If you’ve been following my blog, or even just looking through it recently, you can see that I’ve been reading quite a few books by Chuck Palahniuk.  Pygmy is the latest book of his that I’ve read, and I’m going to say this is the worst of his books that I’ve read.

Book Stats

241 pages

Stand Alone

Drama (as with most of Palahniuk’s books)


The main character of this book is Pygmy, an exchange student from a foreign country living with a family in a small suburban midwestern town that is never named.  Along with being an exchange student, he is also a well trained operative planning to execute Operation Havoc.  He is greatly confused by most of what he sees of American Culture.


Like every Palahniuk book, a random town somewhere.


Pygmy is one of several operatives from his country sent to this town with the goal of bringing down the U.S. through Operation Havoc.  Pygmy also has to deal with his very strange exchange family.  Dealing with his mother who is obsessed with sex toys and his foster siblings who constantly drug their parents so they can sneak around without them knowing, Pygmy finds himself in some very strange situations throughout the book.


The plot was interesting, but it was a very hard read because the book is written in a dialect.  While the dialect is consistent, it’s irritating as all hell to read.  I tend to read books fairly quickly, it’s nothing for me to sit down and read a couple hundred pages in one sitting.  With this book I could only read 20-30 pages at a time because of the dialog.  This was yet another book with a fascinating idea from Palahniuk, but it was just too annoying to read.

Overall Grade

Reading the dialect in this book gave me a headache, seriously.  I can’t recommend this book to anyone.


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  1. I have not met one person that thinks this book is okay.
    The plot seems interesting and Palahniuk-ish enough,
    but I have a feeling that I should leave this book alone for a long, long time.

    …maybe I’ll read it last.

    • The story in the book wasn’t terrible, but the dialect in the book made it annoying to read, reading this book gave me a headache.

  2. hannahrose42

     /  November 28, 2011

    I have never really read a book with a dialect before recently. Pygmy is the last Palahniuk book I have here with me at school. I am hesitant to read it, as most everyone has negative things to say about it. I suppose I will have to read it just because it is Palahniuk…

    • It’s a rough read because of the dialect. The story is interesting, but I personally found it really tough to get past the dialect.


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