Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk


Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk is an epistolary novel that follows the story of a young adult from a totalitarian state sent to the US disguised as an exchange student.

The protagonist, Pygmy, is part of a group of operatives planning an unspecified act of massive terrorism that will bring the US and its inhabitants to their knees.

Throughout the novel, Pygmy lambasts American culture and society through its comically biased first person narrative, often with humorous effects.

The novel also explores themes such as conformity of society, media control, and anti-materialism. Pygmy’s training in his home country focuses heavily on anti-materialist rhetoric and the negative aspects of America’s global policing.

As Pygmy learns more about American culture, he begins to foster a spark of self-awareness which develops throughout the novel, eventually developing into human emotions.

The novel also contains elements of satire, horror, and minimalism. It is a subversive novel that questions the conformity of society and the media that appears to have the power to control the world’s thoughts and desires.

What I Liked

I liked that this book – and the author is out in the world. I don’t think that this book is Chuck Palahniuk’s best work, but, he’s one weird, amazing artist, and I’m glad he’s putting out work. This book has some pretty good satire, but is honestly just ok.

What I Did Not Like

This book is not subtle enough with the satire. In parts it feels forced and just a bit too weird.

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