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Extended Audio Sample Pygmy Audiobook, 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 Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2009 ISBN: 9781455194360
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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.

Download and start listening now!


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 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 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 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 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" "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Randy | 1/19/2014

    " despite what others say, i found the invented language usage interesting. overall, though, nothing surprising. same ol' chuck. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Public Pervert Pervert | 1/17/2014

    " Odie el final. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark | 1/12/2014

    " Liked it for the most part. The story is an interesting, fantastical concept. Could have do without the graphic bathroom encounter passage though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom Schroder | 1/3/2014

    " The language and style of narration takes a little getting used to but I found it nonetheless clear and easy to read. Apart from some awful scenes of a sexual nature the book is highly entertaining, exciting and meaningful. I was gripped right to the very end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Massimiliano Miecchi | 12/28/2013

    " I love Chuck Palahniuk, but this book is simply impossible to be read in the Italian translation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 12/28/2013

    " Bizarre and at times disturbing book involving pedophilia, rape, sleeper cells, dirty bombs, and domestic terrorism. Oh, and as the inside cover says, "it's a comedy, it's a love story" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lindsay | 12/12/2013

    " Another fantastic book by Palahniuk. It takes a while to get used to the broken English the book is written in, but it's definitely worth while. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Paula | 11/24/2013

    " I love Chuck, as you can see from my other ratings. I had to quit Pygmy early because Palahniuk's twistedness, which I usually adore, was a bit too much this time. Didn't think that was possible but the graphic and detailed description of anal rape was enough to make me set it aside. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chris Hood | 10/25/2013

    " If u understood this book, good for u "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Parker | 10/16/2013

    " Not for the faint of heart. I enjoyed it but be warned, in the first 20 pages there is an event that makes anything Chuck has written look like a kids book. Loved it but read on an empty stomach. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Oliver | 5/27/2013

    " America's finest continues to impress. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrew Kline | 3/24/2013

    " A little frustrating to read in its broken English, but it must have been 10x more frustrating to edit. Another great experiment in writing from Palahniuk. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gielizza | 1/28/2013

    " It was hard to read since Palahniuk wrote it in a very complex way. It's full of morbid images about the American society. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Isabel | 11/2/2012

    " Kind of hard to read and get into but I'm definitely glad I finished it. Check Palahniuk is an genius, and I enjoyed it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Keir Haug | 9/12/2012

    " The worst Palahniuk ever! Could not get through the first chapter. Too difficult to read the broken English writing. Ugh! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Linn | 1/14/2012

    " The first.. Three or so Palahniuk books I read where really good. Now they're just becoming really repetetive, there are no surprises and no shock. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tarmen | 10/15/2011

    " One of the things that drew me to the book was the writing, the sentence construction. I guess it spoke to the translator in me. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rizal Octora | 6/21/2011

    " My rate might be not really valid because actually, I stopped in the middle since I had a VERY hard time understanding his way of story-telling in this piece. For those who happen to have grammar OCD, I don't recommend this book at all. Go figure why. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine M. | 6/16/2011

    " Amazing, dark, and full of humor! It's not Haunted, but will do! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kirsti | 6/6/2011

    " My least favorite Palahniuk book so far, but it has its moments. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leanne | 5/17/2011

    " Sick and twisted yet very endearing just like me haha. Once you can get past the difficult language it's really hilarious! "

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About the Author
Author Chuck Palahniuk

Chuck Palahniuk’s bestselling novels include Tell-All, Damned, Pygmy, Snuff, Rant, Haunted, Lullaby, Fight Club, Diary, Survivor, Invisible Monsters, and Choke. He is also the author of a nonfiction profile, Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon, published as part of the Crown Journeys series, and the nonfiction collection Stranger Than Fiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.

About the Narrator

Paul Michael Garcia, an AudioFile Earphones Award winner and former company member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, received his classical training in theater from Southern Oregon University, where he worked as an actor, director, and designer.