Diary: A Novel by Chuck PalahniukDiary: A Novel by Chuck Palahniuk

Diary: A Novel

byChuck Palahniuk

Paperback | September 14, 2004

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Misty Wilmot has had it. Once a promising young artist, she’s now stuck on an island ruined by tourism, drinking too much and working as a waitress in a hotel. Her husband, a contractor, is in a coma after a suicide attempt, but that doesn’t stop his clients from threatening Misty with lawsuits over a series of vile messages they’ve found on the walls of houses he remodeled.

Suddenly, though, Misty finds her artistic talent returning as she begins a period of compulsive painting. Inspired but confused by this burst of creativity, she soon finds herself a pawn in a larger conspiracy that threatens to cost hundreds of lives. What unfolds is a dark, hilarious story from America’s most inventive nihilist, and Palahniuk’s most impressive work to date.
CHUCK PALAHNIUK is the author of fourteen novels—Beautiful You, Doomed, Damned, Tell-All, Pygmy, Snuff, Rant, Haunted, Diary, Lullaby, Choke, Invisible Monsters, Survivor, and Fight Club—which have sold more than five million copies altogether in the United States. He is also the author of Fugitives and Refugees, published as part of t...
Title:Diary: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 7.98 × 5.19 × 0.59 inPublished:September 14, 2004Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1400032814

