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Chokeby Chuck Palahniuk
Synopses & Reviews
Victor Mancini, a medical-school dropout, is an antihero for our deranged times. Needing to pay elder care for his mother, Victor has devised an ingenious scam: he pretends to choke on pieces of food while dining in upscale restaurants. He then allows himself to be "saved" by fellow patrons who, feeling responsible for Victor's life, go on to send checks to support him. When he's not pulling this stunt, Victor cruises sexual addiction recovery workshops for action, visits his addled mom, and spends his days working at a colonial theme park. His creator, Chuck Palahniuk, is the visionary we need and the satirist we deserve.
"Few contemporary writers mix the outrageous and the hilarious with greater zest....Chuck Palahniuk's splenetic, anarchic glee makes him a worthy heir to Ken Kesey." Newsday
"Sheer, anarchic fierceness of imagination....[A] raw and vital book." The New York Times
"In the course of his three novels, Palahniuk has become a master of depicting the dark and depraved underbelly of our society through the voices of mordantly existential protagonists. Choke is no exception." Library Journal (Starred Review)
"[Palahniuk's] subversive riffs conjure a kind of jump-cut cinema of the diseased imagination, resulting in an outlandish allegory that is as brutally hilarious as it is relentlessly bleak....[Choke] functions like a companion novel to the notorious Fight Club." Book Magazine
"Puts a bleakly humorous spin on self-help, addiction recovery, and childhood trauma....
"Palahniuk is a cheerful nihilist with a mordant wit and a taste for scatological humor. Fair warning: some may find his language and imagery offensive." Kirkus Reviews
"Victor is even more pathetic than Palahniuk's previous antiheroes....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." Publishers Weekly
"As with his previous novels, this one lacks subtlety, but it will have great appeal with the legions of disenfranchised who flocked to see Fight Club in the theater." John Green, Booklist
"Clearly, neither plausibility nor coherence are priorities for Palahniuk. His subversive riffs conjure a kind of jump-cut cinema of the diseased imagination, resulting in an outlandish allegory that is as brutally hilarious as it is relentlessly bleak." Book Magazine
"Palahniuk's language is urgent and tense, touched with psychopathic brilliance, his images dead-on accurate....[He] is an author who makes full use of the alchemical powers of fiction to synthesize a universe that mirrors our own fiction as a way of illuminating the world without obliterating its complexity." LA Weekly
Medical school dropout Victor Mancini comes up with a complicated but ingenious scam to pay for his mother's elder care--pretend to be choking in a restaurant and con the individuals who "save" him into giving him money--while he cruises sex addiction groups for action, and visits his sick mother, whose Alzheimer's disease hides the bizarre truth about his parentage. Reprint. 100,000 first printing.
From the author of the international sensation Fight Club, here is a powerful (and hilarious) novel about love and strife between mothers and sons, the addictive power of sex, the terrors of aging, the ugly truth about historical theme parks, and much else.
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 humor 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 elder 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 his life. Multiply that a couple of hundred times and you generate a healthy flow of checks, 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.
Palahniuk is one of the freshest, most intriguing voices to appear in a long time. He rearranges Vonnegut's sly humor, DeLillo's mordant social analysis, and Pynchon's antic surrealism (or is it R. Crumb's?) into a gleaming puzzle palace all his own.
Palahniuk displays a Swiftian gift for satire, as well as a knack for crafting mesmerizing sentences that loom with stark, prickly prose and repetitive rhythms.
SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER
Even I can't write this well.
Palahniuk's language is urgent and tense, touched with psychopathic brilliance, his images dead-on accurate.... He] is an author who makes full use of the alchemical powers of fiction to synthesize a universe that mirrors our own fiction as a way of illuminating the world without obliterating its complexity.
Maybe our generation has found its Don DeLillo.
BRET EASTON ELLIS
About the Author
Chuck Palahniuk's four other novels are the bestselling Fight Club, which was made into a film by director David Fincher, Survivor, Invisible Monsters, Lullaby, and Diary. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
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