Customer Reviews for

Tell-All

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

I liked it . . .

Tell-All was decent. Was it as good as some of Palahniuk's other works? No. Was it still fun to read? Yes. I think the reason why many people are trashing this book is because they hold Palahniuk to a very high standard that he created for himself. With books such...
Tell-All was decent. Was it as good as some of Palahniuk's other works? No. Was it still fun to read? Yes. I think the reason why many people are trashing this book is because they hold Palahniuk to a very high standard that he created for himself. With books such as Fight Club, Choke, and Survivor, fans expect "great" from Chuck Palahniuk. This book was "good" but it did not reach "great." Tell-All started out kind of slow but it gained momentum throughout the second half of the book. I wish it would have been longer because the second half was really good. Overall, a good book, but not great.

posted by ClarkP on May 17, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

The first Palahniuk book to disappoint me.

While many of Palahniuk's long-term fans have been disappointed in his last three novels, this is the first novel he's written that has disappointed me personally.
While minimalist stylings are all well and good, this novel never gets beyond the tricks and tactics to ...
While many of Palahniuk's long-term fans have been disappointed in his last three novels, this is the first novel he's written that has disappointed me personally.
While minimalist stylings are all well and good, this novel never gets beyond the tricks and tactics to tell a good story. Literally the first half of the novel is all surface description and Bret Easton Ellis-esque name-dropping, leaving you to wonder what action is really taking place, if any. By the time you make it to the second "act" of the novel, you have a short story's worth of action taking place, which is mildly funny, but not as powerful as many of his other ideas. There are three to five characters in the novel, but even that number is debatable, as there is little to no characterization or dialogue in the entire book. By the time you reach the third "act," you will have long since guessed the plot twist.
I consider Palahniuk to be one of our best living authors, so to be this disappointed is a tough thing for me. What I think he's doing is getting a book written before the idea had any time to germinate. He's got the momentum with his audience and publisher to turn out half-baked novels every year, but how can this be fulfilling to anyone? I think if he had slowed down a bit and allowed the characters to spend more time in his mind, they would have had more to say.
"Tell All" is still a better novel than many contemporary stories, but with a narrator that tries to take the best qualities of the narrators from Diary, Fight Club and Survivor, well-read Palahkiuk enthusiasts will only see this as a flawed Frankenstein built up from past success. Instead of Tell All, read the three novels listed above, or Bret Easton Ellis' "Glamorama."

posted by Ninja_Dog on June 9, 2010

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Oh my!

    A book full of Hollywood/Broadway name dropping; some obscure, some common. AND, every time a name is dropped, it's in bold print. Just plain irritating. This is the second Chuck Palahniuk novel that I've read, and I've come to the conclusion that he always has to have some kind of gimmick. Why not write and just tell a story? To add fuel to the fire, the story has already been done. I guessed the true villian pretty quickly. I will admit though that I did get a few laughs from the dialogue/scenarios towards the end of the book - but not enough to ever, ever read Chuck Palahniuk again.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    The first Palahniuk book to disappoint me.

    While many of Palahniuk's long-term fans have been disappointed in his last three novels, this is the first novel he's written that has disappointed me personally.
    While minimalist stylings are all well and good, this novel never gets beyond the tricks and tactics to tell a good story. Literally the first half of the novel is all surface description and Bret Easton Ellis-esque name-dropping, leaving you to wonder what action is really taking place, if any. By the time you make it to the second "act" of the novel, you have a short story's worth of action taking place, which is mildly funny, but not as powerful as many of his other ideas. There are three to five characters in the novel, but even that number is debatable, as there is little to no characterization or dialogue in the entire book. By the time you reach the third "act," you will have long since guessed the plot twist.
    I consider Palahniuk to be one of our best living authors, so to be this disappointed is a tough thing for me. What I think he's doing is getting a book written before the idea had any time to germinate. He's got the momentum with his audience and publisher to turn out half-baked novels every year, but how can this be fulfilling to anyone? I think if he had slowed down a bit and allowed the characters to spend more time in his mind, they would have had more to say.
    "Tell All" is still a better novel than many contemporary stories, but with a narrator that tries to take the best qualities of the narrators from Diary, Fight Club and Survivor, well-read Palahkiuk enthusiasts will only see this as a flawed Frankenstein built up from past success. Instead of Tell All, read the three novels listed above, or Bret Easton Ellis' "Glamorama."

