His parents separated when he was 14 and subsequently divorced, often leaving him and his three siblings to live with their maternal grandparents at their cattle ranch in eastern Washington. He moved to Portland , Oregon soon after. He wrote for the local newspaper for a short while and then began working for Freightliner as a diesel mechanic, continuing until his writing career took off. During that time, he wrote manuals on fixing trucks and had a stint as a journalist, a job to which he did not return until after he became a successful novelist. After casually attending a seminar held by an organization called Landmark Education , Palahniuk quit his job as a journalist in
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Saint Gut-Free Guts An abnormally skinny man who, following a masturbation accident involving a pool filter, lost part of his lower intestine. Mother Nature Foot Work A reflexologist and homeopathic therapy expert who was once employed in prostitution based around her skills with reflexology. Miss America Green Room A pregnant model who wants to become famous by promoting an exercise device on daytime television. Lady Baglady Evelyn Keyes Slumming An old money woman who, along with her husband, used to pretend to be homeless as a cure for boredom.
After she and her husband witness a crime leading to the murder of a wealthy Brazilian heiress, her husband is murdered by the killers, and a string of homeless people are murdered in the search for her. She comes to the retreat to escape the people who want to kill her.
The Earl of Slander Swan Song A reporter who murders a former child star to frame him for collecting child pornography, so that he can write a Pulitzer Prize -winning article about it.
Believing he will suffer the same fate as the man he killed, he has come to the retreat to escape his employers. Director Denial Exodus A social worker at a police station.
She brings with her a cat named Cora Reynolds, named after its former owner, a co-worker who killed herself trying to stop police officers from using anatomically correct child dolls for sexual purposes.
Reverend Godless Punch Drunk A former Marine who, with a group of soldiers, raises money by lip-syncing in drag and allowing annoyed people to assault them for a fee. He used the funds raised to start a war on religion. The Matchmaker Ritual A man who dresses similar to a cowboy. After his girlfriend denied his marriage proposal, he hired a male prostitute to ruin her idea of the perfect man and change her mind. Rather than being autobiographical, his story is an extended "joke" he learned from his uncles, which is in fact an anecdote about a freak castration accident in a Nazi POW camp that saved their lives.
Sister Vigilante Civil Twilight A religious woman who carries a bowling ball, with which she may or may not have killed people. Chef Assassin Richard Talbott Product Placement A professional chef who murders critics who write negative reviews of his cooking. He uses the murders to blackmail knife manufacturers, threatening to tell the world that he uses only their knives to commit his deeds.
As a child, her parents divorced and her mother continually warned her that her father might sexually abuse her. Whilst never occurred, she has been wary and critical of men for her entire life as a result. In the end, it is strongly implied the person they assaulted was born biologically female. The Missing Link Dissertation A member of the Chewlah tribe, who are claimed to be able to transform into sasquatches.
Dating a woman who claims a certain plane crash was caused by a female sasquatch, The Missing Link states his sister was the girl in question. She was arrested for murdering the owner of an antique shop, who would not let her touch items; the items included the unborn child of Marilyn Monroe located in a milky jar of fluid. She now wears an electronic tracking bracelet as part of the terms of her parole. The Baroness Frostbite Miss Leroy Hot Potting A former employee of the White River Lodge, she tried to rescue a chef she employed after he fell into a nearby hot springs, only to lose her lips to frostbite in the process.
She claims to carry an incurable airborne disease, and was contained on an island quarantine facility by the government. Required to wear an insulated suit and oxygen mask when outdoors, she used the airtight suit to escape the island by swimming underwater to the nearest coast. It is a tale of violent accidents involving masturbation, in which the reader is instructed to hold his or her breath in the very first line.
A New York City public school 11th grade teacher was suspended for letting his English class read "Guts". The narrator then describes three stories of male masturbation gone horribly awry.
In the first story, an adolescent boy inserts a Vaseline-lubricated carrot into his rectum to stimulate his prostate , then, in haste, stashes it in a pile of laundry when he is called to dinner. Later, his mother takes the laundry away and presumably discovers the used carrot, but never mentions the incident.
Next, the narrator tells the tale of a young boy who, having heard that it enhances masturbatory pleasure, inserts a thin stick of candle wax into his urethra. Finally, the narrator explains how he himself suffered a sexual injury, when sitting on the water-intake valve at the bottom of his home swimming pool while masturbating.
While swimming down to the bottom of the pool to stimulate his prostate before coming up for air—a repetitive process he refers to as "Pearl diving"—the suction from the valve causes his rectum and lower intestines to prolapse and become tangled in the filter.
Ultimately, he finds himself stuck on the bottom of the pool and must gnaw through his own innards to free himself and avoid drowning. In doing so, he highlights the theme of sexual repression throughout the tale. As a result, their sons are forced figuratively to "hold their breath" in the silence that lingers.
Saint Gut-Free refers to these moments of sexual repression as the "invisible carrot," referring to both the mother in the first story and to the total denial of all the parents involved. Purportedly all three of these incidents are based on true stories. In one of these groups, he met an extremely thin man.
When Palahniuk asked him how he stayed so thin, he told him "I had a massive bowel resectioning. Reception[ edit ] Haunted received mixed to favorable reviews from critics upon its release. Haunted received a negative review from The New York Times columnist Tom Shone who noted that despite being referred to as a horror novel it is " It burps up its shock moments with so little ceremony that the Gothic virtue of stealthily sidewinding suspense -- the art of allowing a story to steal up on you before you even knew it was there -- is left whistling in the wind.
Club reviewed the novel soon after its release giving it a positive review, stating " Palahniuk is as unique and colorful as ever, with his predilection for odd factoids and weird twists. But none of this makes the arbitrary deaths, the ludicrous behavior, or the pages upon pages about corpse-rot and vivisection any easier to deal with.
Like his characters, Palahniuk sometimes seems to be operating under the presumption that he can never sink too low, or vomit up too much.
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