Book Review: Consider This

This will be the only Chuck Palahniuk book I’m reviewing for this website because I am not built for Chuck Palahnuik’s fiction.

I’ve tried. The writing is stellar, but the content is… a lot.

I bought Consider This at The Harvard Bookstore in Boston when I was there in April. (I also picked up Kurt Vonnegut’s book on writing, but I haven’t read it yet.) This is one of my favorite subgenres – writers who write books on writing. For a writer, this stuff is golden. (Bird by Bird is one of my favorites.)

Just as I’d hoped, Chuck Palahniuk weaves together essential advice for writers, things such as how to establish your authority on a topic, how to build tension, where and how to use dialogue (and when not to use dialogue), inserting humor to release tension, and how to create both a vertical and horizontal story.

I dog-eared so many pages that I’ll definitely need to re-read this book again next year. It was so damn good.

Granted, this is a Chuck Palahniuk memoir, so it comes with an R-rating. Actually, it’s probably NC-17 because I blushed a number of times. But that’s his wheelhouse. Underbelly stuff. Not my world, but hey – I’ll take writing advice from a successful writer any day of the week. (He’s the author of Fight Club, if that helps.)

I don’t recommend this book for anyone who’s not a serious fiction writer. Seriously, it’s not for you. BUT, if you happen to dabble in that literary world and aren’t put off by some illicit stuff, read Consider This and take notes. It’s worth it.

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