( 113 )


Soaked, nay, marinated in the world of vintage Hollywood, Tell-All is a Sunset Boulevard–inflected homage to Old Hollywood and a hilarious assault on celebrity.

Hazie Coogan has for decades tended to the outsized needs of Katherine "Miss Kathie" Kenton, a larger-than-life star who has survived multiple marriages, career comebacks, cosmetic surgeries, and emotional dramas. But danger lurks with the arrival of a gentleman caller named Webster Carlton Westward III, who worms his ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Audiobook)
  • All (1) from   
  • Used (1) from $0.00   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing 1 – 0 of 1
We’re having technical difficulties. Please try again shortly.
Page 1 of 1
Showing 1 – 0 of 1
Sort by

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.99 price
This digital version does not exactly match the physical book displayed here.


Soaked, nay, marinated in the world of vintage Hollywood, Tell-All is a Sunset Boulevard–inflected homage to Old Hollywood and a hilarious assault on celebrity.

Hazie Coogan has for decades tended to the outsized needs of Katherine "Miss Kathie" Kenton, a larger-than-life star who has survived multiple marriages, career comebacks, cosmetic surgeries, and emotional dramas. But danger lurks with the arrival of a gentleman caller named Webster Carlton Westward III, who worms his way into Miss Kathie's heart and boudoir. Hazie discovers that this bounder has already written his celebrity tell-all memoir, which foretells Miss Kathie's death in a forthcoming Lillian Hellman–penned musical extravaganza. As the body count mounts, Hazie must execute a plan to save Katherine Kenton for her fans—and for posterity.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Brace yourself for the latest Chuck Palahniuk total immersion experience. Tell-All sets you down into Silver Screen Hollywood, where egos and cosmetic surgeons run rampant, and reputations wither and die overnight. At the center of this circus is "Miss Kathie" Kenton, an aging Harlow clone who has fallen under the spell of conniving lothario, Webster Carlton Westward III. (With a name like that, could he be anything less or more than a cad?) Fortunately, Kenton remains under the embattled protection of Hazie Coogan, our fast-quipping narrator. And with that intro, friends, you're off to the races on your own. A Father's Day gift for truly maverick dads.

Kirkus Reviews
Beneath the glamour of Hollywood lies an ineffable sadness, a commonplace notion that this occasionally amusing novel both belabors and mocks. As the cult master of high-concept fictional subversion, the prolific Palahniuk (Pygmy, 2009, etc.) has his typical fun here, though the thinness of character and lack of narrative momentum that are part of the plan might try the reader's patience. Within "this silly motion picture we call human history," the tarnished heroine is aging Katherine "Miss Kathie" Kenton, whose riveting violet eyes and multiple marriages might tempt some to recall Elizabeth Taylor. The narrator is Hazie Coogan, who tells the story in terms of acts and scenes, with flashbacks and voice-overs. And who is Hazie? Not exactly a housekeeper or personal assistant to Miss Kathie. Perhaps a confidante or nursemaid. Certainly the second banana. "I was Thelma Ritter before Thelma Ritter was Thelma Ritter," she writes, or rather Palahniuk writes, only in the novel each reference to Thelma Ritter is in boldface. As is every other proper name, most of them recognizable ("Lilly" Hellman, Coco Chanel, Ronald Reagan), and product name. Both the novel's title and the boldface recall the golden age of the gossip columnist, with the author having great sport with the wordplay that once filled the columns of Walter Winchell, Hedda Hopper and the like. Every ex-husband, of whom Miss Kathie has many, is a "was-band," while a book about such a star might be a "bile-ography." As a younger Lothario vies to become the next Mr. Kathie, he is writing a memoir that will be far more marketable after her death. Or is he? Among the meta-fictional challenges the reader must confront within thisnarrative within a narrative within a narrative is what kind of book is Hazie writing (and we are reading). Meanwhile, the wordplay amuses. Those who aren't sure what they're in for with Palahniuk won't want to start here.
Publishers Weekly
Palahniuk's rude sendup of name-dropping and the culture of celebrity worship revolves around the fate of Katherine Kenton, a much-married star of stage, screen, and television, living in obscurity and searching for a comeback vehicle. Her story is told by Mazie Coogan—her Thelma Ritterish, straight-shooting confidant and protector—whose warning system sounds when Miss Kathie meets Webster Carlton Westward III, who quickly seduces his way into her Manhattan townhouse. It's soon revealed he's working on a memoir about his affair with Miss Kathie, the last chapter of which ends with her anticipated death, the details of which keep changing. The affair coincides with Miss Kathie's comeback in a bombastic Broadway extravaganza penned by Lillian Hellman (who receives inexplicably savage treatment). Throughout, Palahniuk drops names from the famous to the head-scratchingly obscure, peppers the narrative with neologisms supposedly coined by famous gossip columnists (ex-husbands are “was-bands”), and annoyingly styles the text so that nearly every name, brand name, and fabulous venue appears in bold. Unfortunately, this gossipy fantasia is a one-joke premise that, even at its modest length, wears out its welcome well before Miss Kathie's final fade-out. (May)
From the Publisher

