Tell-All by Chuck Palahniuk

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The hyperactive love child of Page Six and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? caught in a tawdry love triangle with The Fan. Even Kitty Kelly will blush.

Soaked, nay, marinated in the world of vintage Hollywood, Tell-All is a Sunset Boulevard–inflected homage to Old Hollywood when Bette Davis and Joan Crawford ruled the roost; a veritable Tourette’s syndrome of rat-tat-tat  name-dropping, from the A-list to the Z-list; and a merciless  send-up of Lillian Hellman’s habit of butchering the truth that will have Mary McCarthy cheering from the beyond.

Our Thelma Ritter–ish narrator is Hazie Coogan, who for decades has tended to the outsized needs of Katherine “Miss Kathie”  Kenton—veteran of multiple marriages, career comebacks, and cosmetic surgeries. But danger arrives with gentleman caller Webster Carlton Westward III, who worms his way into Miss Kathie’s heart (and boudoir). Hazie discovers that this bounder has already written a celebrity tell-all memoir foretelling Miss Kathie’s death in a forthcoming Lillian Hellman–penned musical extravaganza; as the body count mounts, Hazie must execute a plan to save Katherine Kenton for her fans—and for posterity.

Tell-All is funny, subversive, and fascinatingly clever. It’s wild, it’s wicked, it’s  bold-faced—it’s vintage Chuck.

About Chuck Palahniuk

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Chuck Palahniuk is the author of the best-selling novels Fight Club, Survivor, Lullaby, Diary, Rant, Damned, and many other works of fiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.
Published April 20, 2010 by Anchor. 194 pages
Genres: History, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Tell-All

The New York Times

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Madison is quick to notice that people lie about why they’re in hell (wearing white shoes after Labor Day?), that hell lacks WiFi, and that she got the wrong ideas from watching visions of hell on the movie screen.

Oct 19 2011 | Read Full Review of Tell-All

The Guardian

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Tell-All arrives at just about the point I'd given up on Chuck Palahniuk.

Jul 10 2010 | Read Full Review of Tell-All

Publishers Weekly

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When a stranger enters their lives and seduces Miss Kathie, Mazie unravels his secret plot to write a memoir about his dalliance with the star that culminates in Miss Kathie's death.

Jun 28 2010 | Read Full Review of Tell-All

AV Club

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The story follows Coogan’s efforts to protect Kenton as she falls for a much younger man, who seems to be after more than the love of an aging star.

May 13 2010 | Read Full Review of Tell-All

Los Angeles Times

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"Miss Katherine Kenton and I do not enjoy," Coogan explains, "what Walter Winchell would call a 'finger-deep friendship.' Nor do we indulge in behavior Confidential would cite to brand us as 'baritone babes.' " Kenton would be better served if they were.

May 27 2010 | Read Full Review of Tell-All

The Telegraph

As she puts it: “I was Thelma Ritter before Thelma Ritter was Thelma Ritter.” The bold type is Palahniuk’s, not mine, and it applies to every name and practically every proper noun he includes.

Jan 05 2010 | Read Full Review of Tell-All

The Bookbag

Summary: A good book, but one that bears a large imbalance - you get to the midpoint and wonder why the first half could not have been the first third.

Apr 30 2011 | Read Full Review of Tell-All

Oregon Live

Hazie completes such mundane chores as defrosting Miss Kathie's icebox and ironing her sheets, yet she is the person who actually propels the fading star through life.

May 01 2010 | Read Full Review of Tell-All

California Literary Review

In a recent interview, Chuck Palahniuk admitted that his new novel, Tell-All, is merely one of three that he wrote during the year he cared for his mother.

Jul 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Tell-All

GQ magazine

It is also her task to carve those facial lines and scars erased by cosmetic procedures into Miss Kathie's "Dorian Gray mirror," a glass before which she stands to gauge the true ravages time has wrought upon her.

Jul 15 2010 | Read Full Review of Tell-All

The Daily of the University of Washington

Not extraordinary in its own right, the discovery becomes alarming when Hazie realizes the biography is finished, pending the death of Miss Kathie, which has also been written.

May 06 2010 | Read Full Review of Tell-All

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