ISBN - 13:9781400032815

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved. Twisted, but his classic. If you already love him, you'll love this . Might not be the best chuck book to start with though.
Date published: 2017-06-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Classic Chuck Full of twists and turns, nothing is sacred but you won't be able to stop reading this one.
Date published: 2017-03-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Favourite Author You either love him or you hate him. He has such a different and captivating sense of writing style that if you're a fan, you won't be able to put this down.
Date published: 2017-02-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesomely creepy Palahniuk once again impresses me with his ability to be unpredictable. Another great mysterious fiction novel.
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great separate parts Although it is hard for me to NOT to enjoy any Palahniuk book, this one didn't quite do it for me. It has great ideas and separate parts, but it didn't come together as a whole in a satisfying way. Still an interesting and fun read, just not overly rewarding.
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great separate parts Although it is hard for me to NOT to enjoy any Palahniuk book, this one didn't quite do it for me. It has great ideas and separate parts, but it didn't come together as a whole in a satisfying way. Still an interesting and fun read, just not overly rewarding.
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another one of my favourites Very disturbing, very in Palahniuk's style, leaves you with feelings to digest weeks after you'd finished the book.
Date published: 2016-11-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not his best, but still great I've read several Palahniuk novels and although this isn't his best, it's still a good read. Good way to past the time on a plane or rainy afternoon.
Date published: 2016-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulously Disturbing Misty Wilmot was a promising young artist back in her youth. She met Peter in art school, married him, had his daughter, and somewhere along the line her talent seemed to dry up. Her husband’s unsuccessful suicide attempt has left him in a coma, and Misty is turning to alcohol to get her through the days. Peter was a contractor, and now his former clients are threatening lawsuits at Misty because rooms in their houses have disappeared and there are disturbing messages on the walls. Amidst all of this stress and turmoil, Misty’s artistic talent comes roaring back. Soon Misty finds herself in the middle of a dangerous plot that could endanger many lives. Diary by Chuck Palahniuk is a suspenseful, darkly twisted read. I’ve come to expect a certain level of disturbing and shocking content in a Chuck Palahniuk novel, enough to make me cringe but at the same time make it so I can’t look away. Diary definitely didn’t let me down on that front! Palahniuk paints a vivid picture of his characters and the setting, but he often chooses to describe these things based on their flaws and ugliness. I thought this was a very interesting and truly Palahniuk approach to thing. One of the things I love most about Chuck Palahniuk books is that he always includes really random and fascinating bits of information in his novels. Due to the art theme woven into the plot of Diary, the tidbits of information are all revolving around art, artists, and my personal favorite, the different ingredients in different shades of paint. You’d be really surprised what’s in some of it. The plot of Diary felt different from the other Palahniuk novels I’ve read. It had a suspenseful, almost mystery novel feel to it, but done in a unique way that is true to the author’s nihilistic, unsettling style. While I did predict some of the aspects of the plot, I was still surprised by the majority of events taking place. Things weave together at the end in a much more complex, solid fashion than I would have expected. I was truly creeped out by the events taking place, probably because even though it’s unrealistic to think that people would actually stoop to the level of the characters in this novel, I could sort of see a bunch of greedy, disturbed people pulling something this horrifying. Even though Palahniuk’s novels are bizarre and hard to believe at times, they aren’t completely out of the realm of possibility. For readers looking to step outside their comfort zone and try something new, I highly recommend Diary by Chuck Palahniuk. It was a fantastic read!
Date published: 2010-09-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not his best work Just finished Diary. Being a fan of Chuck's writing I don't expect any run-of-the-mill story or plot twists and while he keeps this formula in this book - the story wasn't that exciting or attention grabbing like his other efforts. I liked it more than I loved it, but I wouldn't place this in his top 5 works.
Date published: 2009-09-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Disturbing And Entertaining Read I really enjoyed reading Diary, no matter the subject matter, Palahniuk always provides insight and entertainment. This book was a bit different than the others that I have read, but it was pure Palahniuk, meaning that it was brutal, funny, disturbing, philosophical, and, of course, nihilistic (nihilism being very much synonymous with Palahniuk in the writing world). It takes a few chapters to get into the rhythm of the writing but once you do, it’s beyond engaging. Palahniuk’s novels always disturb me a teeny bit, I suppose that’s part of their allure for me, but Diary totally creeped me out- it was fantastic. If I had to, I would describe Diary as The Stepford Wives meet Massacre Island or maybe And Then There Were None. While I was reading, all I kept picturing was Bet Middler’s creepy smile after she’s been addled. Yet another fantastic novel from one of my very favourite writers. I would recommend Diary to anyone who wants to be knocked off their feet, the ending twist is superb.