“Subtle as a straight right to the jaw, and just as bracing.” —Los Angeles Times

“Dreamlike, insane, Burroughs-esque.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Over the top in Palahniuk’s patented style, made even richer by some athletic wordplay.” —The Oregonian 

 “Chuck Palahniuk is one of modern American fiction’s most interesting stylists, and he’s at it again. . . . A masterful feat.” —Associated Press  
“With his love of contemporary fairy tales that are gritty and dirty rather than pretty, Palahniuk is the likeliest inheritor of Vonnegut’s place in American writing.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Among sick puppies, Palahniuk is top dog.” —People
“Reading a Palahniuk novel is like getting zipped inside a boxer’s heavy bag while the author goes to work on you, pounding you until there is nothing left but a big bag of bones and blood and pain.” —The Miami Herald
“Palahniuk doesn’t write for tourists. He writes for hard-core devotees drawn to the wild, angry imagination on display and the taboo-busting humor.” —The New York Times
“So funny. . . . There are a lot of laughs to be had, notably from some outlandish Broadway productions of the playwright Lillian Hellman, and the excruciating extracts we read of Westward’s juicy and self-aggrandizing memoir, gloriously entitled Love Slave.” —The Independent (London)
“[Palahniuk] knows how to spin whacked-out stories particular to our times.” —The Seattle Times
“Chuck Palahniuk is William S. Burroughs and David Foster Wallace rolled into one.” —San Diego Union-Tribune
“Few contemporary writers mix the outrageous and the hilarious with greater zest. . . . Chuck Palahniuk’s splenetic, anarchic glee makes him a worthy heir to Ken Kesey.” —Newsday
“An author who continues to challenge and intrigue readers.” —The Boston Globe
“[Palahniuk] has a singular knack for coming up with inventive new ways to shock and degrade.” —New York Post
“Place this bet in your time capsule: Chuck Palahniuk’s novels will be required reading in American literature classes 100 years from now.” —The Fort Myers News-Press
“One of the most intriguing writers of our time.” —The Tucson Citizen

Library Journal
As housekeeper and confidante to has-been movie star Katherine Kenton, Hazie Coogan tends to her employer's every wish and need. So when a tell-all memoir about the aging actress threatens to surface, she goes to extremes to prevent it from seeing the light of day. Though the plot of New York Times best-selling author Palahniuk's ( latest novel is rather bizarre and unsatisfying, Hillary Huber (The Art of Social War), a relative newbie in the audiobook narrating industry, does a superb job of voicing the Thelma Ritter-esque housekeeper and lending a vintage Hollywood feel to this audio production. Die-hard Palahniuk fans and those with a penchant for old-time Hollywood references will likely want to give this a chance. Others will find it tedious, needlessly redundant, and annoying—certainly, it's no The Fight Club.—Gloria Maxwell, Metropolitan Community Coll.-Penn Valley Lib., Kansas City, MO
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441735058
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/4/2010
  • Format: Cassette
  • Pages: 8
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.07 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Meet the Author

Chuck Palahniuk

Chuck Palahniuk’s ten previous novels are the bestselling Fight Club, which was made into a film by David Fincher; Survivor; Invisible Monsters; Choke, which was made into a film by director Clark Gregg; Lullaby; Diary; Haunted; Rant; Snuff; and Pygmy. He is also the author of Fugitives and Refugees, a nonfiction profile of Portland, Oregon, published as part of the Crown Journeys series, and the nonfiction collection Stranger Than Fiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Charles M. Palahniuk
    2. Hometown:
      Portland, Oregon
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 21, 1962
    2. Place of Birth:
      Pasco, Washington
    1. Education:
      B.A. in journalism, University of Oregon, 1986
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt


Act one, scene one opens with Lillian Hellman clawing her way, stumbling and scrambling, through the thorny nighttime underbrush of some German schwarzwald, a Jewish baby clamped to each of her tits, another brood of infants clinging to her back. Lilly clambers her way, struggling against the brambles that snag the gold embroidery of her Balenciaga lounging pajamas, the black velvet clutched by hordes of doomed cherubs she’s racing to deliver from the ovens of some Nazi death camp. More innocent toddlers, lashed to each of Lillian’s muscular thighs. Helpless Jewish, Gypsy and homosexual babies. Nazi gestapo bullets spit past her in the darkness, shredding the forest foliage, the smell of gunpowder and pine needles. The heady aroma of her Chanel No. 5. Bullets and hand grenades just whiz past Miss Hellman’s perfectly coiffed Hattie Carnegie chignon, so close the ammunition shatters her Cartier chandelier earrings into rainbow explosions of priceless diamonds. Ruby and emerald shrapnel blasts into the flawless skin of her perfect, pale cheeks. . . . From this action sequence, we dissolve to:

Reveal: the interior of a stately Sutton Place mansion. It’s some Billie Burke place decorated by Billy Haines, where formally dressed guests line a long table within a candlelit, wood-paneled dining room. Liveried footmen stand along the walls. Miss Hellman is seated near the head of this very large dinner party, actually describing the frantic escape scene we’ve just witnessed. In a slow panning shot, the engraved place cards denoting each guest read like a veritable Who’s Who. Easily half of twentieth-century history sits at this table: Prince Nicholas of Romania, Pablo Picasso, Cordell Hull and Josef von Sternberg. The attendant celebrities seem to stretch from Samuel Beckett to Gene Autry to Marjorie Main to the faraway horizon.

Lillian stops speaking long enough to draw one long drag on her cigarette. Then to blow the smoke over Pola Negri and Adolph Zukor before she says, “It’s at that heart-stopping moment I wished I’d just told Franklin Delano Roosevelt, ‘No, thank you.’ ” Lilly taps cigarette ash onto her bread plate, shaking her head, saying, “No secret missions for this girl.”

While the footmen pour wine and clear the sorbet dishes, Lillian’s hands swim through the air, her cigarette trailing smoke, her fingernails clawing at invisible forest vines, climbing sheer rock cliff faces, her high heels blazing a muddy trail toward freedom, her strength never yielding under the burden of those tiny Jewish and homosexual urchins.

Every eye, fixed, from the head of the table to the foot, stares at Lilly. Every hand crosses two fingers beneath the damask napkin laid in every lap, while every guest mouths a silent prayer that Miss Hellman will swallow her Chicken Prince Anatole Demidoff without chewing, then suffocate, writhing and choking on the dining room carpet.

Almost every eye. The exceptions being one pair of violet eyes . . . one pair of brown eyes . . . and of course my own weary eyes.

The possibility of dying before Lillian Hellman has become the tangible fear of this entire generation. Dying and becoming merely fodder for Lilly’s mouth. A person’s entire life and reputation reduced to some golem, a Frankenstein’s monster Miss Hellman can reanimate and manipulate to do her bidding.

Beyond her first few words, Lillian’s talk becomes one of those jungle sound tracks one hears looping in the background of every Tarzan film, just tropical birds and Johnny Weissmuller and howler monkeys repeating. Bark, bark, screech . . . Emerald Cunard. Bark, growl, screech . . . Cecil Beaton.

Lilly’s drivel possibly constitutes some bizarre form of name-dropping Tourette’s syndrome. Or perhaps the outcome of an orphaned press agent raised by wolves and taught to read aloud from Walter Winchell’s column.

Her compulsive prattle, a true pathology.

Cluck, oink, bark . . . Jean Negulesco.

Thus, Lilly spins the twenty-four-carat gold of people’s actual lives into her own brassy straw.

Please promise you did NOT hear this from me.

