REVIEW: Beautiful You by Chuck Palahniuk

Beautiful YouRating: 4 out of 5 stars, Genre: Contemporary Fiction (WARNING), Pages: 225, Level: Easy

Book Description:

“A billion husbands are about to be replaced.”

From the author of Fight Club, the classic portrait of the damaged contemporary male psyche, now comes this novel about the apocalyptic marketing possibilities of female pleasure. Sisters will be doing it for themselves. And doing it. And doing it. And doing it some more… Penny Harrigan is a low-level associate in a big Manhattan law firm with an apartment in Queens and no love life at all. So it comes as a great shock when she finds herself invited to dinner by one C. Linus Maxwell, aka “Climax-Well,” a software mega-billionaire and lover of the most gorgeous and accomplished women on earth. After dining at Manhattan’s most exclusive restaurant, he whisks Penny off to a hotel suite in Paris, where he proceeds, notebook in hand, to bring her to previously undreamed-of heights of orgasmic pleasure for days on end. What’s not to like? This: Penny discovers that she is a test subject for the final development of a line of sex toys to be marketed in a nationwide chain of boutiques called Beautiful You. So potent and effective are these devices that women by the millions line up outside the stores on opening day and then lock themselves in their room with them and stop coming out. Except for batteries. Maxwell’s plan for erotically enabled world domination must be stopped. But how?

ADULTS ONLY. IF YOU ARE NOT 18 YEARS OLD OR OLDER, DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW.

Vulgar.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Seriously, there is a rape scene in a court room, on the stand, in front of a lot of people, including a judge, all who do absolutely nothing to stop it. That’s how the book begins. This isn’t a joke. That is how Beautiful You begins.

Now think about the premise- sex toys make men obsolete. So what do you think is in this book? Sex. And lots of it. And most of it is bat crazy. If this bothers you or makes you squeamish, I do not recommend you even attempt to read it. Again, and I cannot emphasize this enough, I am not joking. Fifty Shades of Gray this is not.

So far, the only other book I have read by Uncle Chuck is Invisible Monsters and I loved it. After reading that and now BM, I feel confident in saying that good old Chuck is all about shock value. There are many intelligent discussions to be had, if you can get past all the shock and awe. But I kid you not, this shock and awe would put Dubya to shame.

Palahniuk is an excellent writer and story teller. I breezed right through this book. And there are issues to be discussed if you are so inclined- shopping fads sparked by celebrities, the power of suggestion and advertising, women taking control over their own sexual gratification, feminism, and more. For example, does choosing to be a homemaker fit with the feminist ideal?

I like to include some of the more profound quotes of a book, but honestly, I read this so fast that I didn’t even think to stop and mark any passages. That’s a sign of a good book, in my humble opinion. Maybe I’ll read it again at some point, a little bit slower so I can mark some of the better portions.

In the end, this is a book that I would recommend to only a very few people because I don’t want anyone calling and screaming at me. Some scenes are really that bad. If you are a little hesitant, maybe begin with something a bit tamer, like Fifty Shades of Gray; that should tell you a lot. I obviously enjoyed Beautiful You because I gave it four stars, but my only recommendation will be to use your best judgment.

Reviewed by Christina
December 8, 2014

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