I went to hear Chuck Palahniuk read from his new novel, Choke, last night. The local independent bookstore was packed full. It was quite a different scene when I first heard him read about two years ago at a different bookstore. That reading was pre-Fight Club, the movie. It appeared as if a lot of the crowd last night may have been turned on to Chuck after seeing the movie and discovering his body of work. A lot of alternative young hipsters were in the crowd. Listening to him read and tell stories was amazing and highly entertaining. He is very charismatic and charming in person. He said he used to hate doing press for his books, but that was because he only did the bare minimum that was required. Then he started giving more time to press and now he goes over the top and sends out packages to fans, stays after the reading for however long it takes to sign any and all books of interested readers. It is truly inspiring to see someone who has reached a high level of success and remain quite modest about it. He took questions after reading a couple of chapters from the book. I wanted to ask him why he is always photographed lifting big rocks. Unfortunately, he didn't have the opportunity to answer. See him if you have the chance.
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