The book is best known for the short story Guts, which had been published previous to the book in the March 2004 issue of Playboy magazine as well as on Palahniuk’s website (Palahniuk offered to let them publish another story along with it, but the publishers found the second work too disturbing). It is a tale of violent accidents involving masturbation.
While on his 2003 tour to promote his novel Diary, Palahniuk read “Guts” to his audiences. It was reported that over 35 people fainted while listening to the readings. On his tour to promote Stranger Than Fiction: True Stories in the summer of 2004, he read the story to audiences again, bringing the total amount of fainters up to 53, and later up to 60, while on tour to promote the softcover edition of Diary. The last fainting occurred on September 25, 2004, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Palahniuk is apparently not bothered by these incidents, which have not stopped fans from reading “Guts” or his other works.In a September 2004 reading of “Guts” at Cooper Union in New York City, no listener admitted to fainting. When Palahniuk showed surprise, many members of the audience replied, “This is New York!” in a nod to the alleged inability to shock the city’s denizens.
Read Guts on ChuckPalahniuk.net
Warning—this story is EXTREMELY graphic!