Customer Reviews for

Pygmy

Average Rating 3.5
( 165 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(44)

4 Star

(41)

3 Star

(49)

2 Star

(18)

1 Star

(13)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Palahniuk's newest is nothing short of amazing...what else would one expect?

I was pleasantly surprised with "Pygmy!" it is easily one of the funniest and most entertaining books i've ever read! The writing style is genius and fun, the satire is spot on, and the humor is hilarious!

What this book does is it looks at just about every aspect of...
I was pleasantly surprised with "Pygmy!" it is easily one of the funniest and most entertaining books i've ever read! The writing style is genius and fun, the satire is spot on, and the humor is hilarious!

What this book does is it looks at just about every aspect of American culture and looks at it through a foreigner's eyes making everything look...well, stupid. Funny, funny, funny and pure fun! Palahniuk-you're a God!

posted by D-Ives on May 30, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Quickly becomes more of a chore than a gratifying read.

This book is written in broken english, know this before buying it. The narrative, which reads like its been fed through an online translator several times, quickly becomes a chore. The writing has some humor in it but in the end is not gratifying. This seems like Chuck...
This book is written in broken english, know this before buying it. The narrative, which reads like its been fed through an online translator several times, quickly becomes a chore. The writing has some humor in it but in the end is not gratifying. This seems like Chuck just sort of ailed it in and through in an ending with an attempt to retract some of his innumerable criticisms of society. Certainly not worth buying in hardcover.

posted by CheebaHawk999 on June 16, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 165 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 9
  • Posted May 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Palahniuk's newest is nothing short of amazing...what else would one expect?

    I was pleasantly surprised with "Pygmy!" it is easily one of the funniest and most entertaining books i've ever read! The writing style is genius and fun, the satire is spot on, and the humor is hilarious!

    What this book does is it looks at just about every aspect of American culture and looks at it through a foreigner's eyes making everything look...well, stupid. Funny, funny, funny and pure fun! Palahniuk-you're a God!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2009

    Quickly becomes more of a chore than a gratifying read.

    This book is written in broken english, know this before buying it. The narrative, which reads like its been fed through an online translator several times, quickly becomes a chore. The writing has some humor in it but in the end is not gratifying. This seems like Chuck just sort of ailed it in and through in an ending with an attempt to retract some of his innumerable criticisms of society. Certainly not worth buying in hardcover.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A wellspring of bizarre quotes and ideas.

    This novel has many pitfalls, meaning many opportunities for disappointment by the reader. If those pitfalls are avoided, however, you can enjoy a very fresh kind of novel that's loaded with hilarious quotes and observations.

    With regard to the pitfalls, you have Pygmy's dialogue to contend with and the absurdity of the plot. Pygmy's English vocabulary is insanely high, but his grammar and syntax are totally alien. Once you get used to Pygmy's speech, you can begin to enjoy his distorted way of describing American life. As for the plot... you must understand you are reading a comedy and not a political thriller. If you can continue to raise your suspension of disbelief and go with the inherent absurdity, you'll love the flow of the book.

    The real joy of this novel comes from Pygmy's observations of America by way of his home country's bias. His indoctrinated hatred of capitalism and American consumerism lead to page after page of hilarious descriptions as Pygmy attempts to make sense of this foreign nation he's residing in. Those features that evoke envy in many are viewed with bitter disgust- and written in a way that makes you feel both emotions while laughing most of the way through it.

    With my caveat about the "pitfalls" of this book, I highly recommend it as something new and fascinating. I've read all of Palahniuk's fiction, but Pygmy has a special place of it's own for me. Though maybe not my all time favorite of Palahniuk's (Invisible Monsters), it's a unique kind of romantic comedy that gets you thinking about ideology without making any real political statements.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Begins Here Book Review From Moderately Entertained Reader

    I am a big fan of Chuck Palahniuk. I enjoyed the the hysterical satire of this book and I thought the fresh writing style was unique and fun (once I got used to it, which if you stick it out and read the first few chapters, you WILL get use to it - I promise) I especially enjoyed the flashbacks to the training that "Pygmy" underwent - brutal stuff. The reason I've only rated it 3 stars is because I did not feel it was his best writing or even close to his best writing. At times, the writing style gets a little mundane and I actually ended up putting this book down for 2 months! I just finished it the other day and I am very glad I did. Over all, I would rate it slightly above average. Still a good read if you love Chuck's writing. Don't expect it to be the same syle though. I would suggest reading a chapter or two at the bookstore to better decide if it is something you will be into.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Do not even bother with this book!

