Chuck Palahniuk’s “victims of his gore-filled prose”

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On June 11, Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club and Choke, published Invisible Monsters Remix, a director’s cut of the novel in which “the reader is made to jump back and forth to different chapters rather than read in a linear way,” which “constantly reminds people that it’s a physical book,” as “it’s a story that only a paper book can pull off.”

In this interview, he talks about how he seeks a physical response to his fiction, and usually succeeds, as he “keeps “an assiduous count of his ‘fainters'” at readings, where “foyers have been filled with stretchers carrying victims of his gore-filled prose.”

“There is a lot of laughter in most of my stories that make people faint. Making them laugh is a way of breaking the tension. You are confronting people to the point where they are about to remove themselves but then you make them laugh and they remain, and then you confront them again… You keep rewarding and punishing them.”


Charley Locke reports on education technology and reform. You can find her journalism on EdSurge, her tweets @charley_locke, and her drawings on her parents’ fridge. You can also sometimes spot Charley imperiously making book recommendations while managing the McSweeney’s Pop-Up Shops. More from this author →