Often used in place of victim in describing a person who has had something happen to them that is over now (Holocaust survivor, child sexual abuse survivor, and so forth) because it's seen as more positive.

Survivor is Chuck Palahniuk's second novel (The author of Fight Club).

The story is told through Tender Branson, the last surviving member of the Creedish (A sect of devout Christians that resemble the Amish in their manner of dress but whom have markedly different opinons with respect to technology, suicide and home economics). He is abord Flight 2039 and is recounting the recent (and not so recent) events of his life as he waits for the plan to crash somewhere in the Australian Outback. He describes his transformation from obediant Creedish child to humble domestic servant and part-time homebrew sucide hotline operator to "ultra-buffed, steriod- and collagen-packed media messiah".

Not a bad book (if you like Chuck Palahniuk) that has the unique distinction of being the only novel I have ever read where the page and chapter numbers actually count backwards instead of forwards.

The TV show isn't what I was hoping for. Here's why:

So, instead of being a neat PBS-like real adventure show, or a live-action retelling of a literary classic, it's a tropical game show. Whoopee.

When I wrote the Survivor2 deal, along with the help of ideath and dem bones, I had never actually seen the TV show. Neither had ideath. I'm not sure about dem bones, but I would be surprised if he even owned a TV. That would ruin the whole mystique, eh?

Now, however, I must tell you that I've watched a couple of episodes toward the end, and I'll probably watch the conclusion tomorrow night. Why? It has begun to interest me on a political level.

"Yeah, it's ALL politics to ol' dannye.
That's why I want to run his ass over with my SUV."

All the members of one tribe who still remain (4) are now left to duke it out. All the members of the other tribe are gone. Wonder how that happened? Well, one of the members of the tribe that no longer exists and none of whom will get one million smackeroos is from near where I live.

I read a long article in the local paper about him the other day. He was the one who pissed PETA off by pimp-smacking a rat and cooking him up for dinner. Oh, and he also said some unkindly things about the girls.

Never piss the girls off, as a group!

He should have known better. But he said that he tried to form an alliance, such as the ones in the other tribe did at the beginning, but that was considered mean and unfriendly by the folks (mostly the girls) in his tribe.

So, there you have it. Life in the real world. You wind up with a bunch of folks you don't know, and it's a contest: How do you go about winning? Well, first of all, you make a pact with those who gravitate toward you. In this case, the pact was that the losers would be voted off by the alliance, no matter what. Apparently the homosexual and the old codger and the truck driving momma were the main force there, in Survivor. They survived this long because they were faithful to the alliance they formed in the beginning.

But now the fun part begins. They must turn on each other to determine who wins. It sounds like the Clinton administration as the house of cards was falling around the portly pepperpot. Or, like any other political venture ever undertaken on earth. It might even sound like E2 to you . . .

I know it's silly, and I tried not to get sucked in. But that's what I'll be doing for 2 hours of my life tomorrow.

Sorry, ideath.
I'm so proud of you for being stronger.

I've not seen Survivor, being in Britain. I don't even know a great deal about it, only bits and pieces that I've gleaned from TV and on the net. However a pertinent point has occurred to me.

This guy Richard Hatch who won the show is generally believed to have succeeded due to being generally scheming and manipulative of the other contestants. By successfully applying this tactic he's now $1,000,000 richer.

In the UK version of the Big Brother gameshow, there has been an enormous scandal where one of the contestants was found to be scheming and manipulative of the other contestants; so big a scandal that he got summarily evicted from the Big Brother house without even the courtesy of being voted out. The tabloid papers have dubbed him nasty Nick and he allegedly needs 24-hour security to prevent lynch mobs attacking him.

I'm not a sociologist or psychologist nor any other kind of ologist, but I'm sure there are all sorts of conclusions to be drawn from the fact that in the US a manipulating schemer wins a gameshow, whereas in the UK the same personality type gets accused of cheating and becomes public enemy number one.

Concerning the hidden ending to the novel Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk

Note: SPOILERS. Do not continue if you haven't finished the book or don't wish the secret ending to be spoiled. Remember, even though you might've finished the book doesn't mean you know the secret ending! It is never explicitly stated! If you want to figure it our for yourself, stop reading now.

No, I'm not talking about a Tyler Durden/Keyser Soze type twist. Rather, this twist is not explicitly stated. Here's a quote from Mr. Palahniuk himself detailing the secret:

The end of Survivor isn't nearly so complicated. It's noted on page 7 (8?) that a pile of valuable offerings has been left in the front of the passenger cabin. This pile includes a cassette recorder. Even before our hero starts to dictate his story -- during the few minutes he's supposed to be taking a piss -- he's actually in the bathroom dictating the last chapte into the cassette recorder. It's just ranting, nothing important plot-wise, and it can be interrupted at any point by the destruction of the plane. The minute the fourth engine flames out, he starts the cassette talking, then bails out, into Fertility's waiting arms (she's omniscient, you know). The rest of the book is just one machine whining and bitching to another machine. The crash will destroy the smaller recorder, but the surviving black box will make it appear that Tender is dead.

