Today, I talked to my mentor at USF. Schools assign mentors to people like me coming into a program to show us the rope. We talked for a bit and he seems like a nice enough guy. We are going to meet tomorrow for lunch, and then he is going to show me around campus, and on Tuesday I am sitting in on a class. I don’t care all too much to sit in on a class, but I got nothing to do. Then on Wednesday, I plan on going to Marco Island for a couple of days to hang with the family. Again, I don’t really want to drive three hours, but I am not doing much around here.

I went to a new cafe today in the trendy Hyde Park Village. It had too much of a snobby vibe for me. Although, it does seem to have some nice eateries and is only 5 minutes away. We’ll see how things go.

At the cafe I read Chuck Palahniuk’s Tell All. This book is, at best, mildly entertaining. There are no characters to care for, the plot is moving along really slowly, there are flashbacks that seem to tell nothing. I understand Palahniuk wanting to veer from the formula he followed from Invisible Monsters, Fight Club, Diary, Choke, Survivor et. al.. He had that fast paced style, all action, constantly moving the story, with twist endings, but lately, he is challenging narrative forms, which while commendable, I feel, isn’t working.

Half way through the novel, the plot is trite and boring (very not like Chuck). The story is told from the personal assistant of Miss Kathie Kenton. The assistant seems to have a weird, obsessive thing about her boss. But that is all I got so far. No real action, no real suspense, no real emotion– not even Palahniuk’s trademark analysis or critique of some type or other of societal norms. I guess, in the background, it can be said that the novel is critiquing societies obsession with celebrities and celebrities’ lives, as well as making society look at its fascination with “reality t.v.”, this drive and desire to see it all. But, that is stretching it…

I am mildly entertained– this is more of a beach read than the Palahniuk of old. Hopefully, all this experimenting with narrative form will eventually lead to something substantial. Palahniuk came close to it in Pygmy and there are moments of it in Snuff, but I miss reading a Palahniuk book and not being able to put it down.

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