Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk – Book Review

Written as a series of reports from a young foreign operative known as Pygmy, who, posing as an exchange student in the US, is working with a group of similar operatives to execute an attack on the US – ‘Operation Havok’. Pygmy and his comrades are from a fictional country which is a hybrid of many oppressive regimes. The book is written in the broken English of a very young, non-English speaker and this makes it, at times very difficult to follow. Early in the book, Pygmy sexually assaults a bully and I had to read it several times to realise what was happening. The operatives are horrific and do terrible things, but the America society that is portrayed in this book is equally as horrific – with highly exaggerated gluttony, lust and selfishness.

I found it a very hard book to read, but I felt that is was absolutely worth persisting. Challenging, gross and fascinating.