Date published: 2009-08-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from creepy yet riveting This book is extremely twisted and creepy. The reader would expect nothing less of a Palahniuk book. Misty Wilmot was once a talented artist who painted pictures of imaginary houses. She married to her college sweetheart who caught her attention with the antique costume jewelry he once wore. She married and settled down on an island, had a and lost interest in her art. Her husband , a contractor, is in a coma after a suicide attempt. His clients are threatening lawsuits because he walled up rooms with wild and vile messages written all over their walls. Misty now works as a waitress at the hotel, hoping to make a life for her and her child while coming to terms with her husband's bizarre writings. All of a sudden her creativity returns and she starts to paint once again. Little does she know this is all a conspiracy and she is only a pawn in a much bigger picture. I had a little trouble st first getting 'into' the story but WOW once I did I could not put the book down
Date published: 2009-05-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Off the wall I expect nothing less than a novel completely off the wall from Palahniuk and this one gave me exactly that! Misty Wilmot is an artist who lost her inspiration after she had a child and got married. As a kid, she would paint pictures of houses of an imaginary place where she wished she could live. After entering art school she meets Peter, an odd character that captures Misty's attention with old costume jewelery. Years later, Misty finds herself living on an island that resembles her childhood dreams with a husband in a coma after trying to kill himself, a pre-teen daughter, a meddling mother-in-law, and a potential lawsuit on her hands. Before Peter tried to kill himself, he wrote nasty messages about the island and his family in the walls of homes he remodeled. The continuous pressure to find inspiration has Misty confused about what all these messages mean and what the island is doing to her. Writing the synopsis sounds like it should be an episode from Lost. Although, with a Palahniuk book this isn't too far from the truth. This story is twisted and messed up in every sense, but that's exactly what keeps you reading. You can't help but wonder what crazy plot twist will get thrown at you next and you certainly aren't disapointed once you put the book down. I passed an hour waiting to get in to see my doctor and get my prescription filled reading the end of this book without realizing I had been waiting for so long!
Date published: 2009-05-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Diary I really enjoy the way Palahniuk writes; his characters, his descriptions, and the way he perceives the world makes me think all the time. Diary is about a failed artist, whose husband recently tried to kill himself. After this event, she starts to keep a diary and becomes an extraordinary painter. That's just the surface of the story! You can't just flip through one of his books because there are always questions until the very end. I love that!
Date published: 2008-12-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from An Easy Intro to Palahniuk The only words I have are "wow." I've read so much talk about how Palahniuk is a genius blah blah that I was scared of ever reading anything he wrote. I hate when something falls very far from expectations. I decided to compromise. I couldn't not read him. I couldn't let all this talk go by without trying him out for myself. I didn't want to read Fight Club as I wasn't too much a fan of the movie and I didn't think it would leave the best impression. So I picked a book I hadn't heard anyone mention, one that I assumed was one of the least popular. Now, I want to devour everything he's every written and am cursing the library for their limited selection. I started reading Diary slowly, but about a quarter of the way in... I just kept going. I forgot about eating and forgot about going to the bathroom. I was consumed with wanting to slap Misty, with desperately wanting her to wake and realize that things weren't right. I wanted to shake her daughter and scream at her. Ugh, just phenomenal. It's great books like this that make you hesitate before starting another... because nothing could fill the void left by the previous novel.
Date published: 2008-01-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from What You Don't Understand, You Can Make Mean Anything Misty Marie Kleinman grew up in a trailer with her working-class mother slaving in a restaurant all day. When she was just a child she drew an island with crayons, filled with happy people with money, sparkling lights and bowls filled with candy. Many years later, she was in art school, painting the houses of her daydreams only to discover those houses existed somewhere. In a place called Waytansea Island. After getting pregnant, she dropped out of art school and retreated to the haven of her childhood daydreams. Chuck Palanuik’s Diary is a story about an artist trying to make a living after giving up on her dream. The dream of being a famous artist that the people around her refuse to let go of. Palanuik is the master of “that’s so extreme that it would never happen except that it’s so close to the truth that I could believe it,” like the story about a fellow artist who swallowed tubes of tempura paint and chased it with ipecac.
Date published: 2007-11-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from I've seen better... As A big fan of Chuck Palahniuk I considered this book a disappoitment. This book did not excite me like the others, though you could still tell by the use of words that it was wrote by Palahniuk. Pleasent, but not recommended.
Date published: 2006-06-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good, but not great. Diary is a good Palahniuk book, but its definetly not his best. I have read 5 of Chuck's books and this is by far my least favourite. It is quite interesting, however, I found this book easy to put down unlike Choke or Fight Club. The ending isn't written in stone so it can be open to interpretation like most of Chuck's other novels. Overall I probably won't read it again.
Date published: 2006-06-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a really great book! this is one of my favorites, it's suspenceful, mysterious, hard to put down and not to mention funny. It has a pretty nice twist to it at the end, but at the same time a little, tiny bit corny too. But I seriously recommend this book .
Date published: 2005-10-31

