Friday, September 3, 2010

Palahniuk's 'Diary' contained some secrets (that I didn't really want to know)

"Diary" (2003, Doubleday, 272 pp.), a novel about a down-on-her-luck woman named Misty Wilmot, a resident of Waytansea Island (get it, "wait and see"?), certainly kept me guessing.

Poor Misty, first saddled with that awful name, marries a guy, Peter, from art school who whisks her back to his home island and ultimately puts himself into a coma by attempting suicide by carbon monoxide.

Peter's nursing home upkeep puts Misty in the poorhouse. And mysteriously, after he's laid up, Peter's "artwork" of sealing off rooms in peoples' homes after scrawling extremely private and seemingly deranged things on the walls (he was working as a contractor) keeps popping up.

So Misty, her tween daughter and her mother-in-law move into the local tourist hotel, where Misty waits tables to earn a living. But everyone keeps urging her to practice her artistic talents. The monster-in-law even drugs her and puts some brushes, paints and canvas into her hands. And that's where the story takes an odd turn into the realm of sci-fi, a la "Stepford Wives" ... sort of. It's twisted.
I will say that "Fight Club" author Chuck Palahniuk has a vivid imagination, as well as a grip on the darkly ironic and comic. This particular book was just not really my cup of tea.

However, I try to keep an open mind. Palahniuk has achieved cult writer status with the likes of "Invisible Monsters" and "Lullaby" (his website is actually called The Cult) ... If you have a fave Palahniuk novel to recommend, let me know.

No comments: