I have never read anything by Chuck Palahniuk and I didn't care for the movie Fight Club. I figured it was mainly because I don't really like Brad Pitt but maybe it is Chuck Palahniuk. I love the R.I.P. challenge because it gets me out of my comfort zone and trying new books. I searched Goodreads, my library web site, and audible looking for bestsellers in horror and this book shows up in all of them. I read reviews and had an idea of what I was getting into before I started this. The reviews had one thing in common, people either loved this book or they hated it, there was very little in between.
You might be wondering where I am in this scale of love and hate, but I will get to that in a minute. Let me start with the description of the book. This is a collection of short stories that are part of a bigger overall story. The main plot is all about a group of writers. who agree to be sequestered in an unknown location for 3 months in order to write their masterpieces. Each writer then has a short story or poem pop up every now and then as we get more and more parts of what is going on with these writers. It sounded really interesting and I was intrigued as to how this was going to work. A short story collection that compliments a main plot is not something I see very often. This is a story of self destruction, man vs man, and a character's psyche based on this type of situation. It is a big undertaking.
Now, for my take on this. I am one who hated this book and I have no problem voicing that this is one of the worst books I have ever read. I made it half way through this and decided I am tried of wasting my time when there are so many great books out there waiting to be discovered. A lot of the reviews I have read warn against the graphic subject matter of the first short story Guts. I am not a squeamish person unless there is something being done to eyes, but this story made me sick to my stomach. Whenever I hear or read reviews about something being outrageous and over the top I want to know why. I have never had my stomach turned by a book before so congrats Palahniuk you made me sick and I have read Off Season by Jack Ketchum.
The other thing I just couldn't stand is that all of the stories up to the point I stopped reading this involved some sort of weird or disgusting sex act/situation. I'm no prude when it comes to freedom of expression in writing but this was ridiculous and just gross to be gross. I'm not a fan of romance novels but I don't mind a little sex in a story from time to time. Even Harry Dresden gets a little action from time to time and that't not a book you would see that in. This book however is just perverted in some of these situations.
Finally the other thing that just put me off this book is that the main story about what is going on with these writers was just dull. I started to lose interest and then just started to get mad at myself because I continued to torture myself with something I wasn't enjoying. I used to be one of those readers who would suffer through a book no matter what because when I start something I finish it. I have learned in my time of being a blogger that it is ok to not finish a book if I don't like it so I can move on to something I will enjoy. No point wasting my time anymore. Normally those books I don't finish I don't review but nothing has sparked this much of an emotional response in me so negatively in a long time. I just had to vent about this book, get it off my chest, and move on.
It should come as no surprise that I give this book 1 out of 5 stars. I am so disappointed in this book that I will not be including it in the R.I.P. challenge. I guess I should do everything I can to get this review out there to as many people as possible to hopfully stop someone else from wasting time on this book, but there are a lot of die hard fans of this out there and I just don't want to upset them. My opinions are my own and I needed to vent. Se in reality only a few will ever see this review.