    I'm a die hard Palahniuk fan, but this book is rubbish. It has his typical anti-consumerism flair, but the prose ruins the book. The broken English narritive makes immersing one's self in the story difficult, if not impossible. Other greats such as Hubert Selby Jr, Anthony Burgess, Irvine Welsh and Alan Warner can pull off a colloquial narritive in a manner that draws the reader in, inviting him or her to join in the character's adventures and plights. Sadly, this novel illustrates Chuck's inability to do such a thing and not alienate the reader.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Not his best, but certainly not as bad as Snuff!

    Certainly not Chuck's best book, but far better than Snuff. The English is "broken," yes, Pygmy's vocabulary is stellar... but haven't you ever noticed most non-native speakers have incredible vocabularies? Learning vocabulary is easy, syntax is not! Yes, the satire was a little heavy handed at times, but Chuck gives us so much to think about in this novel. The great thing about reading any of his books are the connections one makes in their head AFTER they have read the book and thinks about all the small connections and turns you didn't quite notice until you sit back and think it all over. Are some of the scenarios far fetched? Of course! It's Chuck. I don't think there aren't scenarios in ANY of his books that aren't far fetched, including Fight Club (sorry, it's true). Then, there is the "happy" ending, a twist all its own as Chuck rarely ends a book like that. However, as "happy" as it ends, I think most would agree it isn't the best outcome for Pygmy. The genius lies in how the ending is both "pro" and "anti" American all at once. As always, Chuck is not for everyone, but this novel is by far not nearly "Chuck's worst" in any shape or form, as some other reviewers claim. It does not beat the genius of Rant, Choke, or Survivor, but it is a must read for Chuck fans and anyone interested in him at all.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2009

    WORST PALAHNIUK BOOK . PERIOD. END OF STORY.

    For official record: I have been a HUGE Palahniuk fan for a long time and have read all of his books thus far.

    But I completely agree with the previous review of this book. Chuck has hit an all time low. I thought Snuff was bad, but this is just plain stupid and I know some people would agree. First to point to the obvious: the writing. The "broken english" is suppose to be indicative of Pygmy's typical foreigner's lack of grasp of the english language. Yet when you look at it, alot of complex and uncommon verbs, adjectives and nouns are used that aren't even used in everyday common langauge and words that certainly wouldn't be known to someone who dosn't know enlish and yet he can't even put together a single grammatical sentence. The writing is definitely something I can't suspend my belief in and just go along with it. It was just horrible and got worse as the book progressed. Also, the fact that the writing wasn't as clear at times meant that the 'satire' running in the book was more direct and heavy-handed. I know that is Palahniuk's style but it was just bad in this book.

    Moreover, the 'satire' of American culture and power that is viewed through the eyes of a foriegner is the most stereotypical and superficial and overused views of Americans: "we're imperialist, we use up the world's resources, we're passive consumerists, relegion is fake...blah, blah, blah" haven't we heard this all before Chuck? (And we're suppose to believe that someone would attack us because of Starbucks and Mcdonalds? C'mon, even Bin Laden would disagree)

    Palahniuk's recent books have just degenerated into pure shock value and don't offer anything tangible in the form of satire, good characters, or a good plot line to balance it out (even by his own standards). He just keeps piling on the extremes for its own sake and because we expect it from him.

    In two or three years time, i think i'd be too mature to even read palahniuk's books. He's just become a faux-literary nihilist spouting half-baked coffee-table philosophy.

    This is probably the last Palahniuk book i will rush to go out and get. It will take a really amazing turn around for me to get his next book.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    Laugh out loud funny!

    I think that all of the "haters" of this one just found it too hard to read, but anything worthwhile is worth working for, to paraphrase...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2013

    pygmy

    this was an ok read. it falls way short in comparison to Survivor or Fight Club.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    My least favorite Palahniuk book

