Survivor: A Novel


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Chuck Palahniuk is one of my favorite authors. At one time, Fight Club was one of the most important / impactful books and movies in my life.

Last year, I started down the path of consuming all of Chuck’s novels. I read Choke and Lullaby, the latter being one of my favorite books of last year and very highly ranked on my all-time list of fiction.

This year, I wanted to attack at least one of Chuck’s books per month. And then I woke up and It was February. Can’t rewind the clock, but could definitely start the month off right.

Survivor is very much like Chuck’s other books. It’s predominately a first person narrative and has a very damaged protagonist. Even has a female confidant and of course society as a whole is one of the antagonists.

The story is the story of Tender Branson. He’s one of the last surviving members of a death cult. The story is his life story starting in his twenties and through his rise and fall of fame.

I’m always fearful of giving away too much plot. Kind of a cop out though. Going to try to delve a bit deeper into the book without giving too much away.

Tender’s rise to fame was that of a short-order evangelical. His personal was created for him, but eventually it takes over him. He becomes the person they want him to be, until it’s taken from him.

The main theme I picked up from the book is that of free will. I personally believe in free will, but the protagonist, he never seems to embrace the concept. From beginning to end.

I enjoyed the book, but compared to the other Chuck Palahniuk books I’ve read, it’s not his best work.

As always, YMMV.