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BOOK REVIEW: Beautiful You by Chuck Palahniuk

| 4 December 2014 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Beautiful You by Chuck Palahniuk
Random House Books
November 2014
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Beautiful you by Chuck Palahniuk book cover

Beautiful You, the fourteenth best-selling novel from Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club, boldly opens with a courtroom rape scene, with none of the men present coming to the victim’s aid as she lays writhing against her will in the witness dock..

It’s a shocking way to open the book, as though Palahnuik is challenging his readers: well, are you game to continue?

It’s well worth doing so – as the story unfolds we find Penny, the victim mentioned above, is a perfectly pleasant, average young lady, who hasn’t yet found her calling in life. One date with zillionaire C Linus Maxwell – a software magnate and international playboy nicknamed Climax-Well – and she finds herself whisked away from her day as a struggling intern at a legal firm and brought to previously unimagined heights of sexual pleasure.

Maxwell, meanwhile, is cold and studious, scribbling non-stop in his ever-present notebook as he tests more and more exotic sexual aids upon her panting, exhausted body.

Sound like fun? Well, maybe for a time, but that time stops when Penny discovers Maxwell has spiked the toys – by now on the market – to literally brainwash the female population of the world, sparking revolt and violence amongst men everywhere and total control over at least half of the population by Maxwell’s companies.

As an entertaining satire, Beautiful You is pretty amusing, despite some clunkier plot devices, but as a study of addiction – substituting the pinnacle of arousal for drug high – it is a fascinating premise that will undoubtedly spark a myriad of debate. Could it happen? Could one sex be controlled unscrupulously using sex toys?

You’ll have to read the book to find out how Penny fares against Maxwell and her own arousal addiction, but in the meantime it’s food for thought the next time you reach into your bedside drawer for ‘Mr Buzzy’!

Category: Book Reviews

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