Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Review: Tell-All

Tell-All by Chuck Palahniuk

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoy Chuck Palahniuk's fiction. He's a truly creative, witty writer. He's in top form with Tell All. I would've given it 5 stars, but I didn't honestly find it "Amazing", although it ranks as one of the best fiction that I've read in a quite a while. So I would give it 4.5 stars if I could. On second thought, I've decided the story was in fact "amazing" and I've now given it 5 stars.

Tell All is Palahniuk's (successful) attempt to deconstruct Hollywood. The story takes place in Hollywood's golden years, circa 1940s, and focuses on an aging female actress, her protective assistant, and the actress' loves.

Every possible actor and actress, director, producer, musician, and studio head working in Hollywood is mentioned in this novel.I admit I was reduced to Googling quite a few of the mentioned actors and actresses, I didn't really have to do it, although doing so added a layer of meaning to the reading. There are simply too many references for one individual reader to be able to identify them all.

I loved everything about Tell All: the format is a screenplay, already conveniently broken down into acts and scenes for the reader; the premise is a love story; the prose is Fight Club raw.

I'm a fan of post-structuralist, self-referential art, and I enjoyed how Palahniuk literally rewrote the ending of the story five or six times. I truly liked how all the actors' names eventually refer to the same person, how Hollywood ultimately reduces everyone to the sameness of existence as it churns out one "star" after another and, finally, I appreciated Palahniuk's social commentary of the perceived role of women in movies. Readers will pick up on that blatant theme as they read Katherine Kenton's extensive list of starring roles. Using his not-so-subtle style, Mr. Palahniuk also brings up the trend of celebs buying ready-made families, a la Brad and Angelina.

I would recommend this novel to everyone, but especially to Chuck Palahniuk fans who might have missed it when it came out a couple of years ago. And if this is your first Palahniuk novel, bear in mind that it doesn't read like his more well-known novel, Fight Club, although there are stylistic similarities. Personally, I associated Tell All more with the feeling of nostalgia that Palahniuk evoked in the first part of Rant.

Tell All is definitely a fun read. I would actually like to see this novel made into a movie.


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  1. JT, This sounds like a fun book. I love to google so you got me with that sentence. I hope you are having a great week!


  2. Well Donna, there are lots of people to Google in this book! lol. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great weekend!


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