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Chuck Palahniuk: Lazy, or Lazy Like a Fox?


A finished copy of Chuck Palahniuk Invisible Monsters Remix ended up on my desk. From the jacket copy:

In this revised edition, with a new introduction, the reader is invited to jump throughtout the book to read the chapters in different arrangements. Intertwined are new chapters: some featuring the characters in the book, others recounting events in the author's life. As Palahniuk knows, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.  

Let's get this straight: Chuck Palahniuk added a few new chapters to an old book. Norton published this book. Norton is charging good money ($25.95!!!) for this book. People are buying the book. No lie: at the time of this writing, it ranks at a respectable #1950 on Amazon and has five five-star reviews. Raves one: "Anyway this is a must have book, the cover is a red embossed cover with the word REMIX pressed over and over in different fonts, some backwards!"

While my feelings about Palahniuk are certifiably tortured, this book definitively pushes them back over to "fuck this guy." This is lazy even by record-industry standards, the literary equivalent of yet another Beatles box set. Need I even mention the thousands of worthy manuscripts that remain unpublished? Need I mention the existential horror the word "remix" incites in me, the almost visceral return to grad school in the mid-2000s, of humanities lecturers trying ever-so-desperately to be cool and edgy? How did Norton manage to combine all my least favorite things in under 300 pages? I am horrified, yet also awed. 

Invisible Monsters Remix is either a) the biggest indictment of the publishing industry to date b) the biggest indictment of the taste of the American reading public to date c) a brilliant decision to sell shit to idiots d) all of the above. As the book world crumbles around him, Chuck Palahniuk reclines on a gilded chaise lounge and laughs at his good fortune. Cheers, asshole.

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