Author: Chuck Palahniuk
First published May 4, 2010
192 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 9780385526357 (ISBN10: 0385526350)
Prepare yourself for a scandalous journey through the glitz and glamour of Hollywood’s golden era. Chuck Palahniuk’s Tell-All is a rollicking tribute to the days of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, with a healthy dose of Tourette’s syndrome-esque name-dropping that covers everyone from the A-list to the Z-list.
Our narrator, Hazie, has spent years catering to the whims of legendary actress Miss Kathie, a veteran of multiple marriages and plastic surgeries. But when a conniving gentleman caller worms his way into Miss Kathie’s heart and threatens to reveal all in a tell-all memoir, Hazie must take matters into her own hands.
With a body count that just keeps rising, Hazie is on a mission to save Miss Kathie’s legacy and protect her fans from the truth. Funny, subversive, and endlessly clever, Tell-All is a wild ride through vintage Hollywood that only Chuck Palahniuk could have written.
About the Author
Fight Club was born in the stolen moments Chuck Palahniuk spent writing under truck chassis and on park benches, accompanied by the likes of The Downward Spiral and Pablo Honey. Although the movie adaptation initially flopped in cinemas, it quickly became a cult classic on DVD, which in turn boosted sales of the novel.
Chuck went on to publish two more novels in 1999, Survivor and Invisible Monsters, before releasing his first New York Times bestseller, Choke, in 2001. Chuck’s work has always been influenced by personal experience, and this was no different with his next novel, Lullaby, which he credits with helping him to cope after the tragic death of his father.
In 2003, he released his non-fiction guide to Portland, Fugitives and Refugees, and the novel Diary. It was during his tour to promote Diary that Chuck began reading a short story called ‘Guts’, which would ultimately become a part of the novel Haunted.
Chuck continued to write in the years that followed, publishing the bestselling Rant and most recently, Adjustment Day. He also enjoys giving back to his fans, and has made teaching the art of storytelling an important part of this.
In 2004, he started submitting essays to ChuckPalahniuk.net on the craft of writing, providing “How-To” pieces based on the principles of minimalism that he learned from Tom Spanbauer. He would also assign a “Homework Assignment” each month, so that workshop members could apply what they had learned.
All 36 of these essays can now be found on The Cult’s sister-site, LitReactor.com. Then in 2009, Chuck became even more involved by committing to read and review a selection of fan-written stories each month.
The best stories are now set to be published in a forthcoming anthology titled Burnt Tongues, with an introduction written by Chuck himself. His next novel, The Invention of Sound, is due for release in October 2020.
Chuck Palahniuks 2010 novel, Tell-All, is a satirical commentary on the entertainment industry, celebrity culture, and the nature of fame. Known for his cult classic Fight Club, Palahniuks signature subversive style is on full display in this novel, providing a biting critique of the illusions and deceptions that pervade Hollywood.
The story takes place in the 1940s, centering on the character of Hazie Coogan, a personal assistant to the aging Hollywood star, Katherine Kenton. Hazies careful routines and devoted attention to Katherine are disrupted when the actress begins dating an enigmatic young man named Webster Carlton Westward III.
As their relationship deepens, the secrets and manipulations that haunted Katherines past begin to resurface, and Hazie must navigate a web of deceit and betrayal to protect her beloved friend. Palahniuks vivid writing style and unique narrative structure set the tone for an immersive and entertaining read.
His use of footnotes and asides throughout the book adds an extra layer of depth and humor to the story. The characters in Tell-All are well-crafted and multi-faceted, with Palahniuk masterfully exploring the complexities of their motivations and desires.
The novels strengths also lie in its razor-sharp critique of the entertainment industry and its highlighting of the psychological toll that fame can have on individual lives. Palahniuks exploration of these themes feels especially timely and relevant in our current media-saturated world.
However, the pace of the novel can be uneven at times, with some parts dragging on while others move too quickly. Additionally, the satirical elements may not be to everyones taste, and some readers may find the humor in the book to be heavy-handed.
Overall, Tell-All is an engaging and thought-provoking novel that will appeal to readers who enjoy satirical social commentary and well-crafted characters. Palahniuks insightful critique of fame and the entertainment industry is both timely and timeless, making this book a worthwhile read for anyone interested in exploring these themes.
Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars.