January 17, 2005 10:45 PM   Subscribe

Following up on our discussion of a classic Salinger short story, I find myself surprised - nay, shocked - that nobody has posted a link to the classic short story "Guts" by Chuck Palahniuk.
posted by GriffX (27 comments total)
I've read the short story "Guts," and I read it from a link posted here, though I don't remember from which discussion it was attached...
posted by Chasuk at 11:01 PM on January 17, 2005

I remember reading it from a Metafilter link, too, though I can't find it. It was just an offhand comment along the lines of "hey, check out this gross story that makes people faint."

I tried a few of his books along with this story, but I concluded that his writing just rubs me the wrong way. It's too gimmicky.
posted by Marit at 11:17 PM on January 17, 2005

If you like "Guts," you'll love the Valerie Lakey part of John Edwards' Four Trials .

Oh, wait. That really happened.
posted by Guy Smiley at 11:17 PM on January 17, 2005

That was the perfect accompaniment to my late night snack.
posted by iamck at 11:25 PM on January 17, 2005

I really suggest tracking down an mp3 of him reading "Guts" at a reading. I didn't feel like passing out myself though... kalamari indeed.
posted by bobo123 at 11:26 PM on January 17, 2005

It's easier to (ahem) digest if you imagine Edward Norton reading it out loud to you.
posted by Dean Keaton at 12:40 AM on January 18, 2005

.:Warning this comment is horridly off-topic:.

I'd like to take this chance to mention that Chuck is a super cool guy. A year ago I had a question about a character in Choke, so I wrote him a letter. Well something like 6 months later I answer my door and there's some guy from UPS standing there with a package from a "C Palahniuk". Not only did he answer my question he sent me a box full of presents, including a necklace, a virgin mary night, chocolates, and a letter answering my question.

Thanks Chuck. (even if the odds that me reads MeFi are low...)
posted by tempest2i at 1:12 AM on January 18, 2005

the mp3 of him reading the story has been around for some time (the Choke audiobook, read by the author, is on P2P networks, too). it is quite good, not as shocking as it's supposed to be -- pass out? come on...
but Palahniuk's good.

nitpick: more than a few friends of mine, most of them gay, who mostly like his books, didn't really appreciate him staying in the closet for so long (me, I don't really care one way or the other)
posted by matteo at 4:41 AM on January 18, 2005

I read it when it first was published in Playboy. Just the mention of it made my sphincter tighten, perhaps that has something to do with why it hasn't been brought back up. Until now. Thanks.

I highly recommend Survivor to anyone who might not have read it yet. An amazing book, everytime I've read it.

nitpick response: not being gay I suppose my opinion means naught but I would think that gay men more than anyone else would be able to understand or empathize with any reasons he might have had for choosing his place and time for his sexual presence to be known. Sort of a Fight Club response but, 'you are not your sexual preference'.
posted by geekyguy at 5:15 AM on January 18, 2005

Hey, I didn't know Palahniuk was gay! When did he come out?
posted by ruddhist at 5:18 AM on January 18, 2005

Boing Boing has a link to chuck reading it, the third one still works. They also mention the fainting/vomiting, it's suggested that it's probably just fans.
posted by nTeleKy at 7:34 AM on January 18, 2005

Oh my God, that was extremely disturbing. What connection this has with the Salinger discussion eludes me, but it is an interesting story, and I am having trouble getting focused back on my work. Some things just do not need to be described in such detail.
posted by brheavy at 7:38 AM on January 18, 2005

I always considered myself good at being twisted, but Chuck's the fucking master. The man wrote a comedy about SIDS, for God's sake.

I liked this story, if only because you can see what's coming, but you still read on anyway. It's certainly lacking in his usual "art." But. It. Has. Plenty. Of. His. Short. Sentence. Fragments.
posted by fungible at 7:44 AM on January 18, 2005

Palahniuk's gay?

Can't say I'm really suprised.
posted by delmoi at 7:45 AM on January 18, 2005

I just read Survivor recently, and I was really impressed with one chapter

*slight spoiler*

*slight spoiler*

where he's on a plane with a gun and says something to the effect of "We're at 30,000 feet above the earth at the pinnacle of our civilization, and we're going to eat a proper meal. Anyone who eats without a napkin on their lap will be shot in the head. Anyone who holds a glass of red wine by the stem or white wine by the bowl will be shot in the head. Anyone who eats before everyone else has been served will be shot in the head....

good stuff
posted by craven_morhead at 8:02 AM on January 18, 2005

By the way. Don't you think that if palahunik has come out after he wrote "Fight Club" he would have been defined as a "gay" author? Fight Club would have been a book by an "angsty gay author" and so on.
posted by delmoi at 8:05 AM on January 18, 2005

Chuck came out in the midst of a snit with a journalist. He thought she was going to out him, and so he outed himself and called her nasty names. And then his fanbase shrugged instead of (as he seemed to fear) freaking out, and the journalist pointed out that she wasn't planning to do any such thing, and he apologized for being a git, and then everybody went out for ice cream while Deleware smouldered.

Or something like that.
posted by cortex at 8:06 AM on January 18, 2005

Cortex: That is so cool.
posted by NickDouglas at 8:12 AM on January 18, 2005

Wonder if Chuck's parents still live in the same house with the same pool... perhaps this is where the fainting came in.
posted by manicroom at 8:53 AM on January 18, 2005

GriffX, a link to Guts was most definitely found on MeFi in the past, as I was exposed to it in a thread discussion sometime around May 2004 when it was linked. I think the gist of thread was about how stories are much more vivid when the actual author reads aloud, and how some people threw-up at the live readings of Guts. I think the thread was about tapeworms...Yep:

Here is the original mention of Guts!

tempest2i, Chuck is well known to treat his queries exactly as yours, and has sent 'care packages' to many, many others. In teh past year, I've seen photo-essays online from 3 different kids who have documented the goodies that Chuck has sent their way. He's well known to be very gregarious and reciprocating with his mail.
posted by naxosaxur at 9:19 AM on January 18, 2005

Is the story actually true?
posted by Mid at 9:36 AM on January 18, 2005

Guess not.
posted by Mid at 9:41 AM on January 18, 2005

Err, as to the outing, Chuck was talking about his wife at a reading I attended. So maybe he was joking with the reporter. Or maybe us. Oh well.

I loved the first two Palahniuk books I read-- Fight Club & Survivor-- but after that, every other sounded exactly the same, like a retread.

I don't know if I will red another book by him because it seems like he enjoys writing the same thing over and over, and that he's more concerned with doing shock ('Guts' is a pretty awful story) than, well, doing something that has some guts.
posted by xmutex at 10:40 AM on January 18, 2005

At a reading I attended last year, Chuck said all the stories in 'Guts' were true -- just none of them happened to him.
posted by rough at 11:39 AM on January 18, 2005

I have a friend who knows Palahniuk and also confirms that he is a great guy...

Still, I wonder how people are surprised he's gay. I mean reading Fight Club I had no idea about him personally and I remember thinking - whoa, this guy is queerer than a football bat. I mean there's some pretty heavy homoerotic themes there, not to mention lots of AIDS metaphors in his other work, like Survivor and Invisible Monsters.

I don't know whether it's better to read his work with that in mind or not, but it seems obvious and unavoidable to me.
posted by Heminator at 3:43 PM on January 18, 2005

Palahniuk's gay?? Next you'll be telling me Greg Luganis is gay.
posted by TiredStarling at 12:04 AM on January 19, 2005

"queerer than a football bat"

Metafilter expands my vocabulary along a unique axis, and for that I am thankful.
posted by cortex at 8:16 PM on January 19, 2005

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