Survivor Novel by Chuck Palahniuk - Book Review

Uploaded by MEAndersFit on 04.11.2011

Most known for his cult classic, Fight Club, author Chuck Pahlaniuk delivers a thrilling
ride with this novel, Survivor.  Recommended to me by a writer friend,Jason Runnels, I
immediately ordered it from the library in an audiobook.
I rated it a 3 of 5 stars. Here’s the official synopsis:
Tender Branson — last surviving member of the so-called "Creedish Death Cult" — is
dictating his incredible life story into the flight recorder of Flight 2039, cruising on
autopilot at 39,000 feet somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. He is all alone in the plane,
which will shortly reachterminal velocity and crash into the vast Australian outback.
Before it does, he will unfold the tale of his journey from an obedient Creedish child
and humble domestic servant to an ultra-buffed, steroid- and collagen-packed media messiah,
author of a best-selling autobiography, Saved from Salvation, and the even better selling
Book of Very Common Prayer (The Prayer to Delay Orgasm, The Prayer to Prevent Hair Loss,
The Prayer to Silence Car Alarms). He'll even share his insight that "the only difference
between suicide and martyrdom is press coverage," and deny responsibility for the Tender Branson
Sensitive Materials Landfill — a 20,000-acre repository for the nation's outdated pornography.
Among other matters both bizarre and trenchant. Why I read this book:
Since I am fascinated by cults, I could hardly wait to delve into this novel telling the
story of the lone survivor of a religious suicide cult.  I am also penning a series
of novels from my firsthand experience of being reared in a religious cult.  Chuck’s
book was required reading for my research purposes, of course.
What I most enjoyed: • The undertones of ridicule towards extremist
religious beliefs and practices.  The narrator mocks numerous biblical passages, which might
offend hardcore Christians.  What most readers may not understand is that fundamentalist
leaders do damage their followers by interpreting the Bible to suit their agendas, as Chuck
demonstrates in Survivor. • The  story is told in first person, which
allows the reader to get inside the skull of Tender Branson.  It is never a comfortable
vantage point. • The audio version brought the story to
life for me.  I could only listen to about one hour at a time because the story evoked
too many flashbacks of my own childhood. Who should read this book:
If you are not a fan of satirical psychological thrillers, this may not be the book for you.
  Some may find this book a bit too abrasive and denigrating towards religion.  I found
it immensely entertaining.  I would classify it as a thriller for thinkers.  Be prepared
to consider the issues presented and interpret them as you will.
Readers:  Have you read any of Chuck Palahniuk’s books?  Who is your favorite character?