Author: Chuck Palahniuk
Page Count: 297
I was already expecting good things from this one before I went in because I’ve read and enjoyed Palahniuk before. There’s just something about his unorthodox approach to storytelling that appeals to me, probably because I like things that feel new and different.
Here, we’re dealing with the final living survivor of a crazed death cult who hijacks a plane to commit suicide in the most epic way possible. After ensuring that everyone was safely off the plane, he got the pilot to fly him up and then leave him on autopilot before jumping out with a parachute. He had until the plane ran out of fuel to tell his story to the onboard black box.
That’s why the pages run backwards, a neat little gimmick that works well here because we’re counting down until the plane runs out of fuel. Don’t go thinking that the majority of the book is going to take place on the plane though, because after the introduction, it doesn’t really come up again until the end.
Most of the time, we’re just following along as the protagonist tells the story of his life, which includes him sort of accidentally becoming a religious icon. It was never his plan, he just kept following the scripts he was being given until it all got a bit out of hand.
It’s Palahniuk and so it’s dark and angsty, but it’s also moving and occasionally philosophical. It was pretty much just what I needed when I picked it up, and I flew through it in just a couple of days even though I was just enjoying the ride and not too concerned with getting to the destination. Fun stuff.