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 25, 2010

    Its not his worst, but...

    Well, another year waiting for a palahniuk book, and another year i'm waiting until he gets back to writing like his eariler novels. I've been a fan of his for a long-time and have read all of his books; and its true that most people who have read most of his books, particularly his earlier ones hold him to a high standard. But I think its fair because he's had 7 books to get back to form and he hasn't done that yet. Firstly on the plot/narrative: I agree with the eariler review, for roughly the first half of the book, there is no progression in the story at all. It consists mostly of one long introduction to the world of Katherine Kenton and Hazie Coogan, even though I couldn't get a good grasp of the latter's character. And considering this is chuck's shortest novel, this was a huge problem for me. Even when the plot gets going, there isn't much that is happening. One of the few positives I found was that Chuck definitely toned down the grossness and sex compared to his last two books. He isn't looking to pile one outrageous thing on anohter this time. On the social commentary about celebrity obsession: I didn't think it was as strong or didn't convey much originality in the ideas it put forth. On the characters: In my opinion, there was no character development at all, particularly for the Hazie character. And finally on the plot twist: I could see it coming a mile away. Overall, its slighty better than his last two books, which isn't saying much. It still retains his trademark writing style, but without a strong story to back it up, its more style than substance. Moreover, this book just isn't funny at all. I'd recommend to wait for it to come on paperback or just get it from a library.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2010

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    I liked it . . .

    Tell-All was decent. Was it as good as some of Palahniuk's other works? No. Was it still fun to read? Yes. I think the reason why many people are trashing this book is because they hold Palahniuk to a very high standard that he created for himself. With books such as Fight Club, Choke, and Survivor, fans expect "great" from Chuck Palahniuk. This book was "good" but it did not reach "great." Tell-All started out kind of slow but it gained momentum throughout the second half of the book. I wish it would have been longer because the second half was really good. Overall, a good book, but not great.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012

    Worst book I ever attempted to read.

    I love Chuck Palahniuk but this one completely missed the mark. Not even worth it for free. What a shame.

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  • Posted September 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    not Chuck's best

    Read all of Chuck's books. Not my favorite. Hope the next one rocks.....

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  • Posted July 10, 2011

    Um...

    ...what a let down. Palahniuk is one of my all time favorite authors...but not this book. If new to Palahniuk...don't judge by this book! Check out any of his other excellent work...you will be hooked.

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  • Posted July 6, 2011

    Up-chuck Tell All!

    I love all Chuck stuff but this was a big let down. Funny lots of times but just painful to read. Luckly only takes a few hrs to read but big anticlimax

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  • Posted January 15, 2011

    its like reading a list of names

    by far one of chucks worst books. the book could have been 10 pages long an it would have still been the same story.

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  • Posted October 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Nothing to Say

    It's been years since a book held no appeal at all to me after I bought it, and this was a surprise as I had read some things to make me feel I would enjoy Tell-A. As it is, I could barely get through it. I found it stunningly boring and pointless.

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  • Posted September 17, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    Not QUITE Classic Chuck...

    While the inside-flap proclaims this to be "vintage Chuck," I have to disagree--this book was merely an afterthought. A pet-project or hobby turned into a novel at last-minute. It is definitely well-researched, like most of his work, and if you like old-Hollywood (though it's set in NYC) you will be a tad more intrigued, but overall it's a bit of a dud.

    It's an easy read: short and to the point, you could probably read it in a single afternoon. The scrambled, wit-filled writing style is not that far off from his previous works like Choke and Survivor. The plot, however, was unfortunatley very, VERY predictable. Overall, I found this a waste of my afternoon.

