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People, Places, Things: My Human Landmarks
People, Places, Things: My Human Landmarks
People, Places, Things: My Human Landmarks
Audiobook44 minutes

People, Places, Things: My Human Landmarks

Written by Chuck Palahniuk

Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars



About this audiobook

Nobody excavates the landscape of American darkness in cultural and personal terms the way Chuck Palahniuk does. Nobody captures the tiny moments that change our hearts forever with such stark, clear-eyed beauty. He takes us here, somehow gently, into that very darkness, which ripples beneath us, between us, and silently within us.

Clark Gregg, director and actor

The first rule of writing for the world-renowned author of Fight Club, Choke, and Snuff, Chuck Palahniuk, is to expect the unexpected. As Vanity Fair declared about him, “He makes nihilism fun.” In his bold new Scribd Original, Palahniuk takes a rare look at his own life, the source material for his bestselling, zeitgeist-changing, and searingly memorable dark fantasies.

He not only shares the challenges he’s overcome and the nightmares he still lives with but also names the people, places, and things that have inspired him and made him the uncommon artist he is today. A devoted student and longtime teacher of writing, Palahniuk structures this very personal reflection as a lesson in how to tell a story and characteristically opts for a thrillingly atypical approach. He writes, “This landscape will unfold more like collage than any highway printed on a map. My point is: It’s not what’s inside your clothes, it’s how you take your clothes off.”

Via direct and indirect routes, the reader is toured from the smallest of small towns in which Palahniuk grew up—Burbank, Washington—to cities made famous by serial killers; from a weight room in a dank cinder-block bunker under the bleachers of the local high school, where young Palahniuk strengthened his body and mind, to a recurring dream that may not be a dream at all but a childhood memory that to this day makes crossing bridges sheer terror for him.

He also revisits some of his influences—Vonnegut, Heller, Salinger—men who coped with the traumas they endured in war by using them to fuel their creative work. And for the very first time, he divulges another crucial influence: Noburo Fukuda, an unsung hero who was often derided as “nuts” and “queer” by the mostly white community in and around Burbank. On a family day trip to a series of overheated sheds for locomotive and stock-car repair, Palahniuk, just a boy, opened a door to an adjoining shed and discovered an unlikely paradise: a Japanese garden alive with hummingbirds, columbine, and phlox, with waterfalls coursing down a mountain at its center. Fukuda, an immigrant from Japan, freely gave locals this sanctuary, a place to which Palahniuk still returns in his imagination to fend off his own traumas. Fukuda also gave the author a model of what one man can do alone, through imagination and hard work, showed him that being different, an outsider, has unexpected gifts that can make for unexpected beauty.

Poetic and explosive, profoundly human and intimate, People, Places, and Things is a tribute to every person compelled to defy convention in pursuit of their own vision. And, more, it’s an invitation, with every line, every digression and confession, and every leap taken, to convert the messy and startling, the ugly and beautiful stuff of life, into art—not just by breaking the rules, as Palahniuk does here, but by risking your very skin to find your own.

Editor's Note

Unexpected personal essay…

Palahniuk knows how to tell a story in unexpected, fascinating ways, and this personal essay (a Scribd Original) from the “Fight Club” author doesn’t disappoint. Palahniuk shares the people, places, and things that shaped his writing growing up in the Pacific Northwest — from serial killers to secret gardens to Sears catalogs.

Release dateOct 27, 2021

Chuck Palahniuk

Chuck Palahniuk’s fourteen novels include the bestselling Snuff; Rant; Haunted; Lullaby; Fight Club, which was made into a film by director David Fincher; Diary; Survivor; Invisible Monsters; and Choke, which was made into a film by director Clark Gregg. He is also the author of the nonfiction profile of Portland, Fugitives and Refugees, and the nonfiction collection Stranger Than Fiction. His story collection Make Something Up was a widely banned bestseller. His graphic novel Fight Club II hit #1 on the New York Times list. He’s also the author of Fight Club III and the coloring books Bait and Legacy, as well as the writing guide Consider This. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.

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