Choosing a Chuck Palahniuk Book: A Guide to the Books by the Author of Fight Club

Should you read Chuck Palaniuk books? Maybe. Read the statements below to determine whether or not his books are for you.

You should read Chuck Palahniuk if:
You loved the movie Fight Club
You like darkly comedic writing
You like being disturbed (or are not easily disturbed)
You enjoy suspense, surprises, and plot twists
You enjoy authors who have a very specific and unique style
You enjoy provocative writing
You like black satire
You are not easily offended/unsettled

If you agreed with any of these statements, read on!

So which Palahniuk book should you read?
You should read Fight Club if:
You have not watched the movie yet, but are planning to watch it
You are not familiar with Pahalniuk except for the movie and would like a good starting point
(If you have already watched the movie, you may enjoy reading the book; then again, this is one case where they really went from novel to film seamlessly, from the perfect casting to the dead-on setting, lighting, and color scheme. The book was followed very carefully and was executed wonderfully; little was changed except the ending. So it may be redundant to read the book if you have watched the movie, like many of its viewers, repeatedly. Still, maybe you should pick it up simply to read the ending, for contrasting purposes).

You should read Choke if:
You are not bothered by blatant sexual imagery
You have ever worked at a colonial-era or otherwise era -themed park
You have ever struggled with addiction
This first paragraph from an review intrigues you: “Victor Mancini is a ruthless con artist. Victor Mancini is a med-school dropout who’s taken a job playing an Irish indentured servant in a colonial-era theme park in order to help care for his Alzheimer’s-afflicted mother. Victor Mancini is a sex addict. Victor Mancini is a direct descendant of Jesus Christ. All of these statements about the protagonist of Choke are more or less true. Welcome, once again, to the world of Chuck Palahniuk.” (;=books)

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You should read Invisible Monsters if:
You are one of the beautiful people
You hate the beautiful people
You enjoy campiness
You love drag queens
You are interested in/contemptful of the fashion world
You are okay with books not going in chronological order the whole way through
(**Careful – this next one is a little bit of a spoiler**)
You like happy endings
(Invisible Monsters is my personal favorite and I highly recommend it)

You should read Survivor if:
You are intrigued by cult-like religions
You are not easily offended in terms of religion
You don’t mind a lot of death
You distrust the media and famous people, and hate marketing and the commercialization of America
You want to know handy household hints for getting stains out, eating lobster, etc.
You like protagonists who manage to simultaneously be unsavory and amiable; revolting and sympathy-inducing

You should read Lullaby if:
You enjoy thriller/horror books
You like bizarre road trip novels
You are interested in Wiccans and hippies
You enjoy the macabre and are not easily scared/unsettled (or do not mind being so)
You like a bit of a love story weaved in with your horror
You are interested/involved in real estate

You should read Stranger than Fiction: True Stories if:
You want to get to know the man behind the books, the inspirations for novels such as fight clubs, and in general, read some crazy, weird, outrageous, bizarre stories that actually happened

I left two books off this list, Diary and Haunted. Haunted I never finished, and so I don’t feel as though I could accurately represent it (although I will say that I started it with intent to finish, and found myself too disgusted to go on. If you are not easily repulsed, however, you may like it quite a bit. It consists of a series of small, unrelated stories within the context of a larger plot). Diary, on the other hand, I have read, but so far it is my least favorite book by Palahniuk (it is the only one besides Fight Club that I have not re-read at least once – and Fight Club I did not re-read because I have seen the movie so many times it seemed superfluous). I didn’t want to include it on this list because I don’t think it is one of his best works. It’s still worth reading, though, if you have read everything else on the list.

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