Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk's controversial and blazingly original debut novel, introduced a fresh and even renegade talent to American fiction, one who has retooled the classic black humour of Terry Southern and Kurt Vonnegut for the lunacy of the millennial age. In his new novel, Choke, he gives readers a vision of life and love and sex and ...
Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk's controversial and blazingly original debut novel, introduced a fresh and even renegade talent to American fiction, one who has retooled the classic black humour of Terry Southern and Kurt Vonnegut for the lunacy of the millennial age. In his new novel, Choke, he gives readers a vision of life and love and sex and mortality that is both chillingly brilliant and teeth-rattlingly funny. Victor Mancini, a dropout from medical school, has devised a complicated scam to pay for his mother's hospital care: pretend to be choking on a piece of food in a restaurant and the person who 'saves you' will feel responsible for the rest of their lives. Multiply that a couple of hundred times and you generate a healthy flow of cheques, week in, week out. Between fake choking gigs, Victor works at Colonial Dunsboro with a motley group of losers and stoners trapped in 1734, cruises sex addiction groups for action ('You put twenty sexaholics around a table night after night and don't be surprised.') , and visits his mother, whose anarchic streak made his childhood a mad whirl and whose Alzheimer's disease now hides what may be the startling truth about his, possibly divine, parentage. An antihero for our deranging times, Victor's whole existence is a struggle to wrest an identity from overwhelming forces. His creator, Chuck Palahniuk, is the visionary we need and the satirist we deserve.
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It's just another silly dystopic read. There's lots of far out stuff to pique one's interest but the only thing that interested me was the discssion of Medical mnemonics. A most forgetable book - except during commercial flights. I never read The Fight Club but I did enjoy the movie - now I won't bother with the book.
Oct 15, 2009
Highly recommended book!
If you are a fan of the film 'Fight Club', than this is the book for you! 'Fight Club' author, Chuck Palahniuk, tells a tale about Victor Mancini, a medical school drop out student who fakes choking to death at fancy restaurants to be 'saved' by unsuspecting people. Victor is also a sex addict, and works at a colonial theme park with drugged out hippies, and losers. His best pal is kind of a dimwit and masturbates a lot. There is so much going on within this book, with the characters, the sub plots, the situations, and the dark humor is outstanding. A great novel to read. Chuck Palahniuk is a great author and has a powerful storytelling craft. Pick this book up!
Aug 6, 2009
Only for teenage boys?
This is not a book for an old lady, or any female. It is not funny or relevant to anyone's life, in my opinion.
Sep 18, 2008
Choke on Chuck
Fun with Chuck! Lots of dirty words and laugh out loud in public kind of comedy. I recommend it for the rest of us immature types. I hear it's being made into a movie. I can't imagine it being true to the book and getting less than an NC-17 rating. Read this one first!
Nov 2, 2007
Palahniuk at his best
Choke shows up Chuck Palahniuk at his best. This books marks the high point in his literature career, the writing is more fluid then that of his later novels and the story is more precise then any of his other novels. This entails the story of a man who while being a sex addict works at a colonial theme park and cons money out of strangers by pretending to choke at resteraunts. The author weaves the narrative around all the odd behavior our main character exhibits due to his sexual addiction and his appearent dissalussioment with the life he finds himself in. Like most Palahniuk novels there the reader is subjected to suspensefull waiting while the story unravels.
Publishers Weekly, 2003-07-07 While it's always interesting to hear authors read their own work, this production is not likely to prompt a narrating career for Palahniuk (Fight Club) on par with his literary accomplishments. That's not to say, however, that his style doesn't work with this offbeat story of a sex-addicted medical school dropout whose gift is pretending to choke in restaurants and reaping the sympathy checks of the people who "save" him in order to pay for the care of his sick mother. Palahniuk reads with a husky, occasionally whiny voice that's rushed and intense. At times it seems like he's not reading at all, but reciting the novel from memory as he paces the floor with a cup of coffee in one hand and the fingers of the other pressed to his forehead while a cigarette smolders away in the ashtray. He brings a unique sensibility and opts for inflections that other narrators probably would not. After the book implores listeners to turn away and go no further in Chapter 1, for instance, Palahniuk reads the words "Chapter 2" in a tone of voice that says, "OK, you asked for it." That's a fitting sentiment for those who choose to listen, as this bizarre story is by turns hilarious and depressing, read in an idiosyncratic manner by an idiosyncratic author. Based on the Doubleday hardcover (Forecasts, Apr. 2, 2001). (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2001-04-02 Palahniuk (Fight Club; Invisible Monsters) once again demonstrates his faith in the credo that before things get better, they must get much, much worse. Like previous Palahniuk protagonists, Victor Mancini is young and prematurely cynical, a med school dropout whose eerily detached narration of the banal horrors of everyday existence gives way to a numbed account of nihilistic carnage. Cruising sex-addict meetings for action, Victor enjoys bathroom trysts with nymphomaniacs on short prison furloughs, focused on maximizing his sexual highs. During the working day, he is trapped in a 1734 colonial theme park, where the entire self-medicated staff blearily endures abusive school tours while hiding out from the world. Victor supports his mother, who is in the hospital, stricken with Alzheimer's; she is wasting away, and despite the misery she put him through in childhood (revealed in an increasingly horrific series of flashbacks), he wants to be a good boy and take care of her. This becomes challenging when Victor is seduced by a strange hospital worker calling herself Dr. Marshall, who shows him his mother's diary; it describes her self-impregnation by a holy relic she believes to be the foreskin of Jesus. This has a profound effect on Victor, who is stunned by the possibility that there may be some good in him after all. Victor is even more pathetic than Palahniuk's previous antiheroes, in that the world he creates for himself (a carnivalesque mélange of theme park, geriatric ward and asylum) is actually more horrific than the one he seeks to escape. Still, the novel showcases the author's powers of description, character development and attention-getting dialogue handily enough to give this dark meditation on addiction a distinctive and humorous twist. Author tour. (May 15) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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