Saturday, January 17, 2015

Book Review: Tell All by Chuck Palahniuk

Mr. Palahniuk, You let me down

It probably is not a good marketing ploy to let all of you know right from the beginning that I did not like this book but I'm not good at keeping secrets apparently. I should leave you in suspense but I won't. To summarize, don't bother with this book.

Now, I should tell you that I know authors experiment with new ideas, attempt a new voice, and may look at things with a new perspective. Chuck Palahniuk is always on the cutting edge but in this case it didn't work.

I love Chuck Palahniuk books and looked forward to reading a new one. The most recent one I read prior to this was Survivor which I loved. I have also reviewed and loved Choke and Invisible Monsters. Perhaps I just expected more from Mr. Palahniuk but I don't think that is it.

Sometimes I limit reviews of books that I recommend "not reading" to only the ones that I have really invested a lot of time in or that I finished I was so horrified about the conclusion that I wouldn't want to waste anyone else's time. If I only read a few pages of a book and it doesn't interest me it doesn't make the list. I really gave this book a solid try, reading about ten chapters (that are headed by Acts and Scenes) but it wasn't going anywhere.

I didn't like any of the characters and the voice/perspective/cadence was confusing and weird. The book was almost set up like a script with stage directions but also was a first person account. The premise is that the housekeeper (and based on how she describes herself she would not categorize herself that way) of an aging movie starlet is telling the story. It seems that she is trying to protect Kathie Kenton from a variety of mishaps such as botched surgeries, loves lost, bad career decisions but is in a frenzy when Kathie falls for a young admirer. That's as far as I got, watching as Hazie sabotages the greetings and wishes from others and tries to isolate Katie from communication.

Don't bother. I didn't and I wish I hadn't started.

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