Read from the Book

June 21--The Three-Quarter MoonToday a man called from Long Beach. He left a long message on the answering machine, mumbling and shouting, talking fast and slow, swearing and threatening to call the police, to have you arrested.Today is the longest day of the year--but anymore, every day is. The weather today is increasing concern followed by full-blown dread. The man calling from Long Beach, he says his bathroom is missing. June 22 By the time you read this, you'll be older than you remember.The official name for your liver spots is hyperpigmented lentigines. The official anatomy word for a wrinkle is rhytide. Those creases in the top half of your face, the rhytides plowed across your forehead and around your eyes, this is dynamic wrinkling, also called hyperfunctional facial lines, caused by the movement of underlying muscles. Most wrinkles in the lower half of the face are static rhytides, caused by sun and gravity.Let's look in the mirror. Really look at your face. Look at your eyes, your mouth.This is what you think you know best.Your skin comes in three basic layers. What you can touch is the stratum corneum, a layer of flat, dead skin cells pushed up by the new cells under them. What you feel, that greasy feeling, is your acid mantle, the coating of oil and sweat that protects you from germs and fungus. Under that is your dermis. Below the dermis is a layer of fat. Below the fat are the muscles of your face.Maybe you remember all this from art school, from Figure Anatomy 201. But then, maybe not.When you pull up your upper lip--when you show that one top tooth, the one the museum guard broke--this is your levator labii superioris muscle at work. Your sneer muscle. Let's pretend you smell some old stale urine.Imagine your husband's just killed himself in your family car. Imagine you have to go out and sponge his piss out of the driver's seat. Pretend you still have to drive this stinking rusted junk pile to work, with everyone watching, everyone knowing, because it's the only car you have.Does any of this ring a bell?When a normal person, some normal innocent person who sure as hell deserved a lot better, when she comes home from waiting tables all day and finds her husband suffocated in the family car, his bladder leaking, and she screams, this is simply her orbicularis oris stretched to the very limit.That deep crease from each corner of your mouth to your nose is your nasolabial fold. Sometimes called your "sneer pocket." As you age, the little round cushion of fat inside your cheek, the official anatomy word is malar fat pad, it slides lower and lower until it comes to rest against your nasolabial fold--making your face a permanent sneer.This is just a little refresher course. A little step-by-step.Just a little brushing up. In case you don't recognize yourself.Now frown. This is your triangularis muscle pulling down the corners of your orbicularis oris muscle.Pretend you're a twelve-year-old girl who loved her father like crazy.You're a little preteen girl who needs her dad more than ever before. Who counted on her father always to be there. Imagine you go to bed crying every night, your eyes clamped shut so hard they swell.The "orange peel" texture of your chin, these "popply" bumps are caused by your mentalis muscle. Your "pouting" muscle. Those frown lines you see every morning, getting deeper, running from each corner of your mouth down to the edge of your chin, those are called marionette lines. The wrinkles between your eyebrows, they're glabellar furrows. The way your swollen eyelids sag down is called ptosis. Your lateral canthal rhytides, your "crow's-feet," are worse every day and you're only twelve fucking years old for God's sake.Don't pretend you don't know what this is about.This is your face.Now, smile--if you still can.This is your zygomatic major muscle. Each contraction pulls your flesh apart the way tiebacks hold open the drapes in your living room window. The way cables pull aside a theater curtain, your every smile is an opening night. A premiere. You unveiling yourself.Now, smile the way an elderly mother would when her only son kills himself. Smile and pat the hand of his wife and his preteen daughter and tell them not to worry--everything really will work out for the best. Just keep smiling and pin up your long gray hair. Go play bridge with your old lady friends. Powder your nose.That huge horrible wad of fat you see hanging under your chin, your jowls, getting bigger and jigglier every day, that's submental fat. That crinkly ring of wrinkles around your neck is a platysmal band. The whole slow slide of your face, your chin and neck is caused by gravity dragging down on your superficial musculo-aponeurotic system.Sound familiar?If you're a little confused right now, relax. Don't worry. All you need to know is this is your face. This is what you think you know best.These are the three layers of your skin.These are the three women in your life.The epidermis, the dermis, and the fat.Your wife, your daughter, and your mother.If you're reading this, welcome back to reality. This is where all that glorious, unlimited potential of your youth has led. All that unfulfilled promise. Here's what you've done with your life.Your name is Peter Wilmot.All you need to understand is you turned out to be one sorry sack of shit.June 23A woman calls from Seaview to say her linen closet is missing. Last September, her house had six bedrooms, two linen closets. She's sure of it. Now she's only got one. She comes to open her beach house for the summer. She drives out from the city with the kids and the nanny and the dog, and here they are with all their luggage, and all their towels are gone. Disappeared. Poof.Bermuda triangulated.Her voice on the answering machine, the way her voice screeches up, high, until it's an air-raid siren by the end of every sentence, you can tell she's shaking mad, but mostly she's scared. She says, "Is this some kind of joke? Please tell me somebody paid you to do this."Her voice on the machine, she says, "Please, I won't call the police. Just put it back the way it was, okay?"Behind her voice, faint in the background, you can hear a boy's voice saying, "Mom?"The woman, away from the phone, she says, "Everything's going to be fine."She says, "Now let's not panic."The weather today is an increasing trend toward denial.Her voice on the answering machine, she says, "Just call me back, okay?"She leaves her phone number. She says, "Please . . ."June 25Picture the way a little kid would draw a fish bone--the skeleton of a fish, with the skull at one end and the tail at the other. The long spine in between, it's crossed with rib bones. It's the kind of fish skeleton you'd see in the mouth of a cartoon cat.Picture this fish as an island covered with houses. Picture the kind of castle houses that a little girl living in a trailer park would draw—big stone houses, each with a forest of chimneys, each a mountain range of different rooflines, wings and towers and gables, all of them going up and