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This book is filled with two dozen of Chuck Palahniuk's short stories, 'Make Something Up' is clear evidence that Palahniuk is the king of grotesque and a sometimes master of the short story. Sometimes a bit uneven, a couple trips, etc., but a couple of these stories were nearly perfect. There were times when he seemed to be channeling a more disturbed version of David Sedaris (see: 3. Monkey, 9. Coyote, 18. Aardvark) and other times when he seemed to be walking instep with Neil Gaiman. To me, this is a thicker, but more disappointing version a George Saunders collection. But, still, there is no real comparison. These stories could have only been born in Palahniuk's mind. Some of them came out ready to walk, and some should probably been aborted.
So, just to clear my own ADD:
1. Knock Knock - 3★
2. Eleanor - 3★
3. How Monkey got Married... - 4★
4. Zombies - 4★
5. Loser - 3★
6. Red Sultan's Big Boy - 5x
7. Romance - 5★
8. Cannibal - 3★
9. Why Coyote Never... - 3★
10. Phoenix - 4★
11. The Facts of Life - 2★
12. Cold Calling - 3★
13. The Toad Prince - 3★
14. Smoke - 5★
15. Torcher - 5★
17. Liturgy - 2★
18. Why Aardvark Never... - 4★
19. Fetch - 4★
20. Expedition - 3★
21. Mister Elegant - 4★
22. Tunnel of Love - 4★
23. Inclinations - 4★
24. How a Jew Saved Christmas - 2★
81 of 87 people found this review helpful
the jokes!!! i have repeated them to many people and spread the joy. the stories are messed up as per usual. i always learn something about human behavior from our sweet Chuck. thanks for enlightening me.
16 of 18 people found this review helpful
What disappointed you about Make Something Up?
..and time you'll never get back.I'm such a massive fan of his early work. But Chuck's work is extrememly variable. For every Survivor and Lullaby there's a Pygmy or Snuff or Rant.The quality of the stories here are in serious need of some heavy editing. Where as there are some which would stand along side any of his greatest works, too many are meandering and over padded, ultimately lacking punch. Making them, in Palahniukian terms, trite. Often the authors own readings of the stories felt flat and monotone. I've given a higher mark for the performances as the other voice artists gave much better readings. There is one story, quite early on which requires a particular characteristic in the performers voice as its written with a very strong dialect, which left me totally lost as it was completely miscast, so the narrator character was confusing and the story made little sense.
Would you ever listen to anything by Chuck Palahniuk again?
Novels perhaps, although by the time we reached Pygmy, (after the forgettable Snuff) I'm convinced he's run out of ideas.
What three words best describe the narrators’s voice?
Flat. Monotone. Inexpressive (author). The rest were variable but decent.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Disappointment leading to boredom.
Any additional comments?
Fewer stories. Throwing out a lot of the padding. Heavily overwritten. I'm five stories from the end, but as a couple are almost an hour each and nothing over his 20 minute stories had justified the page count to this point, I just can't muster the interest to complete it.I get the feeling they started out with nuggets of good ideas. But was probably writing them to order, so some are just too drawn out to maintain tension, possibly to fill a required word count.I think I might have enjoyed slightly better had I just read it.But only a little.