Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Choke, by Chuck Palahniuk

Choke: A Novel, by Chuck Palahniuk

The opening pages of this book discuss how banal the book is. “If you are going to read this, don’t bother. ... There has to be something better on television. ... What you’re getting here is a stupid story about a stupid little boy.” I thought it amusing at the time, but as the tale progressed I wish I’d taken the advice: this was a surprisingly bad book.

The main character, Victor Mancini, is a reprobate sexual addict that fakes choking in restaurants and then scams his “saviors” for money. His best friend is a simpleton that can’t hold down the simplest job; his mother has Alzheimer’s and thinks Victor is a collection of people from her past, but never Victor himself. While certainly a unique group of oddball personas, there isn’t much of a plot to speak of. Various threads loosely strung together; while this itself isn’t an issue, the problem lies in the fact that the episodes aren’t anywhere near as interesting as the characters. Palahniuk seems to be going for thought-provoking and edgy, but ended up with just plain weird. Fight Club was an excellent movie; Choke is by the same author and I had high expectations. A good friend liked it as well; clearly I’ll need to more thoroughly vet his recommendations in the future.

First Sentence:
If you are going to read this, don’t bother.

1 comment:

Sam said...

mike, didn't know you had a lit blog. very nice. thanks for the encouraging comments on my blog post. i don't know about eloquence, but i guess communicating for a living does help one express himself effectively.

ps - i enjoyed friday night lights. not exactly what we lived at berkner, but bisinger still captures the spirit of those high school friday night extravaganzas.

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