Recommended Read - Stranger Than Fiction
I'm a huge Palahniuk fan. Fight Club's a classic of the 90's, and Diary might just be the best book of the 00's. His ability to craft stories equal parts true to life and complete absurdity is second to none, and I really think he'll be considered one of the definitive writers of our age. And, yet, for some reason, I've stayed away from most of his non-fiction stuff. Turns out I made a big mistake. Stranger Than Fiction collects several essays, interviews, and non-fiction ramblings that Chuck had published between books, a lot of which seems to have come from the research he did for his books. There's a section about the Olympic Wrestling Tryouts that obviously was in part the inspiration for Fight Club, another about Castle Building that plays an important part in Choke, and so on. The personal remembrances that make up the last 1/5th of the book are almost all fixated on how Fight Club has changed (in some cases ruined) his life, and how the series of traumatic events that surrounded it colored the event that most of us writers dream of all of our lives.
The sheer dexterity of his prose is mind-blowing. Say what you will about his topics and narrative devices, the son of a bitch crafts a sentence like no one else on Earth. His voice rings through in every piece (even some of the more drab pieces) and it makes what for the most part would be dry New Yorker style articles ring with a relatability that's unmatched.
Just as Fight Club the book will be taught in late 20th Century Lit classes for years to come, and Fight Club the movie will be taught in Film Theory classes, Stranger Than Fiction should be taught in Journalism classes, because it's some of the most engaging, stylish, and thought provoking non-fiction I've ever read.
Link below takes you to Amazon to buy the book. Amazon.com: Stranger Than Fiction : True Stories: Books: Chuck Palahniuk