As some of you may know, I was able to get my hands on a prereleased copy of Pygmy, Palahniuks new novel that comes out May 15. The book is decent. Its about an operative from North Korea, who comes over on a program and stays with a white family. The kid is probably like 16 or so, and they never really say what country he is from, but its probably N Korea.
The operative narrates the whole book like its his journal, so the whole novel is from his point of view, and therefore written with a short, choppy, grammatically uncorrect syntax. Amazingly, the kid has the english vocabulary of an english major, but can not differentiate between 'he says' and he said'.
Palahniuk obviously wrote this book incredibily quickly. Unlike the profound amount of background research evident in his previous novels, it seems as if he did barely any background research for this novel. I can't help but feel like Palahniuk doesn't know much and didn't bother to learn much about North Korea (or whatever asian communist country this operative is from) and how an immigrant would misuse the english language.
But what the book lacks in realness, it makes up for in all other aspects. The ideas and images provoked, the sharp, laugh out loud critiscism of Western culture and religion, and the shock value of certain scenes are spot on.
If you've never read Palahniuk, I would suggest you do so immediately. Pick up a copy of Fight Club, Haunted, or Rant, then go read Pygmy.
If you've read a bunch of Palahniuk books before, Pygmy will not be the one that tops your favorite, but its 100% worth the read.