Book Review: Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk

  Most known for his cult classic, Fight Club, author Chuck Palahniuk delivers a thrilling ride with this novel, Survivor. Recommended to me by a writer friend, I immediately ordered it from the library in an audiobook.


Why I read this book:


Since I am fascinated by cults, I could hardly wait to delve into this novel telling the story of the lone survivor of a religious suicide cult. I am also penning a series of novels from my firsthand experience of being reared in a religious cult. Chuck’s book was required reading for my research purposes, of course.


What I most enjoyed:


The undertones of ridicule towards extremist religious beliefs and practices. The narrator mocks numerous biblical passages, which might offend hardcore Christians. What most readers may not understand is that fundamentalist leaders do damage their followers by interpreting the Bible to suit their agendas, as Chuck demonstrates in Survivor.


The story is told in first person, which allows the reader to get inside the skull of Tender Branson. It is never a comfortable vantage point.


The audio version brought the story to life for me. I could only listen to about one hour at a time because the story evoked too many flashbacks of my own childhood.


Who should read this book: If you are not a fan of satirical psychological thrillers, this may not be the book for you. Some may find this book a bit too abrasive and denigrating towards religion. I found it immensely entertaining. I would classify it as a thriller for thinkers. Be prepared to consider the issues presented and interpret them as you will.