Guts by Chuck Palahniuk

Some days it just doesn’t feel right if you do not read a violently graphic, gory, disturbing story on jacking off disasters. Yeah, today just happened to be one of those days.

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Let’s buy carrots & make a nightmare Source: Goodreads.com

It is lunchtime at work and I just finished reading Guts by Chuck Palahniuk. Perfect lunch time reading material this is. I recommend it to all, especially those who faint or throw up even at the mention of blood and gross. It is definitely for the faint-hearted.

It is a short story from Haunted, a novel comprising of connected short stories. We read about 3 ordinary adolescent youths and their jerking off experiences. There are blood piss, shit, sperm, galore. There are also moments that make your guts (zero puns intended) churn or make you laugh out loud.

For example, sample this:

“He goes out to buy a carrot and some petroleum jelly. To conduct a little private research. Then he pictures how it’s going to look at the supermarket checkout counter, the lonely carrot and petroleum jelly rolling down the conveyer belt toward the grocery store cashier. All the shoppers waiting in line, watching. Everyone seeing the big evening he has planned.

So my friend, he buys milk and eggs and sugar and a carrot, all the ingredients for a carrot cake. And Vaseline. “

Did I laugh? Oh yes. 5 minutes later it started to hurt almost physically. There are increasingly horrifying masturbatory accidents, extreme anatomical details, down to the food stuff that’s yet to be digested in your stomach. “…corn, peanuts, round green peas”. Sorry to have painted that picture for you.

And what’s best (and worst) about this story is the sense of ordinariness around it. Its horror is very real, very possible, very personal, very…everyday. Nothing prepares you for it.

The story makes you imagine. I’m not kidding when I say my mind immediately conjured up 6 different ways a little harmless jerking off can go wrong, all of them involving much gore that will make the author proud if I am ever to write a piece on it.

Chuck Palahniuk is a very graphic storyteller. His definition of enjoyment is putting his characters & reader through his special brand of hell. With complete disregard for what is proper he creates these perfect blends of horror and humour. The comic touches leave you giggling while the profanity & the shock factor knock the wind out of you. He is not a sadist. He just likes to watch people faint as he reads about innards being sucked out by a vacuum pump & chewed on while you’re served a plate of calamari. It is like a sucker punch to the…umm…gut?

Is this the cautionary jacking off tale the ‘Masturbation is sin’ brigade wanted? Did they also want it written as a 3rd degree torture manual? Also should be this piece be filed under non-fiction?

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4 Comments

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  1. This story is gut-wrenching (yup, had to), and made me pretty sick. So, in that regard, a total success. Thanks for sharing the wonderful words! If you’re ever interested in some awesome book reviews and literary musings, be sure to follow! Thanks!

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  2. i. Gods, Demons and Others by R.K Narayan
    ii. I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb
    iii. Agatha Christie Miss Marple Omnibus Part 2
    iv. Stories, articles, news reports on the Holocaust on the internet (can you link me to some good research on this topic? Thanks!)

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