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Beautiful You: A Novel
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Published:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2014
Status:
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Description

"A billion husbands are about to be replaced."
From the author of Fight Club, the classic portrait of the damaged contemporary male psyche, now comes this novel about the apocalyptic marketing possibilities of a new product that gives new meaning to the term "self-help." 
Penny Harrigan is a low-level associate in a big Manhattan law firm with an apartment in Queens and no love life at all. So it comes as a great shock when she finds herself invited to dinner by one C. Linus Maxwell, a software mega-billionaire and lover of the most gorgeous and accomplished women on earth. After dining at Manhattan's most exclusive restaurant, he whisks Penny off to a hotel suite in Paris, where he proceeds, notebook in hand, to bring her to previously undreamed-of heights of gratification for days on end. What's not to like? This: Penny discovers that she is a test subject for the final development of a line of feminine products to be marketed in a nationwide chain of boutiques called Beautiful You. So potent and effective are these devices that women by the millions line up outside the stores on opening day and then lock themselves in their room with them and stop coming out. Except for batteries. Maxwell's plan for battery-powered world domination must be stopped. But how?

 

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
10/21/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780385538046
ASIN:
B00JYWUHDA

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Citations

APA Citation (style guide)

Chuck Palahniuk. (2014). Beautiful You: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Chuck Palahniuk. 2014. Beautiful You: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Chuck Palahniuk, Beautiful You: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Chuck Palahniuk. Beautiful You: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2014.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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3b37ae13-f411-fa1e-07f3-57cde0a95b26
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 18:37:07
Date Updated:
Dec 08, 2020 19:37:24
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Jun 23, 2024 11:12:35
Last Metadata Change:
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      • bioText: CHUCK PALAHNIUK is the author of thirteen novels—Doomed, Damned, Tell-All, Pygmy, Snuff, Rant, Haunted, Diary, Lullaby, Choke, Invisible Monsters, Survivor, and Fight Club—which all have sold more than five million copies in the United States. He is also the author Fugitives and Refugees, published as part of the Crown Journey Series, and the nonfiction collection Stranger Than Fiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest. Visit him on the web at chuckpalahniuk.net.
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fullDescription

"A billion husbands are about to be replaced."
From the author of Fight Club, the classic portrait of the damaged contemporary male psyche, now comes this novel about the apocalyptic marketing possibilities of a new product that gives new meaning to the term "self-help." 
Penny Harrigan is a low-level associate in a big Manhattan law firm with an apartment in Queens and no love life at all. So it comes as a great shock when she finds herself invited to dinner by one C. Linus Maxwell, a software mega-billionaire and lover of the most gorgeous and accomplished women on earth. After dining at Manhattan's most exclusive restaurant, he whisks Penny off to a hotel suite in Paris, where he proceeds, notebook in hand, to bring her to previously undreamed-of heights of gratification for days on end. What's not to like? This: Penny discovers that she is a test subject for the final development of a line of feminine products to be marketed in a nationwide chain of boutiques called Beautiful You. So potent and effective are these devices that women by the millions line up outside the stores on opening day and then lock themselves in their room with them and stop coming out. Except for batteries. Maxwell's plan for battery-powered world domination must be stopped. But how?

 

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: San Francisco
      • content: "[Palahniuk's] legion of fans will adore all its excesses. . . . Great fun..."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Times, London
      • content: "Genuinely shocking and entertaining."
      • premium: False
      • source: USA Today
      • content: "Nothing is sacred and everything gets torched."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: "Palahniuk continues to push limits in this satire of sex and consumerism. . . . There are some downright beautiful scenes."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        May 26, 2014
        Palahniuk (Fight Club; Doomed) continues to push limits in this satire of sex and consumerism, in which “the Nerd’s Cinderella,” Penny Harrigan, finds her average self in bed with tech megabillionaire Cornelius Linus Maxwell, dubbed “Climax-well,” the greatest lover ever known. What begins as Penny’s shy sexual exploration quickly becomes experimenting for Maxwell’s research into pleasure products. While enduring erotically induced comas and life-threatening orgasms, Penny moves up the social ladder, meeting Max’s former lovers, actress Alouette D’Ambrosia, and U.S. President Clarissa Hind. But as he did with his previous lovers, Maxwell dumps Penny on exactly day 136 of their relationship, and then releases his Beautiful You personal care products to the public—a revolutionary event that marks men’s obsolescence and turns women into titillated zombies. While women withdraw to their rooms for days and weeks, Penny learns that Max has much more power than anyone realizes. Men in suits following Penny and a Nepalese sex witch discuss the power of trends and brands, and the choice of self-pleasure over intimate human contact all contribute to Palahniuk’s satire. His cheeky wit is at its best in this grotesque novel; his semi-erotic writing is efficacious and there are some downright beautiful scenes.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        September 15, 2014
        Less macho than most of Palahniuk's work, this Cinderella-with-sex-toys parable is the transgressive writer's attempt at a feminist (or post-feminist) novel. Ever since he debuted with Fight Club (1996), the prolific Palahniuk has built a cult following by taking a series of provocative ideas and pushing them to the limit. And then past the limit. Here, the gimmick is a series of sex products designed for women, so effective that one satisfied customer exclaims, "Men are obsolete!...Anything a man can do to me, I can do better!" Women disappear from the public sphere to pleasure themselves in private, leaving "[a] world of furious, obsolete penises." Though sex saturates the novel, its description is more clinical than libidinous, and the protagonist isn't focused only on one thing. Penny Harrigan is something of an all-American girl, an obedient daughter who has moved from Nebraska to work in a New York law firm. She idolizes the nation's first female president and is told by the man who will change her life-and the course of the world-"I love you because you're so average." That man is C. Linus Maxwell, who "ran a group of corporations that led the world in computer networking, satellite communications, and banking" and who has become known in the tabloids as "Climax-Well." They make for an improbable pair, particularly after his series of highly-publicized relationships with glamorous women, but it turns out that the mogul has long had big plans for Penny, ones that will show her not only the aptness of his nickname, but reveal to her his commercial plans "to enter the empty field of vaginas in a big way." Their relationship ends, and they soon find themselves antagonists, as Penny warns the women of the world that their sexual liberation represents a more insidious form of coercion, based on "the idea of combining ladies' two greatest pleasures: shopping and sex." By Palahniuk's standards, this is actually a subtle and empathic piece of work.

        COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        August 1, 2014
        Leave it to Palahniuk (Fight Club) to boldly go where few men have gone before: deep into the inner workings of women's sensual bliss. Penny Harrigan, a young, struggling Nebraskan, attempting to make it as an attorney in Manhattan, literally stumbles into C. Linus Maxwell, aka Climax Well, the world's richest man. When she begins dating Maxwell, Penny's life changes in unimaginable ways. Maxwell, not content with his vast fortune, has spent years researching the mechanics of women's sexual pleasure in the hopes of introducing a new line of sex toys and selling mind-blowing orgasms at a moderate price. Subjected to extensive experimentation, Penny succumbs to ecstatic sensations that take her to the brink of a sexual coma. Through it all, Maxwell takes extensive notes as he records her vital signs and her reactions. Is Maxwell a generous lover or a mad scientist? When the Beautiful You line of products ( A billion husbands are about to be replaced ) is introduced to a receptive female publicirresistibly combining ladies' two greatest pleasures, sex and shopping society itself begins to break down. Part Ballardian dystopian novel mixed with a Nicholson Bakerlike (House of Holes) joy of the lexicon of sex, Palahniuk's newest is an unsubtle, often hilarious, over-the-top satire about rampant consumerism and man's attempts to (literally) control women's sexuality. HIGH -DEMAND BACKSTORY: Facebook advertising, national media appearances, and Comic-Con promotions will be included in the advertising for this provocative new novel.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 15, 2014

        Lowly law-firm associate Penny Harrigan is surprised to be wined and dined by C. Linus Maxwell, multibillionaire and squire to the world's most traffic-stopping women. But he has an ulterior motive: he's using her to test a line of sex toys so pleasure-inducing that women desert men in droves. What are men to do? Barbed social satire.

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        July 1, 2014

        There's a familiar plot for bad romance novels or romantic comedies. An awkward girl in the big city runs into a gentleman who's way out of her league. The two meet and the man begins to remake the girl from an ugly duckling into the confident, vivacious woman she never knew she wanted to be. And then the guy uses the girl to test his new line of designer sex toys. Sex toys so perfectly calibrated that women will stop pursuing careers, raising families, or even eating, choosing instead to spend all their time chasing pleasure in darkened rooms. Using the language and tropes of poorly written romances, Palahniuk springboards into a female version of his seminal work Fight Club, exploring what modern consumerist society does to women by trying to manipulate and control their sexuality. VERDICT While writing female protagonists has never been Palahniuk's strongest suit, his latest novel has a more powerful message and compelling hook than many of his recent efforts. Full of original imagery and sensibilities, this is sure to amuse and horrify even his most ardent fans. Casual readers will be hard pressed to find anything else like it on the shelf. Highly recommended for everyone except the prudish or readers of actual romance novels. [See Prepub Alert, 4/21/14.]--Peter Petruski, Cumberland Cty. Lib. Syst., Carlisle, PA

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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"A billion husbands are about to be replaced."
From the author of Fight Club, the classic portrait of the damaged contemporary male psyche, now comes this novel about the apocalyptic marketing possibilities of a new product that gives new meaning to the term "self-help." 
Penny Harrigan is a low-level associate in a big Manhattan law firm with an apartment in Queens and no love life at all. So it comes as a great shock when she finds herself invited to dinner by one C. Linus Maxwell, a software mega-billionaire and lover of the most gorgeous and accomplished women on earth. After dining at Manhattan's most exclusive restaurant, he whisks Penny off to a hotel suite in Paris, where he proceeds, notebook in hand, to bring her to previously undreamed-of heights of gratification for days on end. What's not to like? This: Penny discovers that she is a test subject for the final development of a line of feminine products to be marketed in a nationwide chain of...

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