    I'm a huge Palahniuk fan - I own and have read all of his books. He's an incredible author, and is definitely my favorite modern day writer - but Pygmy is my least favorite out of all of his novels. It's not that the story is bad - the characters are interesting, and the concept is intriguing. It's just that the broken english is very hard to get used to. In books such as Welsh's Trainspotting, the strange language used can be a fun experience for the reader - but in Pygmy, it's a bit of work at the beginning. Normally, I'm a fast reader - but this book took me a few days to get through because of the broken english. Once you get used to it, though, a lot of it is very funny. For example, Pygmy refers to church as "religion propaganda distribution outlet." Also, when at a school dance, the way that Pygmy asks a girl to dance with him is: "Request demonstrate superior anatomy as condition to receive generous deposit of alive male seed." These, along with Pygmy's way of addressing the elderly and his frequent quoting of dictators, prove to be amusing elements. The book in itself is an amusing and thought-provoking read, and is worth checking out if you're a hardcore Palahniuk fan. However, if you're new to Palahniuk, I would suggest starting somewhere else [Choke, Survivor]. The book was good, but it is my least favorite of all of Palahniuk's works.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 29, 2010

    as ever, Mr. P delivers

    if you're an avid Palahniuk fan, add this to your collection. great read, if you're used to his style of writing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I love Chuck, But this one ?????

    To hard to read to get into the flow

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 15, 2010

    Shoots for Edgy, Hits Insulting

    I picked this up, because I'd never read a Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club). Now I wish I hadn't.

    Pygmy is about a secret terrorist cell of diminutive people who disguise themselves as middle-school exchange students so they can infiltrate a Midwest American city. It's written in report form, narrated by one short terrorist is a pidgin English meant to mock Asians trying to grasp our language. I found this style hard to understand and often offensive instead of comic, which I can only assume Palahniuk was aiming for (though I'm not sure, since Pygmy is one of the most spectacular misses I've ever had the torture of reading.)

    Pygmy makes fun of Americans in the most cliché way. It has strip mall churches. It has junior high dances. It has television. It has slogan-riddled t-shirts and fashion clothes. I get it; we Americans are shallow, clueless, self-interested, and ignorant of other cultures. Golly, no one's ever said THAT about America before! That's ORIGINAL, Palahniuk!

    Chapter 2 has a bathroom rape that becomes central to the plot...

    Let me repeat that: there's a bathroom rape in Chapter 2. We're supposed to be horrified and humored by this...

    What's so deeply sad is that the author thinks reprehensible shock is synonymous with comedy and entertainment. In fact, the violent rape of a teenager in a Walmart restroom is only part of the problem. Later, there's something even crasser; at that point, I desperately wanted to throw the book. Preferably at the author's head.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Worth Reading

    Great story but reading the broken English made it a little tiring to read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Pygmy - decent but difficult

    Pygmy is a difficult book to read. The narrator, Pygmy, is a foreign-born thirteen year old terrorist. He does not have a complete command of the English language. The entire novel is written in his pseudo-English speech pattern. If you can overcome this experimental prose, then you will discover a decent story inside. There is a a superb description of high school dodge ball, but the rest of the school scenes are familiar and cliche. Pygmy's history, his descent from an individual to a member of his State, and learning to become an individual again are the truly interesting bits. If you've never read a novel by Chuck Palahnuik, don't start here. Go pick up Invisible Monsters, Lullaby, or Choke.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    another Palahniuk classic

    great book, very funny and gives good view of how somebody not from america might view us. Chuck Palahniuk proves once again he is one of best writters today.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 23, 2009

    Its okay, but not great

    It is a bit hard to follow at times, but still has that dark outsider element Palahniuk is known for.
    This is written entirely from the view of the exchange student/terrorist an includes his difficulty with the english language which makes it harder to follow than any of his other works.
    If you are thinking this is another "Fight Club" it really is not.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    An unexpected treat

    This was my first book by Palahniuk, so I wan't sure what to expect. I was delighted. This book is satirical, witty and definitely not run-of-the-mill. The characters are outstanding, I loved them all. The plot isn't very complicated, but that is never a problem. The way it's worded (in the broken english of the main character) can be distracting. However, it is also hilarious at times. Mr. Palahniuk pokes a sharp stick into the side of the American lifestyle. I definitely will read more by this author.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 11, 2009

    This book sucks.

    Definitely one of Chuck Palahniuk's worst books yet, even worse than his last.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Terrific slice of Palahniuk's mind

    The most satisfying Palahniuk since Diary. Takes America and (ostensibly) China equally to task with a fast-paced, wry, satirical Lashing Lynx to the reader's gut and mind. The initial inscrutability of the language (you get accustomed to it, really, just as with Shakespeare, for example) and central character throw you off-balance, but leave you in the end enjoying them all the more as a result.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 165 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 9