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View Full Version : Guts - Chuck Palahniuk (not for the squeamish)


The Joker
10-23-2009, 04:19 AM
From the writer of 'Fight Club', this is the finest short story I've ever read.

Some will find it hilarious, others will find it disgusting. Very few will find it dull.

Palahniuk eventually had to stop reading it at public appearances because too many people were passing out.

What's more, the events in the story are based on true stories that Palahniuk heard while attending various groups to research novels.

Be warned, it's not for the squeamish.

Enjoy. :wiggle:

------------------------------------

Inhale.

Take in as much air as you can.

This story should last about as long as you can hold your breath, and then just a little bit longer. So listen as fast as you can.

A friend of mine, when he was thirteen years old he heard about "pegging." This is when a guy gets banged up the butt with a dildo. Stimulate the prostate gland hard enough, and the rumor is you can have explosive hands-free orgasms. At that age, this friend's a little sex maniac. He's always jonesing for a better way to get his rocks off. 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 checkstand, 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.

Like he's going home to stick a carrot cake up his butt.

At home, he whittles the carrot into a blunt tool. He slathers it with grease and grinds his ass down on it. Then, nothing. No orgasm. Nothing happens except it hurts.

Then, this kid, his mom yells it's suppertime. She says to come down, right now.

He works the carrot out and stashes the slippery, filthy thing in the dirty clothes under his bed.

After dinner, he goes to find the carrot and it's gone. All his dirty clothes, while he ate dinner, his mom grabbed them all to do laundry. No way could she not find the carrot, carefully shaped with a paring knife from her kitchen, still shiny with lube and stinky.

This friend of mine, he waits months under a black cloud, waiting for his folks to confront him. And they never do. Ever. Even now he's grown up, that invisible carrot hangs over every Christmas dinner, every birthday party. Every Easter egg hunt with his kids, his parents' grandkids, that ghost carrot is hovering over all of them.

That something too awful to name.

People in France have a phrase: "Spirit of the Stairway." In French: Esprit de l'escalier. It means that moment when you find the answer, but it's too late. Say you're at a party and someone insults you. You have to say something. So under pressure, with everybody watching, you say something lame. But the moment you leave the party…

As you start down the stairway, then -- magic. You come up with the perfect thing you should've said. The perfect crippling put-down.

That's the Spirit of the Stairway.

The trouble is even the French don't have a phrase for the stupid things you actually do say under pressure. Those stupid, desperate things you actually think or do.

Some deeds are too low to even get a name. Too low to even get talked about.

Looking back, kid-psych experts, school counselors now say that most of the last peak in teen suicide was kids trying to choke while they beat off. Their folks would find them, a towel twisted around the kid's neck, the towel tied to the rod in their bedroom closet, the kid dead. Dead sperm everywhere. Of course the folks cleaned up. They put some pants on their kid. They made it look… better. Intentional at least. The regular kind of sad, teen suicide.

Another friend of mine, a kid from school, his older brother in the Navy said how guys in the Middle East jack off different than we do here. This brother was stationed in some camel country where the public market sells what could be fancy letter openers. Each fancy tool is just a thin rod of polished brass or silver, maybe as long as your hand, with a big tip at one end, either a big metal ball or the kind of fancy carved handle you'd see on a sword. This Navy brother says how Arab guys get their dick hard and then insert this metal rod inside the whole length of their boner. They jack off with the rod inside, and it makes getting off so much better. More intense.

It's this big brother who travels around the world, sending back French phrases. Russian phrases. Helpful jack-off tips.

After this, the little brother, one day he doesn't show up at school. That night, he calls to ask if I'll pick up his homework for the next couple weeks. Because he's in the hospital.

He's got to share a room with old people getting their guts worked on. He says how they all have to share the same television. All he's got for privacy is a curtain. His folks don't come and visit. On the phone, he says how right now his folks could just kill his big brother in the Navy.

