cover image DIARY: A Novel

DIARY: A Novel

Chuck Palahniuk, , read by Martha Plimpton. . Random House Audio, $34.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7393-0284-2

Although this work is a departure from Palahniuk's previous novels Fight Club , Lullaby and Choke , it contains many of the author's signature elements: complex, tortured characters; eyebrow-raising descriptions of people and places; and an imaginative story line that bursts with color and drama. Misty Marie Kleinman, an art student-turned-hotel maid, has enough on her plate with a husband, Peter, in a coma after attempting suicide. But when she learns that Peter earlier had scribbled incomprehensible messages all over the houses he'd been remodeling, and people start reporting that rooms in those houses have vanished, her world tilts off center. To cope with this bizarre development, Misty starts painting again and pens a diary. Stage and screen actor Plimpton narrates Misty's journal in a plain, almost coma-like voice, stultifying her tone with boredom and nonchalance. As a result, Palahniuk's creative, unusual tale seems devoid of feeling or character. Alas, while the story is fresh, Plimpton's unenthusiastic reading is not. Simultaneous release with the Doubleday hardcover (Forecasts, July 7). (Aug.)