Monday, September 21, 2009

Pygmy Book Review

Pygmy is a book by Chuck Palanhiuk and is about an exchange student coming to America from his totalitarian homeland and he is documenting his stay in the United States. He is of small stature and is immediately referred to as Pygmy by the family he stays with.He views Western society and America with utter contempt and we soon learn that he is not there for a sight-seeing trip! He is planning something spectacular and we don't find out what it is until the end!

As is normal for Chuck Palanhiuk, Pygmy is a comedy like Snuff and Choke which I have reviewed .It is written in a series of dispatches 1-36 which are basically Pygmy writing back to his superiors and telling them of his experiences. He stays with a typical American family and in his reports he calls them Host Cow Father, Chicken Neck Mother, Pig Dog Son and Cat Sister! It wouldn't be a Chuck Palanhiuk book without some outrageous moments and Pygmy is no exception. Rape, neuro-toxins,vibrators and a decapitation are all involved so if you dislike reading about any of these topics, then I would advise you not to read this novel. If these topics are to your taste, then you should definitely read this. The book reminded me of an episode of The Simpsons called 'Crepes of Wrath' where an Albanian boy does a foreign exchange with Bart. I'm sure you have seen it! They all think that the boy is harmless but he is really a spy. It is the same kind of thing as Pygmy as the Americans view Pygmy as backward and simple, but he really is clever and he is planning something terrible...

Throughout the book, Pygmy quotes famous dictators and views them as role models. Palanhiuk uses the quotes in funny ways as they relate to what is happening in the story. Pygmy is a very entertaining book to read and I would definitely recommend it. The only problem I had with the book is that it is written in pigeon English as it is meant to be a foreigner writing. I found it had to read and I had to re-read lines every so often. Some of the humour is derived from the pigeon English so it is necessary for the story but can be tough going. Other than that, it was very good and very funny. Chuck Palahniuk has done it again with another hilarious book with laugh out loud moments. If you liked his previous books, then get this one now!!!

Pygmy 8/10.


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