On the phone, the kid says how -- the day before -- he was just a little stoned. At home in his bedroom, he was flopped on the bed. He was lighting a candle and flipping through some old porno magazines, getting ready to beat off. This is after he's heard from his Navy brother. That helpful hint about how Arabs beat off. The kid looks around for something that might do the job. A ball-point pen's too big. A pencil's too big and rough. But dripped down the side of the candle, there's a thin, smooth ridge of wax that just might work. With just the tip of one finger, this kid snaps the long ridge of wax off the candle. He rolls it smooth between the palms of his hands. Long and smooth and thin.

Stoned and horny, he slips it down inside, deeper and deeper into the piss slit of his boner. With a good hank of the wax still poking out the top, he gets to work.

Even now, he says those Arab guys are pretty damn smart. They've totally re-invented jacking off. Flat on his back in bed, things are getting so good, this kid can't keep track of the wax. He's one good squeeze from shooting his wad when the wax isn't sticking out anymore.

The thin wax rod, it's slipped inside. All the way inside. So deep inside he can't even feel the lump of it inside his piss tube.

From downstairs, his mom shouts it's suppertime. She says to come down, right now. This wax kid and the carrot kid are different people, but we all live pretty much the same life.

It's after dinner when the kid's guts start to hurt. It's wax so he figured it would just melt inside him and he'd pee it out. Now his back hurts. His kidneys. He can't stand straight.

This kid talking on the phone from his hospital bed, in the background you can hear bells ding, people screaming. Game shows.

The X-rays show the truth, something long and thin, bent double inside his bladder. This long, thin V inside him, it's collecting all the minerals in his piss. It's getting bigger and more rough, coated with crystals of calcium, it's bumping around, ripping up the soft lining of his bladder, blocking his piss from getting out. His kidneys are backed up. What little that leaks out his dick is red with blood.

This kid and his folks, his whole family, them looking at the black X-ray with the doctor and the nurses standing there, the big V of wax glowing white for everybody to see, he has to tell the truth. The way Arabs get off. What his big brother wrote him from the Navy.

On the phone, right now, he starts to cry.

They paid for the bladder operation with his college fund. One stupid mistake, and now he'll never be a lawyer.

Sticking stuff inside yourself. Sticking yourself inside stuff. A candle in your dick or your head in a noose, we knew it was going to be big trouble.

What got me in trouble, I called it Pearl Diving. This meant whacking off underwater, sitting on the bottom at the deep end of my parents' swimming pool. With one deep breath, I'd kick my way to the bottom and slip off my swim trucks. I'd sit down there for two, three, four minutes.

Just from jacking off, I had huge lung capacity. If I had the house to myself, I'd do this all afternoon. After I'd finally pump out my stuff, my sperm, it would hang there in big, fat, milky gobs.

After that was more diving, to catch it all. To collect it and wipe each handful in a towel. That's why it was called Pearl Diving. Even with chlorine, there was my sister to worry about. Or, Christ almighty, my Mom.

That used to be my worst fear in the world: my teenage virgin sister, thinking she's just getting fat, then giving birth to a two-headed retard baby. Both heads looking just like me. Me, the father AND the uncle.

In the end, it's never what you worry about that gets you.

The best part of Pearl Diving was the inlet port for the swimming pool filter and the circulation pump. The best part was getting naked and sitting on it.

As the French would say: Who doesn't like getting their butt sucked?

Still, one minute you're just a kid getting off, and the next minute you'll never be a lawyer.

One minute, I'm settling on the pool bottom, and the sky is wavy, light blue through eight feet of water above my head. The world is silent except for the heartbeat in my ears. My yellow-striped swim trunks are looped around my neck for safe keeping, just in case a friend, a neighbor, anybody shows up to ask why I skipped football practice. The steady suck of the pool inlet hole is lapping at me and I'm grinding my skinny white ass around on that feeling.

One minute, I've got enough air, and my dick's in my hand. My folks are gone at their work and my sister's got ballet. Nobody's supposed to be home for hours.

My hand brings me right to getting off, and I stop. I swim up to catch another big breath. I dive down and settle on the bottom.

I do this again and again.

This must be why girls want to sit on your face. The suction is like taking a dump that never ends. My dick hard and getting my butt eaten out, I do not need air. My heartbeat in my ears, I stay under until bright stars of light start worming around in my eyes. My legs straight out, the back of each knee rubbed raw against the concrete bottom. My toes are turning blue, my toes and fingers wrinkled from being so long in the water.

