Wednesday, June 17

Book Review: Choke by Chuck Palahniuk

Author: Chuck Palaniuk 
Title: Choke
Genre: Fiction & drama
Pages: 293
First Published: 2001
Where I Got It: Borrowed from friend

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. 

Oooooh boy. This certainly was a different book for me. It was a book my friend, Reece, recommended to me. It’s one of her favorites. I’ve had my eye on it for years, but never was I motivated to read it. However, Reece let me borrow her copy and so I dived in.

The first couple of chapters were meh. Especially chapter one. I was not a fan of how he opened the story and I hated the language he used. It was over-the-top and it didn’t meet the rest of the story. It was a flashback and the language used was very unnecessarily vulgar. So many swear words (which I normally don’t mind), but I felt like it took away from the moment. Granted…I learned many new terms in this chapter! Once this chapter was over, I think the author realized he needed to calm himself. Yes, there are still swear words and so forth, but not to the extreme. I was actually able to read without rolling my eyes.

The rest of the story had me hooked! I needed to know more about the mom. Yes, I was more interested in crazy ol’ mom then I was Victor. Victor was “crazy” too, but I was more fascinated by the mom. Victor was okay and it was interested to see through the eyes of a sex-aholic and someone who wants to save the world (in his own twisted way). He made a lot of good points on his methods about “saving people”. It makes sense…oddly to me….people want to be seen as heroes, so might as well give them that shining moment.

There are so many references and many memorable quotes that I can highly appreciate. It reminded me of a dark, dark version of ‘Gilmore Girls’. Imagine Rory as a guy, who dropped out of college, her mom is crazy (even crazier than the show), is addicted to sex, and pretends every night to choke on food to give people that shining moment of being a “hero”. THAT is this book. I am certainly a sucker for references and memorable quotes that I can maul over for a while.

Then there is end….I am so unsure on what I think of it. Sadly, I had to look up on the internet what exactly happened. Yes, I was not quite sure. But now I am on the fence….I can’t decide if I like it or not. Hmmmmmmm. Maybe I’ll give the ending another read through, but yes…I am unsure.

Overall, this was an interesting book. It gave me eyes in a world I’ve never known. The story had me hooked after the first chapter (which nearly made me stop – but thank goodness I am one who pushes through). The ending has left me thinking and contemplating if I liked it or not. I am still unsure. Maybe that is what the author wanted you think/feel? I will have to re-read the ending after a while…maybe I’ll have an answer there. I recommend this for fellow book lovers. This is a must-read if you like odd books that make you think.

Oh boy….the rating….gah….I am unsure….I think I shall stamp this with….ummmm….3 stars. Nearly 4, but that first chapter. xI


Reece Darlene said...

I'm bummed you didn't love the first chapter as much as I did. I feel like the emotions are that of the kid and that really resonated with me. I've never looked up the ending but based on my interpretation I love it and I think the movie got it wrong. I'm glad you followed through and liked it at least a little.

Melliane said...

Glad that despite the first chapter it became a little more. I didn't know about it but it sounds different.

Blodeuedd said...

Why is the text and background so weird?

Anachronist said...

I think I am sold. I'll read it if I find it. It does sound different.
BTW thanks for your comment and support on my blog! <3

Carole Rae said...

Reece, I'm sorry! I wanted to be in love with it as well! But I still enjoyed it and I wanna watch the movie.

Melliane, it certainly was different.

B, I fixed it. LOL IDK it does that sometimes and I get lazy and leave it for later.

Ana, :) I think you'll get a kick out of it. <3s