Thursday, May 5, 2011

Just for the Record, The Weather Today is Frazzled

I have just finished listening to probably one of the wierdest books I've 'read' yet (not including that horrible Naked Lunch).  It was called Diary and was written by Chuck Palahniuk.  I read Choke a little while ago and really enjoyed it, but it certainly didn't prepare me for this dark little satire.

At first, I wasn't sure where it was going, and I went back to the beginning a couple of times.  This was an audio and I wasn't keen on the narrator (Martha Plimpton) so it didn't quite grab my attention until half way through the novel.  It's rather twisted and disturbing with plenty of clues throughout to give you an idea where the plot is heading, but I didn't really pick up on many of them until nearly the end!

Basically it's about an island legend that is re-enacted every third generation.  It's a story about re-incarnation, torture and ritual sacrifice, and should really be my cup of tea but I didn't like the way it was written.  Misty, the protagonist, writes the novel as a diary.  It's a 'coma diary'. Misty's husband is in the hospital in a coma after what appears to be a failed suicide attempt. Misty's mother-in-law encourages her to keep a diary so that when he awakes he can catch up on the time that he has missed.  But it doesn't really read like a diary, and Misty calls herself Misty and her husband Peter 'Peter' with the occasional  reference of being 'your wife' or 'you' which kind of brings you back to the fact that it is a diary.  There is another diary is the story which is owned by Misty's mother-inlaw who claims to know what Misty is thinking or how she is feeling because it is in the diary.  The reason for this becomes apparent towards the end of the novel. 

As in Choke, there was a repeated phrase throughout.  This one being 'Just for the record' or 'Just for the record the weather today is.......' with the weather being Misty's current mood.  It was quite a claustrophobic novel, and the vibe was very much The Stepford Wives.  I think that if I had read the actual book instead of listening to it I may have enjoyed it more than I did.

My next read?  Something light and turn of the century is beckoning - Howard's End by E M Forster :)

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