And then I let it happen. The big white gobs start spouting. The pearls.

It's then I need some air. But when I go to kick off against the bottom, I can't. I can't get my feet under me. My ass is stuck.

Emergency paramedics will tell you that every year about 150 people get stuck this way, sucked by a circulation pump. Get your long hair caught, or your ass, and you're going to drown. Every year, tons of people do. Most of them in Florida.

People just don't talk about it. Not even French people talk about EVERYTHING.

Getting one knee up, getting one foot tucked under me, I get to half standing when I feel the tug against my butt. Getting my other foot under me, I kick off against the bottom. I'm kicking free, not touching the concrete, but not getting to the air, either.

Still kicking water, thrashing with both arms, I'm maybe halfway to the surface but not going higher. The heartbeat inside my head getting loud and fast.

The bright sparks of light crossing and criss-crossing my eyes, I turn and look back… but it doesn't make sense. This thick rope, some kind of snake, blue-white and braided with veins has come up out of the pool drain and it's holding onto my butt. Some of the veins are leaking blood, red blood that looks black underwater and drifts away from little rips in the pale skin of the snake. The blood trails away, disappearing in the water, and inside the snake's thin, blue-white skin you can see lumps of some half-digested meal.

That's the only way this makes sense. Some horrible sea monster, a sea serpent, something that's never seen the light of day, it's been hiding in the dark bottom of the pool drain, waiting to eat me.

So… I kick at it, at the slippery, rubbery knotted skin and veins of it, and more of it seems to pull out of the pool drain. It's maybe as long as my leg now, but still holding tight around my butthole. With another kick, I'm an inch closer to getting another breath. Still feeling the snake tug at my ass, I'm an inch closer to my escape.

Knotted inside the snake, you can see corn and peanuts. You can see a long bright-orange ball. It's the kind of horse-pill vitamin my Dad makes me take, to help put on weight. To get a football scholarship. With extra iron and omega-three fatty acids.

It's seeing that vitamin pill that saves my life.

It's not a snake. It's my large intestine, my colon pulled out of me. What doctors call, prolapsed. It's my guts sucked into the drain.

Paramedics will tell you a swimming pool pump pulls 80 gallons of water every minute. That's about 400 pounds of pressure. The big problem is we're all connected together inside. Your ass is just the far end of your mouth. If I let go, the pump keeps working - unraveling my insides -- until it's got my tongue. Imagine taking a 400-pound ****, and you can see how this might turn you inside out.

What I can tell you is your guts don't feel much pain. Not the way your skin feels pain. The stuff you're digesting, doctor's call it fecal matter. Higher up is chyme, pockets of a thin runny mess studded with corn and peanuts and round green peas.

That's all this soup of blood and corn, **** and sperm and peanuts floating around me. Even with my guts unraveling out my ass, me holding onto what's left, even then my first want is to somehow get my swimsuit back on.

God forbid my folks see my dick.

My one hand holding a fist around my ass, my other hand snags my yellow-striped swim trunks and pulls them from around my neck. Still, getting into them is impossible.

You want to feel your intestines, go buy a pack of those lamb-skin condoms. Take one out and unroll it. Pack it with peanut butter. Smear it with petroleum jelly and hold it under water. Then, try to tear it. Try to pull it in half. It's too tough and rubbery. It's so slimy you can't hold on.

A lamb-skin condom, that's just plain old intestine.

You can see what I'm up against.

You let go for a second, and you're gutted.

You swim for the surface, for a breath, and you're gutted.

You don't swim, and you drown.

It's a choice between being dead right now or a minute from right now.

What my folks will find after work is a big naked fetus, curled in on itself. Floating in the cloudy water of their backyard pool. Tethered to the bottom by a thick rope of veins and twisted guts. The opposite of a kid hanging himself to death while he jacks off. This is the baby they brought home from the hospital thirteen years ago. Here's the kid they hoped would snag a football scholarship and get an MBA. Who'd care for them in their old age. Here's all their hopes and dreams. Floating here, naked and dead. All around him, big milky pearls of wasted sperm.