up to a lightning rod at the top. Slate roofs. Fancy wrought-iron fences. Fantasy houses, lumpy with bay windows and dormers. All around them, perfect pine trees, rose gardens, and red brick sidewalks.The bourgeois daydreams of some poor white trash kid.The whole island was exactly what a kid growing up in some trailer park--say some dump like Tecumseh Lake, Georgia--would dream about. This kid would turn out all the lights in the trailer while her mom was at work. She'd lie down flat on her back, on the matted-down orange shag carpet in the living room. The carpet smelling like somebody stepped in a dog pile. The orange melted black in spots from cigarette burns. The ceiling was water-stained. She'd fold her arms across her chest, and she could picture life in this kind of place. It would be that time--late at night--when your ears reach out for any sound. When you can see more with your eyes closed than open.The fish skeleton. From the first time she held a crayon, that's what she'd draw.The whole time this kid's growing up, maybe her mom was never home. She never knew her dad, and maybe her mom worked two jobs. One at a shitty fiberglass insulation factory, one slopping food in a hospital cafeteria.Of course, this kid dreams of a place like this island, where nobody works except to keep house and pick wild blueberries and beachcomb. Embroider handkerchiefs. Arrange flowers. Where every day doesn't start with an alarm clock and end with the television. She's imagined these houses, every house, every room, the carved edge of each fireplace mantel. The pattern in every parquet floor. Imagined it out of thin air. The curve of each light fixture or faucet. Every tile, she could picture. Imagine it, late at night. Every wallpaper pattern. Every shingle and stairway and downspout, she's drawn it with pastels. Colored it with crayons. Every brick sidewalk and boxwood hedge, she's sketched it. Filled in the red and green with watercolors. She's seen it, pictured it, dreamed of it. She's wanted it so bad.Since as early as she could pick up a pencil, this was all she ever drew.Picture this fish with the skull pointed north and the tail south. The spine is crossed with sixteen rib bones, running east and west. The skull is the village square, with the ferryboat coming and going from the harbor that's the fish's mouth. The fish's eye would be the hotel, and around it, the grocery store, the hardware supply, the library and church.She painted the streets with ice in the bare trees. She painted it with birds coming back, each gathering beach grass and pine needles to build a nest. Then, with foxgloves in bloom, taller than people. Then with even taller sunflowers. Then with the leaves spiraling down and the ground under them lumpy with walnuts and chestnuts.She could see it so clear. She could picture every room, inside every house.And the more she could imagine this island, the less she liked the real world. The more she could imagine the people, the less she liked any real people. Especially not her own hippie mom, always tired and smelling like French fries and cigarette smoke.It got until Misty Kleinman gave up on ever being a happy person. Everything was ugly. Everyone was crass and just . . . wrong.Her name was Misty Kleinman.In case she's not around when you read this, she was your wife. In case you're not just playing dumb--your poor wife, she was born Misty Marie Kleinman.The poor idiot girl, when she was drawing a bonfire on the beach, she could taste ears of corn and boiled crabs. Drawing the herb garden of one house, she could smell the rosemary and thyme.Still, the better she could draw, the worse her life got--until nothing in her real world was good enough. It got until she didn't belong anywhere. It got so nobody was good enough, refined enough, real enough. Not the boys in high school. Not the other girls. Nothing was as real as her imagined world. This got until she was going to student counseling and stealing money from her mom's purse to spend on dope.So people wouldn't say she was crazy, she made her life about the art instead of the visions. Really, she just wanted the skill to record them. To make her imagined world more and more accurate. More real.And in art school, she met a boy named Peter Wilmot. She met you, a boy from a place called Waytansea Island.And the first time you see the island, coming from anyplace else in the entire world, you think you're dead. You're dead and gone to heaven, safe forever.The fish's spine is Division Avenue. The fish's ribs are streets, starting with Alder, one block south of the village square. Next is Birch Street, Cedar Street, Dogwood, Elm, Fir, Gum, Hornbeam, all of them alphabetical until Oak and Poplar Streets, just before the fish's tail. There, the south end of Division Avenue turns to gravel, and then mud, then disappears into the trees of Waytansea Point.This isn't a bad description. That's how the harbor looks when you arrive for the first time on the ferryboat from the mainland. Narrow and long, the harbor looks like the mouth of a fish, waiting to gobble you up in a story from the Bible.You can walk the length of Division Avenue, if you've got all day. Have breakfast at the Waytansea Hotel and then walk a block south, past the church on Alder Street. Past the Wilmot house, the only house on East Birch, with sixteen acres of lawn going right down to the water. Past the Burton house on East Juniper Street. The woodlots dense with oaks, each tree twisted and tall as a moss-covered lightning bolt. The sky above Division Avenue, in summer it's green with dense, shifting layers of maple and oak and elm leaves.You come here for the first time, and you think all your hopes and dreams have come true. Your life will end happily ever after.The point is, for a kid who's only ever lived in a house with wheels under it, this looks like the special safe place where she'll live, loved and cared for, forever.For a kid who used to sit on shag carpet with a box of colored pencils or crayons and draw pictures of these houses, houses she'd never seen. Just pictures of the way she imagined them with their porches and stained-glass windows. For this little girl to one day see these houses for real. These exact houses. Houses she thought she'd only ever imagined . . . Since the first time she could draw, little Misty Marie knew the wet secrets of the septic tanks behind each house. She knew the wiring inside their walls was old, cloth-wrapped for insulation and strung through china tubes and along china posts. She could draw the inside of every front door, where every island family marked the names and height of each child.Even from the mainland, from the ferry dock in Long Beach, across three miles of salt water, the island looks like paradise. The pines so dark green they look black, the waves breaking against the brown rocks, it's like everything she could ever want. Protected. Quiet and alone.Nowadays, this is how the island looks to a lot of people. A lot of rich strangers.From the Hardcover edition.

