I thought I hated Chuck Palahniuk. Ever since I saw my first book by him a few years ago. I judged him without even reading him, going solely on the covers of his books and something or other I read about him, somewhere or other. I assumed he was too masculine, too crass. And he's that, but it works.
I'm listening to his CD book Haunted: A Novel. Though the stories aren't for the faint of heart (think Philip Roth mating with Augusten Burroughs – though a fictional Burroughs), it's keeping me riveted. Grotesque, yes, they're that very often. But funny. Oh my goodness, funny. Though it's a big book (audio CD), and I'm not far into it, I'm becoming an actual fan already. The happy happy joy joy of it is the critics hated this book. Why is that good? Because I like this book, and his others are better.
Gentle readers won't like him. Don't even try. I used to be a gentle reader, so I know whereof I speak. I've grown a tough shell, though, possibly starting with realizing I love Ian McEwan's writing. Or Joyce Carol Oates', speaking of grotesquery. So I'm finally, finally ready for Chuck Palahniuk. I can't spell his name; I'm copying and pasting it each time I use it: Chuck Palahniuk Chuck Palahniuk Chuck Palahniuk …
But, what do you know. I like him! I really, really like him!
Who's next? David Foster Wallace's (may he rest in peace) Infinite Jest? Certainly not Ulysses… Certainly. I've tried that one a couple times, and woof. But it does give me pause. What other writers have I judged unread? Not that my reading list needs this.