Either that or my folks will find me wrapped in a bloody towel, collapsed halfway from the pool to the kitchen telephone, the ragged, torn scrap of my guts still hanging out the leg of my yellow-striped swim trunks.

What even the French won't talk about.

That big brother in the Navy, he taught us one other good phrase. A Russian phrase. The way we say: "I need that like I need a hole in my head…" Russian people say: "I need that like I need teeth in my asshole…"

Mne eto nado kak zuby v zadnitse

Those stories about how animals caught in a trap will chew off their leg, well, any coyote would tell you a couple bites beats the hell out of being dead.

Hell… even if you're Russian, some day you just might want those teeth.

Otherwise, what you have to do is -- you have to twist around. You hook one elbow behind your knee and pull that leg up into your face. You bite and snap at your own ass. You run out of air, and you will chew through anything to get that next breath.

It's not something you want to tell a girl on the first date. Not if you expect a kiss good night.

If I told you how it tasted, you would never, ever again eat calamari.

It's hard to say what my parents were more disgusted by: how I'd got in trouble or how I'd saved myself. After the hospital, my Mom said, "You didn't know what you were doing, honey. You were in shock." And she learned how to cook poached eggs.

All those people grossed out or feeling sorry for me…

I need that like I need teeth in my asshole.

Nowadays, people always tell me I look too skinny. People at dinner parties get all quiet and pissed off when I don't eat the pot roast they cooked. Pot roast kills me. Baked ham. Anything that hangs around inside my guts for longer than a couple hours, it comes out still food. Home-cooked lima beans or chunk light tuna fish, I'll stand up and find it still sitting there in the toilet.

After you have a radical bowel resectioning, you don't digest meat so great. Most people, you have five feet of large intestine. I'm lucky to have my six inches. So I never got a football scholarship. Never got an MBA. Both my friends, the wax kid and the carrot kid, they grew up, got big, but I've never weighed a pound more than I did that day when I was thirteen.

Another big problem was my folks paid a lot of good money for that swimming pool. In the end my Dad just told the pool guy it was a dog. The family dog fell in and drowned. The dead body got pulled into the pump. Even when the pool guy cracked open the filter casing and fished out a rubbery tube, a watery hank of intestine with a big orange vitamin pill still inside, even then, my Dad just said, "That dog was ****ing nuts."

Even from my upstairs bedroom window, you could hear my Dad say, "We couldn't trust that dog alone for a second…"

Then my sister missed her period.

Even after they changed the pool water, after they sold the house and we moved to another state, after my sister's abortion, even then my folks never mentioned it again.

Ever.

That is our invisible carrot.

You. Now you can take a good, deep breath.

I still have not.

Broncobiv
10-23-2009, 04:59 AM
Well Christ, that was disturbing... :saywhat:

CSU Husker
10-23-2009, 05:23 AM
Ummm, thanks????

cutthemdown
10-23-2009, 05:58 AM
It's football season. Crap like this doesn't belong on the main forum during the season.

Mods get this crap out of here.

Conklin
10-23-2009, 06:35 AM
It's football season. Crap like this doesn't belong on the main forum during the season.

Mods get this crap out of here.

read the top sticky, its a bye week

KillerBronco#76
10-23-2009, 07:14 AM
hahaha, ****in hilarious, you can always count on chuck to write some homo-erotic violence inspired prose. He writes a hell of a story he always gets an A for creativity. I have to admit as sick as his writing is i still enjoy it, you have to find the dark humor in it to enjoy it i think. Deffinatley one of my favorite authors.

The Joker
10-23-2009, 07:28 AM
It's football season. Crap like this doesn't belong on the main forum during the season.

Mods get this crap out of here.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/chickmagnet2888/Stone-Cold122.gif


Read the sticky, genius.

Mr. Elway
10-23-2009, 09:07 AM
If that's truly "the finest short story" you have ever read, you should either read more or stop offering opinions on fiction writing.

Rohirrim
10-23-2009, 09:08 AM
One more indication of our society going down the toilet.

