Chuck Palahniuk


In every era of Hollywood, one or two stars outshine the rest. And when these über-stars begin to age, it usually goes one way or another: They grow old gracefully and their star-power increases with each passing year; or their body and features erode at an alarming rate, and their sparkle begins to dim. In Chuck Palahniuk’s Tell-All, Katherine Kenton is her era’s big star, snaring the most memorable roles with the most glamorous leading men. Cue the ambitious suitors, numerous ex-husbands and one willing assistant who does a little more than she initially lets on, and what you have is typical Palahniuk—with sex, violence, anxiety, dark humor and an unexpected ending. Palahniuk is at his best when he exploits what drives society with his cutting social commentary. That’s definitely the case with Tell-All. Using the early 20th-century setting (judging by the protagonist’s co-stars), he mocks our celebrity obsession and reduces it to what it truly is—ridiculous. Palahniuk has used the same template for pretty much every one of his 11 novels, from Fight Club to Snuff. It still works here, but one wonders when the schtick might run its course.