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Extended Audio Sample Pygmy, by Chuck Palahniuk Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (12,225 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Chuck Palahniuk Narrator: Paul Michael Garcia Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“Begins here first account of operative me, agent number 67 on arrival Midwestern airport ____ . Flight ____. Date ____. Priority mission top success to complete. Code name: Operation Havoc.”

Thus speaks Pygmy, one of a handful of young adults from a totalitarian state sent to the US, disguised as exchange students to live with typical American families and blend in, all the while planning an unspecified attack of massive terrorism. Palahniuk depicts Midwestern life through the eyes of this thoroughly indoctrinated little killer, who hates us with a passion, in this cunning double-edged satire of an American xenophobia that might, in fact, be completely justified.

The Manchurian Candidate meets South Park in Chuck Palahniuk’s finest novel since the generation-defining Fight Club.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Chuck Palahniuk’s Pygmy veers from sublimely ridiculous to just plain ridiculous…Palahniuk is brilliant at juxtaposing Pygmy’s insane background with the madness of contemporary Western society…Pleasures along the way include a model UN summit staged by the students that features some of the author’s finest satire.”

    Washington Post

  • “Palahniuk’s novels have always been driven by black humor…His minimalist, verb-heavy style propels the narratives through the many bizarre, occasionally shocking events…A full portrait of an unforgettable character. Pygmy is yet another unique direction for an author who continues to challenge and intrigue readers.”

    Boston Globe 

  • “A cunning mix of advertising copy, leftist sloganeering, and teen slang…Pygmy is a dish for those who like their satire well done. And without apology.”

    San Francisco Chronicle


  • “Palahniuk’s twisted imagination is still in full bloom.” 

    Seattle Times

  • ”Few contemporary writers mix the outrageous and the hilarious with greater zest…Chuck Palahniuk’s splenetic anarchic glee makes him a worthy heir to Ken Kesey.” 


  • “Palahniuk…knows all about escalating action to a thrilling finale. More impressively, he starts to make us feel for Pygmy, and introduces a more human side to this previously impenetrable character…Pretty funny.”

    Independent (London)

  • “A rip-roaringly exciting piece of writing, a truly graphic novel…It has moments of poetry within.”

    Telegraph (London) 

  • “A poignant commentary on culture clash with a sinister and violent twist. It’s what one might expect if movie-violence king Quentin Tarantino had written Borat.”

    London Free Press

  • “Chuck Palahniuk is William S. Burroughs and David Foster Wallace rolled into one.” 

    San Diego Union-Tribune

  • “[A] hilarious cover-to-cover read.”

    Baltimore City Paper

  • “Violent, outrageous, and darkly hilarious.”

    National Post 

  • “Give Pygmy to your kid. He’ll think you’re rad.”


  • “Inventive, hilarious, moving, and deeply disturbing.”


  • “A potent if cartoonish cultural satire that succeeds despite its stridently confounding prose…Decoding Palahniuk’s characteristically scathing observations is a challenge, as Pygmy’s narrative voice is unbound by rules of grammar or structure, but perseverance is its own perverse reward in this singular, comic accomplishment.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Paul Michael Garcia earned his paycheck for his performance of Pygmy…Garcia’s challenge is to read the ungrammatical sentences carefully so listeners can interpret their meaning…Overall, it’s worth the effort.”


  • “In a time of justifiable concern about terrorism, Palahniuk has written a hilarious novel about an unlikely terrorist cell…[Fans] will welcome his return to the fine form of Fight Club. Palahniuk leaps over the line of good taste—and lands squarely on his feet.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “In this wildly experimental text, Palahniuk creates such a compelling character in Pygmy that we accept the boy’s biases and epithets as completely appropriate…Stylistically exhilarating.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Garcia deftly portrays the boy’s garbled English in a suitably fierce, seriously on-task voice. He easily switches to adolescent intonations when portraying the host family’s daughter. The townspeople and other students speak in convincingly flat Midwest tones, sprinkled with idiomatic Americanese…Garcia’s credible presentation of the text...will find fans among Palahniuk loyalists.”

    Booklist (audio review)

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Booklist Editors’ Choice in 2009 for • Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Janet Ross | 2/10/2014

    " Not my cup of tea. Did not finish. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Katie | 2/9/2014

    " By far the worst book by this author. It seems like he is just writing short stories so he can make money now. I want the old Palahniuk back! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Pat Glaze | 2/9/2014

    " This is my first book by Palahniuk. I wanted to read Fight Club (what else?), but it was not available from the library. This bizarre book is very democratic in that it contains something that will offend almost any reader. It is written in first person-stream of consciousness-pidgin English-pornography and makes the reader feel like he took a couple of shots on Nyquil before starting on it. I'm not going to recommend this because I don't want people looking at me strangely in the hallway, but I felt obsessively compelled to finish this once I got going. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Pavelitoc | 1/19/2014

    " Not bad, getting through the dialog is like chewing though a piece of fatty meat, but worth it. I was worried that Palanuik would make another made for Hollywood novel, but I think this would warrant a movie much more than "choke" "

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