You can use a lot of words to describe Chuck Palahniuk’s work: weird, disgusting and disconcerting come to mind; but boring is certainly not one of those words. With his previous releases, Palahniuk has made a name for himself by playing with concepts and ideas, moulding them into something different each time.
Pygmy is an enjoyable to read, as it is filled with Palahniuk’s traditional poignant satire. On the other hand, the experimental structure makes it a challenging read that might not go over well with a lot of fans. What he does well is examine the Midwestern life that typifies middle-America through the eyes of an outsider. Pygmy may be a terrorist in the making, but he is an outsider with a unique point of view as well.
Despite the difficulty in working through the narrator’s broken English, Palahniuk gets points for continuing to experiment with his writing style; unlike so many other authors who find a 50-year groove from which they can’t seem to break out. This makes him one of the more interesting modern writers out there today. Palahniuk is like the Beck of literature, reinventing himself stylistically with each release to either the chagrin or elation of his fans.
While this keeps him fresh, it does make it hard for his fans to keep up. I think a few may have fallen behind this time, but they’ll always be waiting for the next book and Palahniuk’s next experiment.