Consider This and Fight Club 3
I finished two of Chuck Palahniuk's work in the past twelve hours. The first was Fight Club 3, the graphic novel sequel to Fight Club. The second was Consider This, a non-fiction writing guide and memoir. Both provided for an interesting experience, which is always the case when reading Chuck's work.
I became a fan of Mr. Palahniuk after watching and reading Fight Club around the year 2000. My enjoyment of Fight Club led me to read his other novels such as Choke, Invisible Monsters, and Survivor. I fell in love with his minimalist writing style and his ability to discuss the things that we'd rather not discuss. It wasn't shock writing for the sake of shock, but shock writing for the sake of asking why does this shock us?
While I would still consider Chuck Palahniuk my favorite author, I haven't thoroughly enjoyed any of his work in quite sometime. Actually, I haven't read the last three novels at all. I did read Fight Club 2, which like Fight Club 3, is a graphic novel sequel. I even met Chuck while he was touring and doing book signings for Fight Club 2. It was one of my favorite celebrity interactions and he seemed like a very nice guy.
I was thrilled to meet Chuck, but I was less thrilled about Fight Club 2. I think that Mr. Palahniuk realized he couldn't recapture the success of Fight Club so he just let his mind go insane with the characters. It created a disjointed, strange story that was brave but not very good. This is pretty much the same way I'd describe Fight Club 3. The artwork is fantastic and there are some great scenes, but overall the story falls flat as a cohesive unit. It doesn't feel like Fight Club, but more like erotic theological fan fiction written within the Fight Club universe.
I enjoyed Consider This. It was mentioned online to be similar to Stephen King's On Writing (which is an incredible book) and while I think King's book is better, I really enjoyed what Chuck had to say. The book alternates between chapters that are short memoirs and chapters that are tips of what Chuck would tell you if you were his writing student. He does a great job describing different techniques and strategies on how to write, what to write, why it doesn't matter, why it could matter, and everything in between. I highlighted more notes in this book than any other book I've ever read because it was chock full of incredible ideas.
Consider This is an easy read that took me less than twenty-four hours and I feel that it will help me as a writer. I have this dream of one day putting out some decent fiction and I hope some of what I read will help me accomplish that goal.