Synopses & Reviews
Victor Mancini's a medical school dropout with a problem. He needs to pay for elder care for his mother, who's got Alzheimer's. So he comes up with the perfect scam: pretending to choke in upscale restaurants and getting “saved” by fellow diners who, feeling responsible for Victor's life, offer him financial support.Meanwhile, he cruises sexual addiction recovery workshops and spends his days working at Colonial Dunsboro, where his stoner colleagues are sentenced to the stocks for any deviation from the colonial lifestyle. Oh, yeah, and he's desperate to find the truth of his paternity, which his addled mother suggests may be divine.
"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
"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
"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)
"Puts a bleakly humorous spin on self-help, addiction recovery, and childhood trauma....[F]unny mantra-like prose plows toward the mayhem it portends from the get-go." The Village Voice
"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." Booklist
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.
About the Author
Chuck Palahniuk's novels are the bestselling Fight Club
, which was made into a film by director David Fincher, Diary
, and Invisible Monsters
. Portions of Choke
have appeared in Playboy
, and Palahniuk's nonfiction work has been published by Gear
, Black Book
, The Stranger
, and the Los Angeles Times
. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.