I don't want to say that "Diary" is the worst book I've read in recent memory, but it is. I wanted to like it *really bad*, as I have quite a few friends (mostly males) that rave about Palahniuk, including this book. I've never read his work before (though I mildly enjoyed the Fight Club movie), and thought this one sounded very interesting.
I put up with a very slow start to the book, became really engaged (and a little scared, in a good way) during the middle, and then I came to the horrible realization of where this book was going. And boy, was it horrible. Obviously I won't spoil the plot for you, but I felt so outrageously cheated when I knew what was going on. Not only was the last quarter of the book totally predictable and soulless, but then all of the author's quirky little plot devices just seemed lame. It seemed to me like Chuck did quite a bit of research on both anatomy & carpenter's legends that he decided to repeatedly and tediously insert them into the book 'just because'. My final gripe is that the book started off as Misty's diary to Peter and somewhere along the way just turned into Chuck writing the book, occasionally throwing in "This is what Peter said. You said." to remind himself that he started off trying to write in the first person. And then out of nowhere for a second he throws in "John here" (example) and you never realize when "John" started or stopped talking.
And the characters. Palahniuk thinks that saying "poor white trash Misty Marie" 100x will make you feel sorry for her. But you don't. Instead you don't feel anything for anyone, and while the book unfolds you keep reading only for it to be over.
I don't even know if my review makes sense at this point, but I just had to let the average reader know not to start your foray into Palahniuk with this book. Or the only thing you might be afraid of is wasting your time again. If you are still interested, read the wikipedia entry for this book. The plot summary will reveal just what you think you are missing.
I am a huge Chuck Palahniuk fan and picked up Diary after devouring Invisible Monsters and Choke within a few days of each other. I was REALLY disappointed in Diary! The plot just wasn't settling with me and was nonsensical in a way that only made Palahniuk's other books more amazing. I would pass on this if you were new to Palahniuk's work.
I tried desperately to get into this book, but I just couldn't pull myself into the story. I've tried reading Palahniuk before & had a similar feeling at that point too. Perhaps I just don't feel a connection with his writing style. I probably won't try to read any of his other books in the future.
This was the first book I'd read by Palahniuk, though I'd heard of him before. Diary was a bit hard to get into, especially since it's written in the second person. But once I got through the first couple chapters, I was hooked. It's twisted, funny, and amazing. Very engaging.
Chuck Palahniuk definitely has his own specific writing style, so it may take a little bit to get into, but it's an interesting story with some good plot twists. A little weird, but definitely entertaining.
I have read Fight Club, Choke, Rant, and now Diary. While I have enjoyed all four of Palahniuk's books, I enjoyed Rant the most. Diary is good, but the storyline takes a little while to develop and the "twist," found in Fight Club and Rant, isn't as jarring as in those books. The main character is female in Diary; also a difference from the other Palahniuk books I have read.
If you enjoy Palahniuk, you'll like Diary. If you haven't ever read any Palahniuk, I would recommend trying another of his books first before reading Diary.
The story involves a woman from a meager background who strives to be an artist. She marries a man she meets at art school who takes her to Waytansea island which she views as an idyllic place of which she has always fantasized (even so far as having imagined the exact houses on the isle). Things turn a little sour when her father-in-law dies, her husband attempts suicide, and people start calling her house about missing rooms in their vacation homes on which her, now incapacitated, husband had performed work.
Tradition, art, carpentry, and coma---all combined in one wild ride--Palahniuk does it again with his "where did that come from" outrageous style. Clever, thought provoking, and unique, Diary is worth a look.
One of my favorite stories. Beautiful passages that perfectly convey the narrator's desperation. I wasn't expecting the ending but you never really do with Palahniuk and as an artist, I feel that he did his homework pretty well.
Misty was a budding artist, when she met Peter. He is from an old family on Waytansea Island. They marry and Misty gets caught up in being a mother and housewife. When Peter lies in a coma after a botched suicide attempt, things start to take a very strange turn. As a contractor, Peter apparently walled off rooms in his clients' houses and covered the walls with vile messages. People on the island start pressuring Misty to start painting her masterpiece, and suddenly Misty's luck turns really bad.
Usually, once you accept the story and characters, Palahniuk's novels make sense (in a way), but this time, I just could not "get into it".
Diary takes the form of a "Coma Diary" kept by one Misty Tracy Wilmot as her husband lies senseless in a hospital after a suicide attempt. Once she was an art student dreaming of creativity and freedom; now after marrying Peter at school and being frought back to once quaint, now tourist-overrun Waytansea Island , she's been reduced to the condition of a resort-hohtel maid. Peter , it turns out, has been hiding rooms in houses he's rmodeled and scrawling vile messages all over the walls--an old habit of vuilders but dramatically overdone in Peter's case. Angry homeowners are suing left and right, and Misty's dreams of artistic greatness are in ashes. But then, as if possessed by the spirit of Maura Kinkaid, a fabled Waytansea artist of the nineteeth century, Misty begins painting again, compulsively. But can her newly discovered talent be part of a larger, darker plan" Of course it can.....