Warning: This review broaches masturbation, a topic that might not be everyone’s piece of cake. Delicacy on the subject isn’t something you will find here.
Masturbating has never been put this horrifyingly. Or disgustingly. Or brilliantly. Yes, this is not for the squeamish, it’s disturbing to read. Rumour has it ‘Guts’ was inspired by a true story, an incident that the then three year old Valerie Lakey suffered heavily in. The short story is divided into three equally disgusting shorter parts. The last one being about a kid suffering a rectal prolapse on a submerged filter in a swimming pool and having to bite off his own ‘insides’ to stop himself drowning. You get the gross picture. It’s sexual curiosity exceeding even that which is abnormal.
Apparatus required: A strong stomach, vivid imagination and the ability to withstand Book Palahniuk’s eccentric writing.
Years ago, while on his book tours, Palahniuk entertained his fans by reading out ‘Guts’, and the total count of people who fainted while the reading was going on turned out to 73. You see, his brilliant writing makes the story grip you to the point where you begin to visualize exactly what is happening. The shock factor is something the author plays heavily on, leading to a point where you aren’t able to tear your eyes from the page – no matter how badly you want to. Palahniuk has taken a rather imaginative route – taking a body, its interior and it’s most private appendages and deconstructing the being. From the inside out. Making you imagine your own body and the pain and the discomfort it causes. It’s crass, superficial and a classic guide for torturing yourself.
Sparing you the lovely details of the story – for the link is given above – I will give this an eight on ten, because anything more would mean I would want to read this again and recommend the story to others. The former will not be happening at any cost and I think I am going to recommend this to people I hate. In the end though, is it worth reading? If you like Palahniuk’s style of writing, yes. If you want to feel nauseous, why not? If you somehow manage to look past the shocking content, this story shows you what a goddamn good writer Chuck Palahniuk is.