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Another Twisted Tale

  • Jun 24, 2010
Rating:
+3
Choke is the tale of Victor, a sex addict whose life is in several ruts. He is tied to a dead-end job in a colonial theme park, and his mother is the latter stages of dementia and thinks he is one of several dead lawyers she once knew. To supplement his tiny income he pretends to choke in restaurants, receiving checks from those who eventually save him (and subsequently feel responsibility for his life). As his mother’s life begins to fade away, we learn why Victor is the way he is, and Victor himself gets a chance at a new life through a mysterious new doctor at his mother’s hospital.

Choke suffers from similarities to Palahniuk’s other story. Like Fight Club, an unusual disorder is explored, our quirky anti-hero establishes a hugely dysfunctional relationship with a woman, and not everything is as it may seem. To say this is Fight Club with added sex, however, is to undersell it. Yes there is an abundant amount, but underneath is actually a rather moving story about Victor’s immensely scarred relationship with his mother, and the all-encompassing impact it has on his adult life. A weak point has to be the gratuitous nature of those many sexual situations, as well as certain meandering plotlines (in particular one linking Victor to Jesus).

Choke won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, however once you gets past the bodily functions it really is a quite insightful look into society’s abandonment of those suffering with mental disorders, and how nurture can often do far more damage than nature in what makes us what we are. Like FC there’s a happy ending, even if it is not happy in the traditional sense. A little unfocused, but nonetheless intricate, incredibly funny, and surprisingly warm.


 

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June 28, 2010
Oh, I loved this book! First CP book I had ever read, and I went on to read most of his others afterward. Yeah, the ending is happy in an untraditional sense, but that's why I love it so much! Thanks for sharing :)
 
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More Choke (Chuck Palahniuk book) reviews
review by . December 10, 2008
Choke
This is hands down one of my favorite books of all time.  I first read Choke well over five years ago, yet somehow, I keep finding myself telling people about this book, whether it's a close friend or someone who I just met, something in our conversation always triggers my memory of Choke and I can't help but describe it to them.  It usually goes...      Choke is a book about a twenty-something year old sex-addicted, ex-med student named Victor, who had to drop out …
review by . August 11, 2010
I laughed the entire way through this book.  Being a Palahniuk fan, I know in advance that a reader without a strong stomach, seeking chic lit, is not the right reader for this (or any of Chuck's books,) but was somewhat disappointed in this one compared to his other titles.  All in all, I would recommend this book.
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
I read this in high school and really loved it. I think I might like it a little less if I read it now, though. It's funny and does come up with a point, but I think the alienation of the characters would annoy me now.
Quick Tip by . July 10, 2010
Not my favorite Chuck Palahniuk book as I find the main character somewhat less endearing than the usual misguided protagonist of Chuck's works, but nonetheless another fantastic example of his penchant for strange factoids, odd points of view, interestingly applied researched, and, of course, many different themes cavorting around with one another and occasionally crashing into one another face first.
review by . July 08, 2010
 This is the first book I ever read by this author and although it was thought provoking I’m pretty sure it will be my last. The story was disconnected which there was a warning label for so I guess that should have come as no surprise. The characters are highly un relatable, at least to me as a person. How many people do you know who are semi crazy and were kidnapped as children? Oh none? How surprising! I don’t know what his goal was in writing this book, but I would gladly like …
Quick Tip by . June 29, 2010
My favorite! I love this author
review by . June 27, 2010
Another twisted tale from Chuck Palahniuk, Choke gives us possibly my favorite anti-hero from any of his previous novels. Victor, a Medical School drop out and now "historical interpreter" plays on the emotions and dependency of others by nearly killing himself night after night in various eateries across town. In return for their hero status? Money. Victors misadventures all tie into paying for his absolutely nutty but fascinating Mother to stay in a rest home. With hilarious dialogue …
Quick Tip by . June 26, 2010
Palahniuk's dark comedies make you take a hard look at reality. not as strong as Fight Club
Quick Tip by . June 22, 2010
a totally insane & in-depth look into the lives of people you would never know (some may never care) about.
Quick Tip by . June 16, 2010
Palahniuk fans rejoice!
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Wiki

Choke is a 2001 novel by American author Chuck Palahniuk. 

Victor Mancini is a ruthless con artist. Victor Mancini is a med-school dropout who's taken a job playing an Irish indentured servant in a colonial-era theme park in order to help care for his Alzheimer's-afflicted mother. Victor Mancini is a sex addict. Victor Mancini is a direct descendant of Jesus Christ. All of these statements about the protagonist ofChokeare more or less true. Welcome, once again, to the world of Chuck Palahniuk.

"Art never comes from happiness." So says Mancini's mother only a few pages into the novel. Given her own dicey and melodramatic style of parenting, you would think that her son's life would be chock-full of nothing but art. Alas, that's not the case. In the fine tradition of Oedipus, Stephen Dedalus, and Anthony Soprano, Victor hasn't quite reconciled his issues with his mother. Instead, he's trawling sexual-addiction recovery meetings for dates and purposely choking in restaurants for a few moments of attention. Longing for a hug, in other words, he's settling for the Heimlich.

Thematically, this is pretty familiar Palahniuk territory. It would be a pity to disclose the surprises of the plot, but suffice it to say that what we have here is a little bit of Tom Robbins's Another Roadside Attraction, a little bit of Don DeLillo's The Day Room, and, well, a little bit of Fight Club. Just as with Fight Club and the other two novels ...

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Details

ISBN-10: 0385720920 (pbk.)
ISBN-13: 9780385720922 (pbk.)
Author: Chuck Palahniuk
Genre: Horror, Strange Fiction
Publisher: Anchor (June 11, 2002)
Date Published: (June 11, 2002)
Format: Paperback: 304 pages, Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.2 x 0.2 inches
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