She needed to see desire in her eyes. To see everything that gave her power over Oxana—her gentleness, her patience, her fucking virtue—dissolve into sexual surrender.
Not nearly in the running to be one of my favorite Chuck Palahniuk books, Pygmy still had the author’s twisted sense of humor in evidence. The first-person narrative voice — attributed to the protagonist, terrorist exchange-student infiltrator “Pygmy” — shuns standard English, which, if not a deal-breaker for me, makes it unlikely that I will enjoy a novel much. So I guess it succeeded in that uphill struggle. A representative sentence: “Horde scavenger feast at overflowing anus of world history” (146).
The whole story is over-the-top and not at all believable, but it scores a few obvious criticisms of American culture, while instating (on a more fundamental and tacit level) a defense of that same culture. It amplifies the cartoonish elements evident in earlier Palahniuk work like Survivor. I don’t regret having read it, but I can see how many readers would.
More personal than any article of clothing. More private than any diary. Every page stained with a sorcerer’s hidden character, their private demons, their wildest ambitions. Some magicians produce collections, others produce only a single book, but nearly all of them produce something before they die.
In this book it is spoken of the Sephiroth and the Paths; of Spirits and Conjurations; of Gods, Spheres, Planes, and many other things which may or may not exist.
It is immaterial whether these exist or not. By doing certain things certain results will follow; students are most earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophic validity to any of them.
Aleister Crowley, Liber O vel Manus et Sagittae sub figurâ VI