Houshyamama
10-23-2009, 09:33 AM
While Palahniuk is depressing, disturbing and pessimistic, his works will be required reading in American literature classes in 100 years

Rohirrim
10-23-2009, 09:47 AM
While Palahniuk is depressing, disturbing and pessimistic, his works will be required reading in American literature classes in 100 years

I doubt it. The way we are going, this world will be washed away by then and a new one will spring up in it's place that (hopefully) has no stomach for such depravity.

DomCasual
10-23-2009, 10:01 AM
Mmm, corn.

http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/corn-4.jpg

The Joker
10-23-2009, 10:10 AM
If that's truly "the finest short story" you have ever read, you should either read more or stop offering opinions on fiction writing.

I read plenty, thank you very much. Not as much as I used to, unfortunately, but that's life. Also do a bit of writing myself from time to time, so I feel I can give a pretty decent take on matters like this.

I just think it's an extremely well put together piece that really grips the reader, I read it at work yesterday and I can honestly say my attention never waned from it once. It takes a lot to shock me, but I found myself cringing and wincing a lot when I read this.

I also think has a great social undertone, the gradual degeneration into worse and worse levels of filth mirroring that of the society we live in. In a society as desensitized as we have become, it takes something this horrible to really shock us anymore.

Still, you're entitled to you opinion and I can respect that.

The Joker
10-23-2009, 10:12 AM
While Palahniuk is depressing, disturbing and pessimistic, his works will be required reading in American literature classes in 100 years

Can't agree, I like some of his stuff but his work is very hit and miss.

Flex Gunmetal
10-23-2009, 10:13 AM
Palahniuk is great. I've read Choke 3 times but still haven't seen the movie.

The Joker
10-23-2009, 10:16 AM
Palahniuk is great. I've read Choke 3 times but still haven't seen the movie.

It's a good watch, I like Sam Rockwell.

It follows the book exactly.

DomCasual
10-23-2009, 10:18 AM
Mmm, peanuts.

http://www.perfectflavor.com/images/roasted_peanuts.jpg

tsiguy96
10-23-2009, 10:19 AM
http://www.smellypoop.com/v2images/Corn_in_poop.png

DomCasual
10-23-2009, 10:20 AM
Take ur vitamins! They r good 4 u! Nom nom nom!

http://blogs.suburbanchicagonews.com/boxing/B%20Vitamins.jpg

Killericon
10-23-2009, 10:22 AM
If Palahniuk wrote on mundane topics, he'd be a mediocre writer. He thrives on the value of a strange read.

Rohirrim
10-23-2009, 10:27 AM
Speaking of good short stories. Here's a classice from Flannery O'Connor:

http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~surette/goodman.html

DomCasual
10-23-2009, 10:58 AM
Speaking of good short stories. Here's a classice from Flannery O'Connor:

http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~surette/goodman.html

I think that's standard reading in most beginning English classes in college. It's that way, because it's a great short story - one of my favorites. Thanks for posting it. I hadn't read it in a long time.

SportinOne
10-23-2009, 10:59 AM
It's a good watch, I like Sam Rockwell.

It follows the book exactly.

No, it doesn't.

And no, he will not required reading some day. It's shock fiction. I'm not sure how you really define "great literature," but I do know that it would probably appeal to a larger audience than the 16-35, woman-hating crowd.

DeusExManning
10-23-2009, 11:03 AM
Whenever he reads this to an audience usually someone passes out.

The Joker
10-23-2009, 11:05 AM
No, it doesn't.

And no, he will not required reading some day. It's shock fiction. I'm not sure how you really define "great literature," but I do know that it would probably appeal to a larger audience than the 16-35, woman-hating crowd.

You're right, they changed the ending didn't they?

I saw the film not long after reading the book and recall several times where I knew exactly what the next line was, I do remember it being very much the same thing most of the way through.

The Joker
10-23-2009, 11:07 AM
Speaking of good short stories. Here's a classice from Flannery O'Connor:

http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~surette/goodman.html

Those two kids always annoyed the hell out of me.

The Grandma too, to be honest.

