Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Don't read this in the dark!

I can hardly wait to see the goofy comment Chris is going to leave in response to my posting about this gem from The Telegraph. It seems horror writer Chuck Palahniuk is running around giving readings during which people actually pass out. After recounting several instances of his listeners keeling over, Palahniuk continues:

In the men's bathroom, where another man escaped the story, as he bent to splash cold water on his face, he fainted, cracking his head on the sink.

A reporter for Publishers Weekly wrote an article headlined, "Fight Club author knocks them out without a punch".

At Columbia University, the next day, two students fell. As the ambulance took one of them to hospital, my editor walked to the edge of the stage, waved me over, and said: "I think you've done enough damage with this story. Don't finish reading it."

Wow. I've heard of people falling asleep at book readings, but fainting? Is the guy really that awful a writer? If you've read his stuff, please report in.

Now if we can all stop laughing (and fainting) for a minute, I have a serious question about another matter. This is from The Star:

As the book world winds up its annual national convention, some retailers are wondering about the fate of a cultural institution. It's not a book or a publisher, but a customer - the old-fashioned bookstore browser who picks and pokes and doesn't care about the critics or Oprah or the best-seller charts.

"I think people are less likely to just look around than they were five years ago,'' says Margaret Maupin, a buyer for The Tattered Cover in Denver.

"And they're more impatient about getting a book. They come in and ask for it and if you don't have it they go somewhere else.''

I think people are still browsing; they're just doing it differently from the way they used to. Take a look at that last paragraph in the quote. If people are going into stores asking for specific books, they've heard about them somewhere. So maybe they have been browsing . . . on the internet. Or maybe even at the grocery store.

How and where do you browse? Have your browsing habits changed in the past few years?


Anonymous said...

It depends on how big the books store is, if I have the time I could send the whole day browsing though the books, somtimes I call to order a book, and go get it, because if I stop to look, I always find somthing, and that bad on the bankbook! ;-D

Anonymous said...

Is the guy really that awful a writer? If you've read his stuff, please report in.

You might research authors before you make uninformed comments about them. Chuck Palahniuk has a cult following.

Do YOU know the only rule about Fight Club?

Chris said...

I will try to come up with a a lucid, well thought-out, intelligent response.

If that fails I'll post my usual crap.

--Chris (dFm)

lindaruth said...

I haven't read Chuck Palahniuk's fiction, but I read a nonfiction book he wrote about Portland. I found it full of fascinating and quirky characters and enjoyed it. I understand that in his fiction he doesn't shy away from graphic descriptions, so I suspect that's what is getting to his listeners.

Brenda Coulter said...

You might research authors before you make uninformed comments about them.

And where would be the fun in that? This is a blog, not the Wall Street Journal. ;-)

So. What's the only rule of Fight Club?

Chris said...

You might research authors before you make uninformed comments about them.

And where would be the fun in that? This is a blog, not the Wall Street Journal. ;-)

* * * * *

Good thing you didn't say New York Times, 'cause, well, you know....

--Chris (dFm)

Anonymous said...

HEY WHAt IS the Fight Club?
you lost me there

Candy said...

Wait: Chuck Palahniuk's a horror writer? Since when?

Fight Club was decent. The ending was a doozy and saved the book, but the rest of the book was only so-so.

Candy said...

That'll larn me to make a comment before reading the article in question. Chuck Palahniuk has written a horror novel. Huh. THIS I gotta see. Off to see if the library has it....

Brenda Coulter said...

Candy, babe, you be sure to read that thing lying down. Just in case....

Karen Scott said...

Anonymous said
"Do YOU know the only rule about Fight Club?"

Yeah apparently, you don't talk about the Fight Club.

Unusual film, tried too hard to be clever, but Brad looked grrreat! Haven't read the book.

Heather Diane Tipton said...

Finally! LOL I'm all caught up on your blog! Aren't you glad? No more comments from me today... hahaha but you will post tomorrow and I will unavoidably have to comment, I'm sure. ;-)

Where do I do my browsing? Usually I get all my info about books through the writer loops I'm on.

Anonymous said...

"The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is you DO NOT talk about Fight club."

I love to browse. Hubby and I will go to the store and be there until our necks are all gone funky from leaning to the right. However, I do most of my browsing online. I browse like a fiend. And I order way too many books, books I never get to in a timely fashion (if at all), books that pile up all over my house so it's hard to walk. I'm addicted to books. Sigh. But, browsing online is great. Instant multiple reviews and synopses and excerpts. Wonderful. I go to the store with a list. And browsing is merely to see what I can find by chance, mere fun, serendipity. And the sales, natch.


Anonymous said...

To the "anonymous" who chided Brenda about not researching before chiming in: You could do a bit of research, too. :)Fight Club doesn't have an "only" rule. Fight Club has a bunch of rules. I forget how many. Six? Seven? A bunch. Like no shirts, no shoes.The fight stops when someone asks for it to stop. And you have to fight the first time you go to the club. :)

It seems to be a novel that really connected with guys, even Christian ones. I remember a discussion group I was with and the men were definitely into the novel. We have romance fantasies, and I guess guys have "being macho fighter" fantasies. heh.

Oh, and having a cult following doesn't guarantee one has talent. Ed Wood has one. And there are actually people who bought albums where Yoko Ono screeched like a demented banshee. Go figure.