The above quote was taken from the pages of The Cult, at http://www.chuckpalahniuk.net. They claim the quote is genuine, taken from the horse's mouth. (This is the web site which Chuck mentions of the Fight Club DVD audio commentary track). While this ending seems a little forced, it is an interesting twist for an author reknowned for his secret endings. Also, The Cult is an excellent web site for all Palahniuk related information (with tons of extra Palahniuk writings and interviews).

Don't read this if you haven't read Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk or if you ever plan on reading it.

There was a posting on The Cult(www.chuckpalahniuk.net) bulletin board a while back about a theory of what actually happens in the novel Survivor. In the end, Tender Branson leaves a tape recorder to tell his story to the flight recorder and then he parachutes away to find Fertility Hollis and live happily ever after. This is what Chuck Palahniuk did tell us(see Minderbender's w/u). What he doesn't tell us is that most of what Tender Branson confessed into the tape recorder was a lie. It was a lie to clear his name for the murders that he actually did commit. He killed everyone that died in the book and lied about what actually happened. If you read the book closely, you can easily see that this is true.

"Ignore how it feels when the only real talent you have is for hiding the truth"(pg.268). That's exactly what he did by leaving this recorded message. He faked his own death to hide the truth about the events that occurred in the previous year. He knew that a large number of people wanted him dead and would search for him until they had him dead. His only option was to tell his story into the flight recorder as the plane crashed in order to convince those people that he was dead.

The one big piece of evidence I have to back this is that the people who die in the book are the only people that have any knowledge of Tender Branson's past. The caseworker diagnosed Tender as extremely mentally ill, so she had to be taken care of. The members of the church knew all about his childhood. The agent knew about his past and threatened to expose him and, of course, Adam Branson knew everything about Tender. In order for Tender to be a media messiah, he had to erase all knowledge of his past. Is it really a coincidence that both the caseworker and the agent somehow died from an ammonia and bleach mixture? Do you think the pilot of the aircraft would survive if he parachuted over an ocean? Obviously we're dealing with a very sick person here who developed strange beliefs about life and death from growing up in a death cult.

novel by Chuck Palahniuk (1998, first published 1999) (no spoilers in this writeup)

"My goldfish is swimming around all excited inside the fishbowl on the fridge, so I reach up and add a drop of valium in its water."

Plot outline:

The novel starts off in a cockpit of a plane. The main character (and narrator) of the novel is talking into a black box (which, as pointed out both in the book and in one of my earlier writeups isn't black at all, but neon orange), or the cockpit voice recorder. Knowing that everything said in the cockpit will be recorded, the narrator finally gets a chance...

The narrator has left all the passengers on an island somewhere (repeating that he is not a murderer), and has the pilot jump out of the plane after getting back in the air.

Alone in the cockpit of a Boeing 747-400 luxury jumbojet, the narrator starts to tell the story of his life, on page 283 of the book. Chapter 46. Curiously enough, both the page numbers and chapters of the book go backwards - from page 289 to page 1. From chapter 47 to chapter 1.

"Amphetamines are the most American drug. You get so much done. You look terrific, and your middle name is Accomplishment"

The narrator has a rather cynical view on life as an entity, with dry, sarcastic remarks about a number of facts of life. Black humour at its very best, if you ask me.

In general, the book has much of the same tone as Fight Club had. A bit sinister, a few pranks going way overboard, but also a sharp kick to the shins of organised religion.

"Long-term, we are all going to die. Then our bodies will rot. No surprise there. Short-term, we're going to live happily ever after."

Review:

What can I say? I started reading this book right after midnight. It is now 6:15, and I finished it about half an hour ago. To say that it is a literary masterpiece would be to take it a bit far - It offers no revolutionary new ideas or very profound statements, but the book is definitely good for keeping you on the edge of your seat.

While the page count dwindled from three digits to one, and eventually realising that I read the whole book without a single break. Completely captured captured in its beautifully realistic view of the life in corporate America the detachment from life in general, the constant pushing for McReligion and McHappiness.

I strongly recommend reading Survivor. Despite its relative simplicity (compared to Fight Club, at least) it is still a very good novel which will grace my bookshelf for the years to come.

"You can't trust me around anyone's brother with a telephone or a rock"

Sur*viv"or (?), n.

1.

One who survives or outlives another person, or any time, event, or thing.

The survivor bound In filial obligation for some term To do obsequious sorrow. Shak.

2. Law

The longer liver of two joint tenants, or two persons having a joint interest in anything.

Blackstone.

 

© Webster 1913.

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