Bookclub Guide

US1. The opening pages of the novel present a bewildering situation for the reader with their use of the narrating voice. Who is “you”? How soon do we learn who is speaking (or writing), and who is being spoken to? What is the effect of this confusion, and why might Palahniuk have chosen to begin this way? What are the characteristics of Misty’s diary style?2. Misty grew up in a trailer park where “she never knew her dad, and maybe her mom worked two jobs. One at a shitty fiberglass insulation factory, one slopping food in a hospital cafeteria. Of course, this kid dreams of a place like this island, where nobody works except to keep house and pick wild blueberries and beachcomb” [p. 9]. Why does she poke fun at her own background and her dreams of a perfect place like the island?3. As she works in the Wood and Gold Dining Room, Misty calls herself “queen of the slaves” [p. 17] and is disgusted by the rich summer people who have destroyed the island. When she sees a message written on the underside of table six—“Don’t let them trick you again” [p. 22]—she doesn’t understand what it means. How do the book’s early chapters create suspense, and how do they create a sense of empathy for Misty?4. What details contribute to the reader’s perception of Peter’s mother? Why is she both laughable and sinister?5. Misty tells herself after marrying Peter, “It wasn’t a career as an artist that she wanted. What she really wanted, all along, was the house, the family, the peace” [p. 13]. Does the novel suggest that Misty has been sucked into a role of feminine domesticity at the expense of her desire to be an artist? Or does it suggest that there was never any other destiny available to Misty than to be the chosen vehicle for the island’s salvation?6. Diary is full of scrawled messages and urgent attempts to communicate. Some are left by Peter Wilmot, some by Maura Kincaid, and some by Constance Burton. Why are these messages so difficult to understand? Why did Peter leave his messages in sealed rooms? Does Misty lack the knowledge essential to interpreting them? How does she figure out what is going on, and how does her understanding influence her actions?7. How has Peter described Misty’s body? How does Misty describe her own body? Why is her physicality important to the story, and why does Palahniuk use such unflinching details about bodies and their functions? What do these details contribute to the atmosphere of the novel?8. Why does Misty allow her drinking habit to be replaced by the little green pills, even when they give her terrible headaches? How might she have resisted the doctor and her mother-in-law?9. With Misty’s descriptions of the work that was considered cool in art school, is Palahniuk delivering a critique of contemporary ideas about edgy, ironic art [pp. 75–76, 79–80]? Is he suggesting that art like Misty’s, which is a direct expression of her own desire, is of greater value? Or is he also criticizing the art of the idealized landscape and the perfect world–“the wish list of a white trash girl; big houses, church weddings, picnics on the beach”—as being trite?10. Who is staging the “reality” that Misty is experiencing? What is being staged, and what is she imagining? Is there any way to explain the events that take place in this story? Is the world of the novel meant to comment on reality? If so, how?11. Does Misty love Peter? How hurt is she by what she has found out about his true feelings for her and by the fact that he was simply using her to save the island? How interesting is it that Peter is gay and has been pretending to be straight in order to do his parents’ bidding?12. Is Misty, in the end, heroic in her attempts to stop the violence on the island and save her daughter? Or is she too passive, allowing herself simply to be used by Peter’s parents? To what degree is Peter also a disposable element in his parents’ plot?13. Peter’s father Harrow tells Misty how she fits into the island legend: “She’s doomed to fame. Cursed with talent. Life after life. She’s been Giotto di Bondone, then Michelangelo, then Jan Vermeer. . . . She has always been an artist. She will always be an artist” [p. 242]. What do the events related on pages 242–45 reveal about Misty’s identity, and does Misty herself accept these statements?14. On page 257 we’re told that Tabbi is “hugging the ashes of Grace and Harrow.” Why do Peter’s parents die in the fire? Are they really dead?15. How does Misty react when she learns of Tabitha’s role in the hotel fire? How surprising are the final few pages of the novel, and which revelations are most shocking?16. How does Misty hope to change the future by sending her diary to Chuck Palahniuk [p. 261]?17. A reviewer for Newsday wrote, “Palahniuk is one of the freshest, most intriguing voices to appear in a long time.” Which aspects of his style or voice contribute to this sense of his uniqueness?18. If you have read any of Chuck Palahniuk’s previous novels, how does Diary compare to them? What concerns, obsessions, or themes of the author are continued or revisited here?

