Chuck Palahniuk at the Largo

May 25, 2010 by Lindsay Pullin

The world is full of lovely stories, but this last Tuesday evening at the Largo at the Coronet, wasn’t an evening we were going to hear any, Chuck Palahniuk told the sold out audience.

Palahniuk is the author of such illustrious movies including Fight Club, Choke, Invisible Monsters, Lullaby….etc. His recent book, Tell All, is set in time during the era of old Hollywood.

As he spoke, he had the audience hanging on his every word. Be prepared for not just an evening of reading, but an event. Although Palahniuk is on a book tour promoting Tell All, in the process of it all, he’s created a one man show of bibliophile showmanship.

Palahniuk took a survey of the audience to find out how many attended a reading before. I was surprised that not many had, because it is always inspiring listening to a writer reading before an audience.

Which is what Palahniuk did: He read a short story soon to be published called "Knock Knock."  The story held the audience together through laughter, and almost unbearable tension and discomfort. 

As well, Palahniuk is a skilled public speaker.  After he read his story he held an impromptu question and answer round with Brad Listi, of Nervous Breakdown. 

He has a way of answering questions well, and of answering bad questions the same way.  Palahniuk told the audience that that’s what the purpose of good stories are meant to accomplish–they are written with the intent to share what we can relate to on many different levels.

This was the most interactive reading I’ve been to, as Palahniuk set up games for the audience to participate in, with the purpose to further draw them into participation. The games consisted of throwing out blow-up Oscar statuettes, and rewarding whomever blew theirs up the quickest. 

Of course this sounds ridiculous, but it does encourage increased audience  participation, and unites everyone into a shared experience, which is how Palahniuk relayed his experience of reading "Guts" to audiences across the country, causing many people to pass out.  (He later informed us that the audience would become concerned for the passed out person, which would result in the common and united concern to find commonality for that person). 

And this audience was united–in laughter, and genuine excitement about the spoken word and the written word.

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One Response to “Chuck Palahniuk at the Largo”

  1. Adventure-Some Matthew says:

    Ooo… I’m jealous! After reading a couple of Chuck’s books, I’d love to meet him in person. Anyone with a mind that can write like that must be interesting to spend time around.
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