Houshyamama
10-23-2009, 11:13 AM
Can't agree, I like some of his stuff but his work is very hit and miss.

Fair enough. Predictions are hard to make though, especially about the future.

The Joker
10-23-2009, 11:16 AM
Fair enough. Predictions are hard to make though, especially about the future.

:~ohyah!:

KillerBronco#76
10-23-2009, 11:47 AM
While Palahniuk is depressing, disturbing and pessimistic, his works will be required reading in American literature classes in 100 years

i don't know about Palahniuk but McCarthy will be required eventually for sure. Blood Meridian and Suttree should be required reads before you graduate college.

Rohirrim
10-23-2009, 11:51 AM
The Road is Cormac's best book ever, and I've read them all. I can't believe they think they can make a movie out of it. Not unless they Disneyfy the hell out of it. That book is just way too much of a downer. By the end, you are thirsting for some green thing to come up out of the soil, but there is nothing. No hope.

Mr. Elway
10-23-2009, 12:04 PM
I read plenty, thank you very much. Not as much as I used to, unfortunately, but that's life. Also do a bit of writing myself from time to time, so I feel I can give a pretty decent take on matters like this.

I just think it's an extremely well put together piece that really grips the reader, I read it at work yesterday and I can honestly say my attention never waned from it once. It takes a lot to shock me, but I found myself cringing and wincing a lot when I read this.

I also think has a great social undertone, the gradual degeneration into worse and worse levels of filth mirroring that of the society we live in. In a society as desensitized as we have become, it takes something this horrible to really shock us anymore.

Still, you're entitled to you opinion and I can respect that.

You know, it was a judgemental thing to say actually and I apologize. Sometimes my reaction is to post a smartass comment instead of going through the effort of thinking :) but I can do better.

I actually did enjoy reading it and cringing. My problem with stuff like this is that it tries to animate decent but relatively shallow prose simply by giving it the shock treatment. It just strikes me as cheap. I also don't think that one-upping the shock factor counts for much, as it doesn't bring anything new to the conversation.

Look where the focus is - the reader is forced to stare at the intestines in great detail. That's shocking but is it really intriguing once you get past the morbid curiosity? The really interesting part to me is the families - the father's reaction in particular. He had a great opportunity to sketch out a complex relationship between father and son but instead all we get is a juvinile grossout joke. Like I said I enjoyed the joke, but I found your assessment far too generous. To me he totally whiffed on the real opportunity.

alkemical
10-23-2009, 12:11 PM
http://www.interleaves.org/~rteeter/grtbloom.html

The Western Canon
by Harold Bloom

KillerBronco#76
10-23-2009, 12:24 PM
The Road is Cormac's best book ever, and I've read them all. I can't believe they think they can make a movie out of it. Not unless they Disneyfy the hell out of it. That book is just way too much of a downer. By the end, you are thirsting for some green thing to come up out of the soil, but there is nothing. No hope.


I think Suttree is by far his best novel the characters are so deep and flawed and the story so incredibly sad all you can do is laugh to fight off depression...

Blood Meridian is 1.b. cause the judge is the best character ever created in any book plus he really existed. And the whole book is based on events and actions that took place during that exact appointed time its a mix between fiction and non fiction. It the only book you can read where a story about regeneration through violence that would normally just have shock value can be made to sound beautiful. Also the Science vs. Religion factor is always entertaining the judge having some insanely insightful quotes. It was written as a biblical text following actual events and people and attributing fictional actions along with the actions that happened in reality. Thus it was written in the same design as a religious text.

The Road i believe is the most raw of his books prose wise yet very powerful emotionally. But i really enjoy good prose so Suttree and Meridian top my list. I still think Suttree is the most powerful of his books though.

And yes it is hard to see the movie turning out very well even if it is acted out perfectly and the story setting done perfectly because there is just going to be something missing even though the length of the book is about right for a movie and it does have excellent actors and the director of The Proposition which was an excellent film.

By the way their working on a movie version of Blood Meridian. I cant see this movie being anything less than rated-X.

