Chuck Palahniuk spoke through the Commonwealth Club’s Inforum group at San Francisco’s Castro Theater. If you are familiar with Chuck’s writing, you’ll understand that he doesn’t do anything like others do. His voice and stories are unique because he is. Chuck’s books aren’t meant to be provocative. He isn’t writing to shock people. He is writing stories for people who like them, who get him, who also see the world differently. Chuck tells the stories he knows and understands. He tells the stories that were whispered to him by nervous people that want to confess, want to share their secrets. When people are shocked, it is because they are entering an unfamiliar territory, one in which they are uncomfortable with things they don’t understand or do not like.
Thomas Pynchon‘s Inherent Vice is about a pothead private investigator asked by his ex-girlfriend to look into the disappearance of her new (married) boyfriend, who is a wealthy land developer. Set in the sixties in Southern California, the hippy movement is strong, surfing and surf rock rule, mistrust is rampant, and everyone is corrupt. Everyone is looking to score but it’s not always drugs they are looking for.
Doomed by Chuck Palahniuk is the second book in a trilogy. Damned being the first; it’s about a young girl (whose parents are celebrities) who dies and is sent to hell. Doomed is about the same girl living in purgatory on earth. The third and final book is yet to be released. The books are composed of chapter long tweets, with Madison appealing to Dr. Maya Angelou whenever she needs strength: “Please, Dr. Maya, give me the strenth to not use an emoticon.” (Palahniuk, 29)
Frank Owen‘s Clubland: The Fabulous Rise and Murderous Fall of Club Culture delves into drug dealer Angel’s murder by club kids Michael Alig and Robert “Freeze” Riggs. It objectively states the facts and points to police reports and witness statements. Owen was a journalist for The Village Voice and wrote an article on Special K, which was at the time the new drug in the club scene. As a result of his research he became friendly with some of the dealers, promoters, club owners, DJs, and club kids. Writing with authority he allows the outsider a glimpse into the club scene and what can happen behind the scenes. But the book leaves a lot to be desired.