I am Chuck Palahniuk's new novel, and you bought me without even reading the synopsis on the dust jacket. I am exactly like Chuck Palahniuk's other novels—short, punchy sentences; grotesque trivia; poetry-slam-style repetition throughout. I am also peppered with difficult emotional truths, because market testing has proved that my audience demographic enjoys those. Here's one: Every Chuck Palahniuk novel is just like any other Chuck Palahniuk novel, except for each new one is slightly worse than the last. I am the worst one yet. But I will not be his worst novel for very long. He keeps churning us out every year, so next year's book, which will be worse than me, is probably nearing completion. You can almost picture Palahniuk sitting at his desk, writing it:
Scribble-scribble dead-inside characters.
Scribble-scribble reference to bodily fluids.
Scribble-scribble plot twist.
Did you know that one of the leading causes of carpal tunnel syndrome is sex? Turns out, as people get more and more obese, pushing themselves up when they're having sex missionary-style puts too much stress on their wrists. And overusing a vibrator can cause repetitive stress damage, too. This is just the kind of "shocking" trivia that Chuck Palahniuk uses to fill space in his novels.
Scribble-scribble pessimistic worldview.
Scribble-scribble large print.
Scribble-scribble prescription-drug abuse.
I am a novel about a woman who takes care of an older, washed-up celebrity, and I am written in the most annoying style of any Chuck Palahniuk novel to date: screenplay prose ("Cut to me running, a trench coat worn over my maid's uniform..."), with all the names of characters appearing in bold print. These obnoxious tics make me nearly unreadable. Did you know that obsessing over celebrity is unhealthy? And that our whole culture is obsessed with celebrities? That is what I am all about.
Scribble-scribble ham-fisted social commentary.
Scribble-scribble wasn't that Fight Club movie great?
Scribble-scribble clever internet marketing.
And now, because we are near the ending, it is time to reveal the obligatory Chuck Palahniuk twist. I am not Chuck Palahniuk's new novel at all. I am a book reviewer who is parodying Chuck Palahniuk's style! I bet you didn't see that coming. Did I shatter your complacent existence, sheeple? Did I uncover some heavy emotional truth for which you were unprepared? Tough shit. Deal with it.
Scribble-scribble pat ending.
Scribble-scribble phony emotional climax.
Scribble-scribble see you next year.