Book Review: Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk

Okay, I read this, and now I’m confused. Not because I didn’t understand what I read but because I can’t decide what to think. Survivor is a book that switched from an okay start to spellbinding middle to a bizarre end which still holds me. Dear Chuck Palahniuk, what did you want to say?

Are our destinies our own or do we repeat what is expected of us? We can’t escape the cultural influence surrounding us. It pushes us toward things that are shown to be valuable. So, no we are not free to choose our lives? But then again, no one is holding us from gunpoint and demanding us to be obsessed with fame, success, and eternal beauty, seeking a fix after a fix and fixing the side-effects of those earlier fixes. So, we are free to choose our own path?

But then we follow peddlers of false hope and reason. Their well-constructed products bring us solace against the uncertainty of life. Again we end up fixing and fixing and losing the original ache. We, humans, are supposed to ache, be imperfect, and question the world. Is it love that should fix that ache? Someone that understands and accepts us? But love is tricky. In one moment, you have it, and then it disappears or shapes its form. Can we even know what love is? The main character clearly didn’t.

Does survival come to passing our own genes onward? Is that our only point to exist? That we can do the best we can, and make a tiny copy of ourselves, and hope that tiny copy has a better ride than we do. When clearly it will not be the case as human existence is riddled with torment, uncertainty, and fixes to fixes.

As you may have noticed, I’m confused about what to think of the book. If you want to be as confused as I am, read the darn book. It is a good book despite the beginning, and the page numbering goes backward. I’m sorry about this review and its messiness, but my mind is messy when I think what I read and the religion Chuck Palahniuk introduced around our modern life.

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