Editorial Reviews

“Some of his best work is here. . . . When it’s on, it’s on, and it could be Palahniuk’s most ambitious novel to date, certainly the most ambitious since Fight Club.” –The Washington Post Book World“Madly inventive. . . . It simply, exuberantly, escapes literary categorization.” —Los Angeles Times"Palahniuk's pacing is impeccable. . . . He draws from a strange palette of worldly nihilism and supernatural conspiracy to paint a compelling portrait of the artist as an unwitting conduit of evil." --The Boston Globe“Palahniuk is a bracingly toxic purveyor of dread and mounting horror. He makes nihilism fun.” –Vanity Fair“To read a Chuck Palahniuk novel means being shocked, enlightened, disturbed, buoyed, horrified, delighted and perplexed–sometimes on a single page.” —Pittsburgh Tribune Review“Palahniuk delightfully pushes Diary into the ludicrous, but his restless intelligence coheres plotwise, and as always he makes his ideas move. . . . The pleasure here resides in his awesome ability to transform gleeful absurdities into a well-sculpted riddle.” –The Village Voice“This is a book you won’t soon forget.” —Hartford Courant“Diary is far more inspired and philosophical than one would expect even from a top-drawer horror novel.” —Seattle Times-Post Intelligencer"Palahniuk has never sounded more like a latter-day Kurt Vonnegut than he does here . . . Life and art may not be that unfair, on the evidence of watching Palahniuk hitting his stride." --The New York Times“The closest thing to a plain old mystery Palahniuk has ever written. . . . Stunning, funky stuff.” –Entertainment Weekly“Daring. . . . Palahniuk’s inspiration comes from a love of the vernacular of subcultures, a black but not cynical sense of humor, and a fondness for unusual plot twists. . . . Ominous, shocking.” –Chicago Sun-Times“Intriguing. . . . Must reading for art lovers and those who love a good puzzle.” –Baltimore Sun“Palahniuk continues to redefine ‘scary’ for his readers. Recalling such classic horror tales as Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery, Diary’s dark side reveals itself slowly, quietly. . . . Unraveling the mystery that [Misty’s] life has become is as eye-opening for us as it is for her.” –Chicago Tribune“In his inimitable style, Palahniuk has forged another chilling tale out of our deepest fears and given readers a Rosemary’s Baby for the new millennium. . . . Diary is Palahniuk at his harrowing best.” –BookPage “An inventive page-turner that fuses eccentric elements of suspense with supernatural overtones to create a modern symphony of psychological horror. . . . A refreshing shot of adrenaline to the intellect.” –Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel“Palahniuk [is] a master storyteller. The dizzying twists and turns to this tale keep you smirking and shaking your head, guessing and thinking, wondering how he’ll make sense out of the next kink in the plot.” –Tampa Tribune “Raw and wry. . . . Suffering for one’s art has never been this funny.” –Maxim “Palahniuk at his angsty best.” –Details