Cover image for Unabridged selections from Stranger than fiction true stories
Unabridged selections from Stranger than fiction true stories
Palahniuk, Chuck.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Random House Audio, [2004]

Physical Description:
4 audio discs (5 hrs.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Compact disc.
Added Author:
Format :
Audiobook on CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3566.A4554 S7725 2004 Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

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Chuck Palahniuk's world has always been, well, different from yours and mine. The pieces that compriseStranger than Fiction, his first nonfiction collection, prove justhowdifferent, in ways both highly entertaining and deeply unsettling. Included are encounters with alternative culture heroes Marilyn Manson and Juliette Lewis; the peculiar wages of fame attendant on the big-budget film production of the movieFight Club; life as an assembly-line drivetrain installer by day, hospice volunteer driver by night; the really peculiar lives of submariners; the really violent world (and mangled ears) of college wrestlers; the underground world of iron-pumping anabolic-steroid gobblers; the immensely upsetting circumstances of his father's murder and the trial of his killer--each essay or vignette offers a unique facet of existence as lived in and/or observed by one of our most flagrantly daring and original literary talents.

Author Notes

Chuck Palahniuk was born in Pasco, Washington on February 21, 1962. He received a BA in journalism from the University of Oregon in 1986. Before becoming a full-time author, he worked as a journalist and as a diesel mechanic. He has written numerous novels including Survivor, Invisible Monsters, Lullaby, Diary, Haunted, Rant, Snuff, Pygmy, Tell-All, Damned, Doomed, Beautiful You, and Make Something Up: Stories You Can't Unread. Fight Club was made into a film by director David Fincher and Choke was made into a film by director Clark Gregg. He is also the author of Fugitives and Refugees, a nonfiction profile of Portland, Oregon, and the nonfiction collection Stranger Than Fiction.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

From Fight Club (1996) and the guys who fight for sport to Choke (2001) and a young man who might literally be the son of Jesus, Palahniuk's novels are consistently populated with extraordinary eccentrics. So it's no surprise that in this collection of previously published magazine pieces, he writes mostly of the bizarre. Palahniuk focuses on themes of solitude and community, on our need to feel simultaneously special and a part of something. He attends the Olympic wrestling trials, for instance, and examines why men endure cauliflower ear and debilitating injury to participate in a sport that no one watches or cares about. The personal essays (Palahniuk describes a romp through Seattle while wearing a dog costume, for instance) don't shine as much as the journalistic pieces, although fans will be interested to learn personal details about Chuck and his experiences with quasi celebrity. But the best narratives here-- particularly a lengthy one on Americans who build European-style castles--show Palahniuk's deep compassion for oddballs and misfits, a hard-boiled kindness for which his fans revere him. --John Green Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

This collection from shock novelist Palahniuk (Choke; Lullaby) is an eye-opening look at the raw material that goes into Palahniuk's fiction, as well as proof that the novelist's art is derived from keen observation and recording of details. Often these are as grotesque as a closeup in a horror film (e.g., in talking to a group of wrestlers enduring Olympic tryouts, Palahniuk focuses on their injuries, both physical and emotional). Half the essays are magazine assignments and include insightful profiles of rock star Marilyn Manson, indie-movie queen Juliette Lewis and a high schooler who wants to explore space via a homemade rocket. Others offer the author's impressions of a demolition derby, the Rock Creek Lodge Testicle Festival and life aboard the USS Louisiana. Palahniuk often philosophizes, dwelling on the effects his fiction has had on "reality," especially the obsession his fans have had with his novel Fight Club. Palahniuk is fixated on the transformation of life's raw material into fiction and the writing process itself, which he sees as having the potential for self-fulfillment. (Incidentally, Brad Pitt, who played Fight Club's protagonist, emerges as Palahniuk's alter ego, and a number of the essays play on this theme, creating a patchwork memoir.) Palahniuk's fans will undoubtedly revel in the secrets the author reveals. Newcomers might initially feel queasy, but they're likely to warm up to his visceral prose and come to enjoy it. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Palahniuk stays weird in his first nonfiction collection. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



You Are Here In the ballroom at the Airport Sheraton Hotel, a team of men and women sit inside separate booths, curtained off from each other. They each sit at a small table, the curtains enclosing a space just big enough for the table and two chairs. And they listen. All day, they sit and listen. Outside the ballroom, a crowd waits in the lobby, writers holding book manuscripts or movie screenplays. An organizer guards the ballroom doors, checking a list of names on a clipboard. She calls your name, and you step forward and follow her into the ballroom. The organizer parts a curtain. You take a seat at the little table. And you start to talk. As a writer, you have seven minutes. Some places you might get eight or even ten minutes, but then the organizer will return to replace you with another writer. For this window of time, you've paid between twenty and fifty dollars to pitch your story to a book agent or a publisher or movie producer. And all day, the ballroom at the Airport Sheraton is buzzing with talk. Most of the writers here are old--creepy old, retired people clutching their one good story. Shaking their manuscript in both spotted hands and saying, "Here! Read my incest story!" A big segment of the storytelling is about personal suffering. There's the stink of catharsis. Of melodrama and memoir. A writer friend refers to this school as "the-sun-is-shining-the-birds-are-singing-and-my-father-is-on-top-of-me-again" literature. In the lobby outside the hotel ballroom, writers wait, practicing their one big story on each other. A wartime submarine battle, or being knocked around by a drunk spouse. The story about how they suffered, but survived to win. Challenge and triumph. They time each other with wristwatches. In just minutes, they'll have to tell their story, and prove how it would be perfect for Julia Roberts. Or Harrison Ford. Or, if not Harrison, then Mel Gibson. And if not Julia, then Meryl. Then, sorry, your seven minutes is up. The conference organizer always interrupts at the best part of the pitch, where you're deep into telling about your drug addiction. Your gang rape. Your drunken dive into a shallow pool on the Yakima River. And how it would make a great feature film. And, if not that, then a great cable film. Or a great made-for-television movie. Then, sorry, your seven minutes is up. The crowd out in the lobby, each writer holding his story in his hand, it's a little like the crowd here last week for the Antiques Road Show . Each person carrying some burden: a gilded clock or a scar from a house fire or the story of being a married, gay Mormon. This is something they've lugged around their whole life, and now they're here to see what it will fetch on the open market. Just what is this worth? This china teapot, or crippling spinal disease. Is it a treasure or just more junk. Then, sorry, your seven minutes is up. In the hotel ballroom, in those curtained cubicles, one person sits passive while the other exhausts himself. In that way, it's like a brothel. The passive listener paid to receive. The active speaker paying to be heard. To leave behind some trace of himself--always hoping this trace is enough to take root and grow into something bigger. A book. A baby. An heir to his story, to carry his name into the future. But the listener, he's heard it all. He's polite, but bored. Hard to impress. This is your seven minutes in the saddle--so to speak--but your whore is looking at his own wristwatch, wondering what's for lunch, planning on how to spend the stipend money. Then . . . Sorry, your seven minutes is up. Here's your life story, but reduced to two hours. What was your birth, your mother going into labor in the backseat of a taxi--that's now your opening sequence. Excerpted from Unabridged Selections from Stranger Than Fiction by Chuck Palahniuk All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.