    Some disclaimers: As an avid Chuck-fan, I've read most of his work. (The three I haven't read I at least own, knowing at some point I will need a hit of his humor.) Knowing the way his stories are built and told, I knew there would be a twist and I knew by reading the book-jacket that I've basically read this before. Because of this, I am suggesting readers to skip this book if you've read any of his first 7 novels. If you have not, I recommend reading Survivor and Invisible Monsters--both are sufficient in twist, shock, and humor... Vintage Chuck.

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  • Posted August 12, 2010

    Really Good Read

    I was surprised how much I liked this book. I'm a fan of Palahniuk's and having read other reviews for the book, I was kind of hesitant to read this. It's not really like any of his other books, which shows his versatility. Good twist at the end.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Worth a read if you're a fan of Chuck

    I love Chuck. I've read five of his books so far (the others are Fight Club, Rant, Choke, and Survivor), and I found this one to be a bit less enjoyable than the others. The name dropping was interesting at first, thought-provoking after the point was made, and then just started to get a bit much. But that's just a personal opinion really. The two main characters were decently interesting, but beyond that I really didn't feel much connection to any of the others. I also found the twist to be a but predictable.

    That isn't to say it's a bad book. It did have it's moments and a few interesting concepts (I liked the aspect of the mirror throughout). And it was still Chuck, which means that it's still better than most other books out there.

    It's a pretty quick read, so I would recommend it if you really enjoy Chuck as I do, or if you are very into vintage Hollywood (it did hold true to its promise of a vintage Hollywood feel in my opinion). But, if you haven't read the other novels of his that I listed above, I'd check them out.

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  • Posted June 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    INVENTIVE, UNPREDICTABLE, FUNNY

    While voice performer Hillary Huber records for a number of major publishers this listener is delighted that Blackstone signed her on for TELL-ALL. She delivers a controlled, easy listening narration - "controlled" is not easy to do when the author is Chuck Palahniuk Those who have read or heard his previous works (Pygmy, Fight Club, Invisible Monsters, to mention a few) know he's one of the most inventive authors working today - unpredictable, ambitious in subject matter, funny, and impossible to pinpoint.

    TELL-ALL has been likened by someone as a cross between Page Six and Sunset Boulevard. Palahniuk takes on celebrity - how it is perceived, what it is. He gives us a cast of multitudes headed by Katherine Kenton, an aging but not about to give up movie star and Hazie Coogan who has long been her servant, protector, flunky, and major-domo seeing to whatever Miss Kathie needs through her numerous love affairs, and major movie moments. The alcohol imbibing sexually rapacious star is adored by her public who see only the image presented to them.

    Webster Carlton Westward III, one more suitor, soon appears and has little trouble in winning over Miss Kathie but he has an agenda of his own. He has already penned a tell-all memoir of their affair with a fatally unhappy ending. Another challenge for Hazie

    Rife with gossip and enough name dropping to satisfy the most celebrity hungry fan TELL-ALL is a riff on old Hollywood. It's pure Palahniuk.

    Enjoy

    - Gail Cooke

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  • Posted May 28, 2010

    Palahniuk Strikes Again

    Like many of Chuck Palahniuk's books, the writing style takes a little to get used to. This book is set up like a screenplay, divided in Acts and Scenes instead of Chapters. Once again I feel that he has done an incredible job making the reader feel that they are in the dwindling days of Hollywood's Golden Era. The book is written from the housekeeper/live in companion's point of view about her mistress, an aging Hollywood starlet who the companion, Coogen, believes is her own personal work in progress, and she intends to work at it until it reaches perfection. I recommend to anyone who like Palahniuk's work to check this one out. If you are new to his books, this is a good starting point, as almost every one of his books tackle great sweeping ideals that the reader is not sure of until the twist at the end, yes, there is always a twist. Just force yourself through the first couple of pages if it is difficult to get into the the screenplay style of writing and by that point you will be hooked and want to know all that there is to tell.

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  • Posted May 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    It Told All

    Funny and clever. Filled with everyone's name from back in the day is the imagined screen play of savior Hazie Coogan complete with voice overs and flashbacks, as she saves Miss Kathie Kenton from her own film like lifestyle. Miss Coogan has created quite the legend.

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    Posted March 26, 2011

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    Posted July 21, 2011

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    Posted March 16, 2013

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    Posted April 6, 2012

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