Survivor

Author: Chuck Palahniuk
Reviewer's age: Grade 12

Survivor tells the story of Tender Branson, a lowly household servant who turns into a religious media superstar. As the book begins, Tender starts to recite his life story into the black box of an airplane he has hijacked. He knows he's going to crash and die, and he just wants to set the record straight. Tender tells the story of his fake suicide hotline ("Kill yourself"). He tells about his membership in the Creedish Death Cult and how his position as the last surviving member lands him in the spotlight. He talks about all the makeovers, drugs, and workouts that turn him from an awkward little man into a pumped, plastic superstar. And he reveals how his life as a hollow marketing tool finally turns sour.

Survivor is a wry critique of materialism and fame. Not only are Tender's remarks funny; they ring surprisingly true.This novel sounds more like a stand-up comic's routine than a traditional novel. Consequently, it's a very easy read (not to mention really fun to read too). If you've seen the movie Fight Club (which was also written by Palahniuk), you can easily determine whether you'll like Survivor. If you hated Fight Club, chances are you won't like Survivor. On the other hand, if you liked Fight Club, you'll probably like Survivor.