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The author of ‘Fight Club’, Chuck Palahniuk explores a world overtly dominated and controlled by the female orgasm in his new novel ‘Beautiful You’.
Penny Harrigan is a plain young woman working in a law firm in an entry position, seemingly getting nowhere in life. Enter celebrity billionaire C. Linus Maxwell, who asks Penny out for dinner, throwing her into the limelight overnight. She’s taken to Paris where she is brought to unimaginable levels of orgasmic pleasure by Maxwell’s concoctions of blissful douches and perfectly designed toys aimed at striking every right spot within the female genitalia. Eventually, she realizes that she’s being used as a guinea pig for these products prior to their massive worldwide launch and uncovers the real reason for their purpose and design.
In his writing, Palahniuk displaces the oversexed male psyche into women with a satirical “1984”esque story of the evil celebrity billionaire’s plan to use the female orgasm against women in a plot to control their every thought and physical responses. His character uses his years of researching female anatomy and the orgasm by creating a line of sex toys, called Beautiful You, in order brainwash and erotically control the female population’s thought process in a plot for world domination.
The themes and plot idea in the book are interesting, but the execution is awkward, clinical, and made me constantly wonder if Palahniuk was desperately trying to create a dark yet satirical novel about how we view female sexuality.
Palahniuk marries clichés and satire so much that the ideas become hilarious – but not in his favor. Imagine the streets of New York completely empty of women, with men rallying and ready to destroy every last product that is brainwashing and making them lose their women. Then imagine a flaming floppy dildo catapulting through the air.
The idea of a world where a billion women take control of their own pleasure, to the point that they become closed off questions the idea of consent, power, self-pleasure and how much sex can disconnect the physical from the mental, so much so that it becomes primal and a driving force for survival.
Chuck, I just wish you’d executed this one so I wasn’t left rolling my eyes as the plot, well, it didn’t really peak.
TITLE: Beautiful You
AUTHOR: Chuck Palahniuk
PRICE: CAN $29.95