Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Review: Beautiful You by Chuck Palahniuk

I'm not sure if I loved or hated Chuck Palahniuk's latest novel Beautiful You. I mean, any rational woman would run very far from this book after reading the first few pages of our heroine Penny Harrigan getting raped in a court of law by a bunch of sex-deprived men. The opening scene unfolds and provides little fragments of information that will either latch its ugly little claws on the reader or force many to chuck Chuck's latest weird novel.

Those who are aware of Palahniuk's work won't shy away and continue reading. This review is for you. Those die-hard fans (such as myself), who can't help but be entranced by Palahniuk's weird fiction. So... I stuck around to watch the story unfold. I needed to see why there were no more women, where they'd gone, and why they'd left.

What it all comes down to is that we women are easily manipulated by sex-toys and pleasuring ourselves to the point that we would even replace our boyfriends (or girlfriends), husbands (or wives), for these cute little pink toys called "Beautiful You" made by a billionaire genius. He claims he wants women to tap into their um... bodies and experience only the best sexual pleasures any man-made toy can provide. First of all, the fact that a man has to tell me what pleases me is ironic in itself but then things get weird, hence the opening scene of men tearing at Penny Harrigan like animals.

Beautiful You follows more of a traditional storyline than most of Palahniuk's other works yet the characters are still caricatures. Kinda fitting for a satirical novel, but still you want someone to root for when a book is written that way. Although having fully fleshed characters isn't necessary, I still felt it was missing. Penny was boring as hell. Her genius boyfriend C Linus Maxwell (the billionaire) was just as boring.

What wasn't boring was learning more about the va-jay-jay than I wanted to know. I imagine there was a lot of research into the female anatomy to make half of the toys created semi-plausible. So FYI if you're a prude, this is not the book for you assuming my first word of warning wasn't enough to shy you away from this book. Actually, the entire opening scene would be enough if you are a prude and don't like smut. Clever smut, but still smut.

Without going into too much of a tangent and giving away the entire plot I will close and say I liked Beautiful You. No, I didn't love this novel like his others Survivor orFight Club but I won't soon forget it. Or that one guy from his book Haunted that got his intestines sucked through the pool thing-a-ma-jiggy. But I very much enjoyed knowing that we, all humans, want nothing more than to slip into oblivion by way of indulging in all pleasures, good or bad, right or wrong, until we wither away into nothing. 

Copy provided by Doubleday via Netgalley

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