And Suttree would have to be about 10 hours long to do properly i would venture to say that suttree is impossible to make into a movie

Taco John
10-23-2009, 12:32 PM
I haven't read any Chuck yet, but I've got a couple of his books on the bucket list.

Mr. Elway
10-23-2009, 12:41 PM
The Road is Cormac's best book ever, and I've read them all. I can't believe they think they can make a movie out of it. Not unless they Disneyfy the hell out of it. That book is just way too much of a downer. By the end, you are thirsting for some green thing to come up out of the soil, but there is nothing. No hope.

Dark of the invisible moon. The nights now only slightly less black. By day the banished sun circles the earth like a grieving mother with a lamp.

Now THAT's good writing.

Rohirrim
10-23-2009, 12:46 PM
I think Suttree is by far his best novel the characters are so deep and flawed and the story so incredibly sad all you can do is laugh to fight off depression...

Blood Meridian is 1.b. cause the judge is the best character ever created in any book plus he really existed. And the whole book is based on events and actions that took place during that exact appointed time its a mix between fiction and non fiction. It the only book you can read where a story about regeneration through violence that would normally just have shock value can be made to sound beautiful. Also the Science vs. Religion factor is always entertaining the judge having some insanely insightful quotes. It was written as a biblical text following actual events and people and attributing fictional actions along with the actions that happened in reality. Thus it was written in the same design as a religious text.

The Road i believe is the most raw of his books prose wise yet very powerful emotionally. But i really enjoy good prose so Suttree and Meridian top my list. I still think Suttree is the most powerful of his books though.

And yes it is hard to see the movie turning out very well even if it is acted out perfectly and the story setting done perfectly because there is just going to be something missing even though the length of the book is about right for a movie and it does have excellent actors and the director of The Proposition which was an excellent film.

By the way their working on a movie version of Blood Meridian. I cant see this movie being anything less than rated-X.

And Suttree would have to be about 10 hours long to do properly i would venture to say that suttree is impossible to make into a movie

IMO, Anton Sugah is simply an evolution of the Judge.

UberBroncoMan
10-23-2009, 12:47 PM
The guy is a twisted ****er, but I loved Fight Club.

Rohirrim
10-23-2009, 12:50 PM
Dark of the invisible moon. The nights now only slightly less black. By day the banished sun circles the earth like a grieving mother with a lamp.

Now THAT's good writing.

This one really broke my heart, at the end of the book:

"Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery."


He continues that theme of carrying the fire from "No Country for Old Men" in this one as well.

That was one of the best movies I've ever seen. Tommy Lee Jones was perfect.

KillerBronco#76
10-23-2009, 01:22 PM
IMO, Anton Sugah is simply an evolution of the Judge.

I could see that. I always thought of Anton as a represented death and fate. I kinda saw him like the Reaper and he flips the coin to decide your fate because at any moment your fate or destiney can change and your helpless to do anything about it.

The judge i kinda of thought more as a representation of science and the absense of morality, the mindset of taking what you want when you want it and fighting for it no matter what. Thus the standoff with him and the Reverend with the boy im the middle being told what to do.

The judge reeks of Nietzsche's philosophies on life. Especially at the end of the novel.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nietzsche

"Be careful, lest in casting out your demon you exorcise the best thing in you."

"I would believe only in a God that knows how to dance."

"You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist."

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

"Meaning and morality of One's life come from within oneself. Healthy, strong individuals seek self expansion by experimenting and by living dangerously. Life consists of an infinite number of possibilities and the healthy person explores as many of them as posible. Religions that teach pity, self-contempt, humility, self-restraint and guilt are incorrect. The good life is ever changing, challenging, devoid of regret, intense, creative and risky."

"In heaven, all the interesting people are missing."

"God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Judge


"Only that man who has offered up himself entire to the blood of war, who has been to the floor of the pit and seen the horror in the round and learned at last that it speaks to his inmost heart, only that man can dance." - The judge"

"This is an orchestration for an event. For a dance in fact. The participants will be apprised of their roles at the proper time. For now it is enough that they have arrived. As the dance is the thing with which we are concerned and contains complete within itself its own arrangement and history and finale there is no necessity that the dancers contain these things within themselves as well. In any event the history of all is not the history of each nor indeed the sum of those histories and none here can finally comprehend the reason for his presence for he has no way of knowing even in what the event consists. In fact, were he to know he might well absent himself and you can see that that cannot be any part of the plan if plan there be."

