mmexport1546269755078 copy.jpg

关于我:

现居上海的媒体工作者、翻译,以及环保爱好者。

Chuck Palahniuk - Beautiful You

没想到新开的博客书评第一篇就是这个。真是……书读了一小部分,先作介绍,等读完了再来补写吧。


熟悉《搏击俱乐部》、《窒息》作者 Chuck Palahniuk 的人都知道,在他的书中,性与死亡是永恒不变的主题。新书《Beautiful You》也不例外。

从内布拉斯加来到纽约繁华都市的女孩 Penny 在一家著名律师事务所做着类似实习生般的工作,总是被同事嫌弃和无视。在那天 Penny 给办公室送咖啡并当众跌倒之前,科技巨头、亿万富少 Cornelius Linus Maxwell (又被众人称为 "Climax-well") 只是她在八卦杂志和电视里仰慕的对象。没想到在接二连三抛弃了英国皇家女、美国首位女总统、法国著名女影星后,他竟然看上了地位悬殊,而且对前途一片茫然的 Penny,并邀请她共度晚餐……

这个情节怎么听怎么熟悉。在情色小说泛滥的互联网时代,《Beautiful You》又像是另一个无知妹与霸道总裁的故事。

不过,稍稍读了几章,就觉得大不相同。不仅少了玛丽苏式的浮想联翩,书一开场便是另女性倒吸一口凉气的强暴戏,而且发生在相当荒谬的情境下——法庭。你还能在书里读到 200 多岁的性女巫、用人骨做成的情趣玩具、燃烧着的假阳具等等……总之相当奇幻重口。这部书里的亿万富少引诱无知女孩的目的,也不是纯粹为了寻求刺激,而是想发明一种叫 Beautifu You ,能让所有女人欲仙欲死的终极玩具,从而达到控制她们的目的。

Chuck Palahniuk 以这本书为契机,自创了一个名为 "Gonzo Erotica"的新门派,直译过来或许是「怪诞情色」小说。

NPR 曾发布过《Beautiful You》的书评。文章作者在读这本书时,本打算把书评写成一封信:「……但一切都太迟了。已经到了我恨不得这本书赶紧结束的地步,信也不打算写了——因为《Beautiful You》讲得就是一个令人生厌、带有彻底侮辱性情节的故事。我也不会因为在乎 Chuck Palahniuk 这人,而费心去写信了。」

Chuck Palahniuk 本人在最近的采访中,恰好曾谈到了类似的问题:「我对极端事物的描写从不保留。因为就算是描写最极端的东西,也有让读者停不下来的办法。如果不好看,他们也不会有勇气继续体验整个故事。只有从一开始就吊住读者的胃口,吸引他们不断读下去,直到故事变得越来越黑暗的时候,他们才会意识到要离开已经迟了。我觉得正是讲故事的方法,使得任何主题都不显得离经叛道。」

《Beautiful You》的异想天开可能会让许多人感到不适,在读的过程中甚至还让我觉得 Palahniuk 无非又是一个不惮以最坏的恶意来揣测未来科技的人,有性歧视的人。但真的读到结尾还是能推翻这些想法的,短短两百来页的书算不上震撼,但 Palahniuk 的目的在我身上的确是达到了。

最后他在 the Talks 上的采访或许对你理解这本书有帮助。

I think they will. That’s why I would say you are definitely writing about our current moment.

I wanted to write about how so many of us, when we look back at the major events in our lives, they’re not actually things that happened to us. They’re our favorite movie, our favorite book, things that weren’t full experiences; they were facilitated by a product that we bought. And so, I wanted to write about that. That breaks my heart a lot.

Because people are just living by proxy?

Exactly. That they find an identity in a series of products, and the experiences provided by those products, rather than by going out and having strong, unique experiences of their own. Years ago I had to buy a tombstone for my grandparents and the cemetery was showing me the new trend, which was to get the logos of different products engraved on your tombstone and that defined who you were in world. She was showing me the tombstone of a teenage girl who had died in a car accident. She had been a very good volleyball player, so her parents had had a Voit volleyball engraved on her tombstone.


The Guest

不买 Apple Watch 的 4 个理由