"Brilliantly satiric and savagely funny, Survivor is a wild amphetamine ride through the vagaries of fame and the nature of belief." —San Francisco Chronicle
Tender Branson—last surviving member of the Creedish Death Cult—is dictating his life story into the recorder of Flight 2039, cruising on autopilot at 39,000 feet somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. He is all alone in the airplane, which will crash shortly into the vast Australian outback. But before it does, Branson will unfold the tale of his journey from an obedient Creedish child and humble domestic servant to an ultra-buffed, steroid- and collagen-packed media messiah.
The rise and fall of a media-made messiah is the subject of Palahniuk's impressive second novel (after the well-received Fight Club), a wryly mannered commentary on the excesses of pop culture that tracks the 15 minutes of fame of the lone living member of a suicide cult. Tender Branson, aged 33, has commandeered a Boeing 747, emptied of passengers, in order to tell his story to the "black box" while flying randomly until the plane runs out of gas and crashes. Branson relates in his long flashback the vicissitudes of his life: a member of the repressive Creedish Death Cult, supposedly founded by a splinter group of Millerites in 1860, he is hired out as a domestic servant who must dedicate his earnings to the cult. Despite his humble beginnings, Branson finds himself on the edge of fame and fortune when the cult members begin their suicide binge, and he keeps himself on the media radar by using the psychic dreams of his potential romantic interest, Fertility Hollis, in which the girl accurately predicts a series of strange disasters. After a brief period at the top of the freak-show heap, Branson succumbs to the excesses of his trade when his agent mysteriously dies at the Super Bowl as Branson predicts the outcome of the game at half-time, simultaneously triggering a riot and turning him into a murder suspect. Branson's spookily matter of fact account of his bizarre experiences does not excite tension until the narrative is well under way, but the novel picks up momentum during the homestretch when Branson goes on the lam with Fertility and his murderous brother Adam, and the story steamrolls toward its nightmarish climax. Palahniuk's DeLilloesque cultural witticisms and his satirical take on the culture of instant celebrity invest the narrative with a dark humor that does not quite overcome its lack of a coherent plot. FYI: Fight Club is being filmed by David Fincher.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This book is pretty good. It's not Palahniuk's best novel but it's definitely worth a read. Sort of reads like Fight Club from a first person narrative with an attempt at the same kind of musings of that narrator. Not much value for multiple reads here but a first read should be enjoyable for most. Recommended for readers looking for something edgy and uniquely different.
Excellent and twisted.
Would be an excellent film.
Read this you will not be disappointed
Nearly impossible to put this book down, nobody strings together
sentences the way this author manages to. You are simply propelled forward into a astounding metaphor. This story unfolds in random and at times disturbing subject matter, but driven by a tangible truth in our world. Amazing read.