"Choke" by Chuck Palahniuk

Chuck Palahniuk has to be one of the most unique voices writing books today.  That, or he is one very messed up individual.  Either way, I enjoy reading his books because they are so unexpected.  “Unnerving” is not the right word, but it’s the first word that comes to mind.

Victor Mancini is a late 20s guy who is quite lost.  He is a medical school drop out.  His mother is in a constant care facility as she has now fully lost her ability to reason.  He pays for her care with his job at a living museum tourist attraction.  That doesn’t quite cover the bills, so he also goes out to eat at nice restaurants and chokes on his food so that some do-gooder will save his life, and hopefully send him a check or two.  Did I mention that he is also a sex addict, with only one friend?

Victor Mancini is re-examining his life to try and understand who he really is, and where he should go from here. It is not a comfortable journey, re-living his life, and you wonder if he isn’t a bit crazy himself or did his mother do an exceptional job at teaching him her brand of crazy?  Is he cold and unfeeling, or does he sacrifice himself to make others feel good about themselves?  He is a walking bundle of conflicts, who just happens to know the best ways to have sex in any kind of aircraft you can name.  Reading this book is akin to being jerked around on a chain, jerked through time and space until maybe you are as messed up and confused as Victor.

*****
Choke                                                                http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=sara023-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0307388921&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr
by Chuck Palahniuk
Anchor Books, 2001
293 pages
Source: purchased used

6 thoughts on “"Choke" by Chuck Palahniuk

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  1. I didn't even realize that there was a movie!! I don't think I'd want to see it after the book…. If you are looking for a Palahniuk to read, I'd read Invisible Monsters before this one… Invisible Monsters was better.

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  2. It's probably the Palahniuk book I like the least, but it's by no means bad. It's just that the stance he takes on addictions, dread and despair doesn't really match the helplessness of readers that try to connect. It's too “funny” for lack of a better words.

    Other readers are left wondering what the fuck did they just read. If you're looking for a good Palahniuk that moves heavy stuff around, try Invisible Monsters.

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  3. Loved Invisible Monsters. Haven't read Fight Club, only because I did see that movie. I think if I wait some more, I will forget the movie and then be able to enjoy the book.

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