite unusual for me to keep on track with a book like that. But I managed it and it was fun.

But I ultimately am glad to be done with it. I am ready to go back to reading CP novels. With this one and reading Fight Club 2 in installments every month, I'm going crazy. I need full length novels again, not bits here and there. So I will definitely be reading a full length CP novel next.


review originally posted on goodreads