…by Chuck Palahniuk.

Peter Wilmont goes into coma after a failed suicide attempt. Misty, his wife, maintains a diary for him writing furious entries in it on a regular basis. Misty, once an art student, meets and marries Peter and moves to Waytansea Island, where, after many years, Peter’s family lose their estates and Misty, now, survives with her daughter and mother-in-law, working as a waitress in a local hotel. She spends her days drinking, taking painkillers and working, so she can provide well for her daughter.

Since Peter is in a coma, Misty is forced to face all his old clients who constantly complain to her about the dreadful messages they find on the walls that he remodeled. Amid facing angry clients and trying to run a family, Misty’s mother-in-law keeps pushing her to pursue her creative side. And one fine day, Misty finds herself inspired and starts painting again only to find out later the conspiracy behind everything that has happened since the day she met Peter. What unfolds then is an impressive philosophical thriller cleverly weaved around the modern materialistic society.

The novel is nothing less than brilliant. The story, a thriller, in itself and the concept that the story is based on are worth some pondering. It will definitely leave you thinking about it for a while and the ideas presented in the story will stick with you even after you’ve finished reading the book. I didn’t have to believe in everything that’s been said; I didn’t have to feel for/with the characters all the time…but it stuck a chord, somewhere deep, probably because of the philosophical angle that it has.

Palahniuk’s writing style might not be appealing to everyone. When I started reading the book, I found it hard to keep going. The first 40-50 pages were a drag, I felt, both because of the unusual writing style and because I didn’t really get where the plot was headed. The tale not only got clear from there, but it also kept me engrossed all the way. The author maintains the suspense well until the last few chapters, yet he keeps the story going without boring the readers.

I can’t help myself form doing this…so here – some of my favorite quotes from the book –

Leonardo’s Mona Lisa is just a thousand thousand smears of paint. Michelangelo’s David is just a million hits with a hammer. We’re all of us a million bits put together the right way.

The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.

What you don’t understand you can make mean anything.

Your handwriting. The way you walk. Which china pattern you choose. It’s all giving you away. Everything you do shows your hand. Everything is a self-portrait. Everything is a diary.

All the effort in the world won’t matter if you’re not inspired.

What she learned is what she always learns. Plato was right. We are all of us immortal. We couldn’t die if we wanted to.

And the best of all –

It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.

Amazing words, don’t you think? Makes sense on so many levels, no?

Apparently, according to a few other reviews I read, this is one of the author’s not-so-good works. But I’m glad I read this book before any other work by the author because now I’m more interested in exploring the rest of his masterpieces. I can’t wait to read another book by the author !

A remarkable piece of work, overall.

My rating: 4*.

*for the rating scale, click here.