I enjoyed this book quite a bit more than I did Choke, the only other Palahniuk book I've read. With strong echos of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," this is a creepy tale of intrigue and intergenerational mayhem on a small island off the coast of the United States.
What lengths will the islanders go to to keep rich mainlanders off their island? And what does Misty Kleinman's artistic talent have to do with it?
The story uncoils slowly, but with a growing sense of menace that made me truly uneasy. As with many of the best ghost/supernatural stories, the initial events are all plausible, if offputting, and as the story continues, it becomes more ambiguous, and finally, truly horrifying.
From what I've seen, Palahniuk always seems to push the limits of his reader's stomachs, and this is not an exception - but it seemed (to me, anyway), to have a point this time, rather than just equating outrageousness with cool, hip, edginess. Diary uses the same kind of skin-crawling detail to a specific end, and it's integral to creating the strange world he does.
I don't normally read books like this, but I'm glad I did this one.