Seated within range of those flying heroic elbows, my Miss Kathie stares out from the bank of cigarette smoke. An actress of Katherine Kenton’s stature. Her violet eyes, trained throughout her adult life to never make contact with anything except the lens of a motion picture camera. To never meet the eyes of a stranger, instead to always focus on someone’s earlobe or lips. Despite such training, my Miss Kathie peers down the length of the table, her lashes fluttering. The slender fingers of one famous white hand toy with the auburn tresses of her wig. The jeweled fingers of Miss Kathie’s opposite hand touch the six strands of pearls which contain the loose folds of her sagging neck skin.

In the next instant, while the footmen pass the finger bowls, Lillian twists in her chair, shouldering an invisible sniper’s  rifle and squeezing off rounds until the clip is empty. Still just dripping with Hebrew and Communist babies. Lugging her cargo of Semitic orphans. When the rifle is too searing hot to hold, Miss Hellman howls a wild war whoop and hurtles the steaming weapon at the pursuing storm troopers.

Snarl, bark, screech . . .
Peter Lorre. Oink, bark, squeal . . . Averell Harriman.

It’s a fate worse than death to spend eternity in harness, serving as Lilly Hellman’s zombie, brought back to life at dinner parties. On radio talk programs. At this point, Miss Hellman is heaving yet another batch of invisible babies, rescued Gypsy babes, high, toward the chandelier, as if catapulting them over the snowcapped peak of the Matterhorn to the safety of Switzerland.

Grunt, howl, squeal . . .
Sarah Bernhardt.

By now, Lillian Hellman wraps two fists around the invisible throat of Adolf Hitler, reenacting how she sneaked into his subterranean Berlin bunker, dressed as Leni Riefenstahl, her arms laden with black-market cartons of Lucky Strike and Parliament cigarettes, and then throttled the sleeping dictator in his bed.

Bray, bark, whinny . . .
Basil Rathbone.

Lilly throws the terrified, make-believe Hitler into the center of tonight’s dinner table, her teeth biting, her manicured fingernails scratching at his Nazi eyes. Lillian’s fists clamped around the invisible windpipe, she begins pounding the invisible Führer’s skull against the tablecloth, making the silverware and wineglasses jump and rattle.

Screech, meow, tweet . . .
Wallis Simpson.

Howl, bray, squeak . . .
Diana Vreeland.

A moment before Hitler’s assassination, George Cukor looks up, his fingertips still dripping chilled water into his finger bowl, that smell of fresh-sliced lemons, and George says, “Please, Lillian.” Poor George says, “Would you please stuff it.”

Seated well below the salt, below the various professional hangers-on, the walking men, the drug dealers, the mesmerists, the exiled White Russians and poor Lorenz Hart, really at the very horizon of tonight’s dinner table, a young man looks back. Seated on the farthest frontier of placement. His eyes the bright brown of July Fourth sunlight through a tall mug of root beer. Quite the American specimen. A classic face of such symmetrical proportions, the exactly balanced type of face one dreams of looking down to find smiling and eager between one’s inner thighs.

Still, that’s the trouble with only a single glance at any star on the horizon. As Elsa Maxwell would say, “One can never tell for certain if that dazzling, shiny object is rising or setting.”

Lillian inhales the silence through her burning cigarette. Taps the gray ash onto her bread plate. In a blast of smoke, she says, “Did you hear?” She says, “It’s a fact, but Eleanor Roosevelt chewed every hair off my bush. . . .”

Through all of this—the cigarette smoke and lies and the Second World War—the specimen’s bright brown eyes, they’re looking straight down the table, up the social ladder, gazing back, deep, into the famous, fluttering violet eyes of my employer.

From the Paperback edition.

Read More Show Less

Interviews & Essays

14 questions for Chuck Palahniuk, author of FIGHT CLUB, CHOKE and this year's outrage, TELL-ALL.

Q: A casual observer might be surprised at the depth of knowledge of 50's-era movies that you display in TELL-ALL. Where does this come from?
Chuck Palahniuk: That vast wealth of 50's film info comes from my editor, Gerry Howard (who has a life-long crush on Gene Tierney, so feel free to tease him about it. He still carries her photo inside his wallet). Originally I'd written TELL-ALL chock-a-block with references to silent movie stars from the 'teens and 1920's, but Gerry thought they were too, too esoteric and forgotten. Ask me anything about silent movies -- did you know that Lon Chaney was such a brilliant master of gesture because both his parents were deaf and mute -- and I will bore you with trivia until you weep like a little girl.