"That which exists without my knowledge exists without my consent."

""The man who believes that the secrets of the world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstition will drag him down." -The Judge"



IMHO the whole book was about man imitating God through Violence. Using death to prove mans own godliness.

The Joker
10-23-2009, 04:18 PM
You know, it was a judgemental thing to say actually and I apologize. Sometimes my reaction is to post a smartass comment instead of going through the effort of thinking :) but I can do better.

I actually did enjoy reading it and cringing. My problem with stuff like this is that it tries to animate decent but relatively shallow prose simply by giving it the shock treatment. It just strikes me as cheap. I also don't think that one-upping the shock factor counts for much, as it doesn't bring anything new to the conversation.

Look where the focus is - the reader is forced to stare at the intestines in great detail. That's shocking but is it really intriguing once you get past the morbid curiosity? The really interesting part to me is the families - the father's reaction in particular. He had a great opportunity to sketch out a complex relationship between father and son but instead all we get is a juvinile grossout joke. Like I said I enjoyed the joke, but I found your assessment far too generous. To me he totally whiffed on the real opportunity.

I think going into real detail on things like the father/son relationship for instance would take away from the piece. To me it just seems like the piece is meant to mirror what society has become, to an extent.

We're not interested in depth, we just want smut and filth and to push things as far as we can. Maybe I'm giving the guy too much credit.

No worries though, the internet lends itself to being a smartass. I'm much the same myself to be honest. :thumbsup:

DomCasual
10-23-2009, 04:23 PM
Why'd this thing end up getting moved? ???

The Joker
10-23-2009, 04:23 PM
By the way, 'The Road' is an absolutely phenomenal piece of work, just unbelieveably good.

I like Palahniuk, but McCarthy is a much better shout as someone that'll be studied for centuries to come. Still only read 'The Road' and 'No Country for Old Men', must get around to his other stuff soon.

Making a film that does justice to 'The Road' would take an absolutely brilliant director. I'm not sure anyone could do it justice.

The Joker
10-23-2009, 04:26 PM
Why'd this thing end up getting moved? ???

Books are evil.

That's why!!

JCsuperstar
10-23-2009, 06:53 PM
This short story is actually an chapter from Haunted, which has other parts that makes guts comparable to a disney movie

Inkana7
10-23-2009, 08:44 PM
I doubt it. The way we are going, this world will be washed away by then and a new one will spring up in it's place that (hopefully) has no stomach for such depravity.

I think Society needs to be challenged by material such as this. We're trying so hard to be surrounded by a bright shiny bubble and ignore life as it truly is.

McDman
10-23-2009, 09:09 PM
That's ooooold. I've heard these urban legends for about ten years.

I remember when I was about 10-12 we were all scared to touch the bottom of the pool where the filter was because we didn't want our guts sucked out our butts.

Chuch is a decent writer, I just tried to read "haunted" and it wasn't very good at all.

McDman
10-23-2009, 09:10 PM
That's ooooold. I've heard these urban legends for about ten years.

I remember when I was about 10-12 we were all scared to touch the bottom of the pool where the filter was because we didn't want our guts sucked out our butts.

Chuck is a decent writer, I just tried to read "haunted" and it wasn't very good at all.

alkemical
10-26-2009, 07:39 AM
I think Society needs to be challenged by material such as this. We're trying so hard to be surrounded by a bright shiny bubble and ignore life as it truly is.

Much of modern art is devoted to lowering the threshold of what is terrible.
Susan Sontag

Rohirrim
10-26-2009, 07:56 AM
I think Society needs to be challenged by material such as this. We're trying so hard to be surrounded by a bright shiny bubble and ignore life as it truly is.

I think we should be fascinated by our bodily functions up until we reach about the age of four. After that, I think we should move on to other challenges.

Bronco Boy
10-26-2009, 08:53 AM
Wasn't this story in Playboy like 5 years ago?