Q: What is your favorite movie of that time, and why?
CP: Anything by Douglas Sirk. All I have to do is hear the opening strains of Earl Grant singing the theme to "Imitation of Life" and I collapse into a quivering heap. Susan Kohner throwing herself across her dead mother's casket... that's movie magic!

Q: What is your favorite star of that time, and why?
CP: Gloria Grahame, and I don't want to know anything intimate about her. In my mind she must remain a glorious, perfect object. In particular I do NOT want to know if she was dubbed when she sang in Oklahoma.

Q: What is your favorite black and white movie, and why?
CP: This question is nowhere near fair. Almost all of my favorite films are black-and-white: Wuthering Heights ("I am Heathcliff!"), Suddenly Last Summer ("So we went to Cabeza de Lobo...") and The Last Picture Show (Hank Williams is god) are all my favorite of the moment. No, wait, now my new favorite is Mildred Pierce. See... it changes by the minute.

Q: How do the films of that era differ from, say, the movie adaptations of Choke and Fight Club?
CP: Back then, the studio system seemed dead-set on producing stories with happy endings. Now we're willing to accept something closer to real life, i.e. everyone gets divorced and dies.

Q: How has movie star celebrity changed since that time?
CP: My guess is that the explosion of media outlets -- the internet, cable television -- have fragmented the world of celebrity into smaller and smaller fames. The growing monster of mass media needs so many new "reality stars" that the entire world has become a stool at the counter of Schwab's Drugstore. Hey, anytime I can work in a Lana Turner reference, I gotta go there.

Q: Speaking of Kitty Kelley, what do you think of the whole Oprah phenomenon?
CP: I think Oprah should invite me on her show, then shower me with endorsements. She and I will become best-friends-forever and bad mouth about Jonathan Franzen. As her new BFF, I promise I will make her thin.

Q: What are some favorite recent movies?
CP: Notes on a Scandal. The Hunger. Paper Moon. Wait, what year is this? Did George Cukor die?

Q: What did you think of Avatar?
CP: I haven't seen it yet; I'm waiting for the Douglas Sirk remake with Lana Turner and Sandra Dee. Just imagine... Sandra Dee in 3-D. When Troy Donahue beats up the black girl, it will be like he's slapping me around.

Q: What are you reading these days?
CP: Honestly, no lie, I'm reading Judy Blume books. Of course I'm reading her to study her style and "voice" but as an added bonus I now know how it feels to have my hymen broken by a high school boy who didn't really love me that much in the first place. Sigh.

Q: What are you listening to?
CP: The internet machine is playing some thing-y called Pandora, and that's playing Blondie's "Heart of Glass." Otherwise, Hank Williams is god. Because I somehow love both Country music and New Wave... that should qualify me for a handicapped parking permit.

Q: Any particular challenges/joys in writing this novel?
CP: For me, anything involving keyboarding is a challenge. Oh, and spelling. The joy came mostly from reading 75+ Joan Crawford biographies and getting to tax deduct them all.

Q: You've been coming out with a book a year for some time now. Is that a pace that works for you for any specific reason? Any thoughts on producing more or less?
CP: The moment I find something that's more fun than writing -- and is NOT drugs -- I will retire so fast it will make your head spin. I am addicted to the fantasy, research, the writing process. Seriously, I need an intervention.

My only other dream job would be to work as Oprah's butler.

Q: What would you like to say about your next novel?
CP: My next novel, the one for 2011 -- argh, my life is so mapped out -- is a novel called Damned about an eleven-year-old girl who finds herself in Hell and learns how to manipulate the corrupt system of demons and bodily fluids. Imagine if the Shawshank Redemption had a baby by The Lovely Bones and it was raised by Judy Blume, and you have my next new project. It's so frustrating when this girl, Madison, realizes that she'll never grow up and become an adult... and believe me, I know just how she feels. Each new day, I look at my chest in the bathroom mirror, sideways, and hope it's grown. Maybe if they could invent a 3-D mirror...

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 113 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & 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 & 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 & 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 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


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & 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 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
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 113 Customer Reviews
  • 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.

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

    more from this reviewer

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    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.

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

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

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 10, 2011


    ...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 will be hooked.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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

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

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

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    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.

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

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

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer


    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.


    - Gail Cooke

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

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

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

    Posted June 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 113 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)