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Choke by Chuck Palahniuk

Choke (original 2001; edition 2002)

by Chuck Palahniuk

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9,649134299 (3.59)1 / 115
Authors:Chuck Palahniuk
Info:Anchor (2002), Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library

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Choke by Chuck Palahniuk (2001)


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English (125)  Italian (4)  French (2)  Portuguese (1)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (135)
Showing 1-5 of 125 (next | show all)
Excellent book! I was 3/4 through before I began to sense that there was something unexpected coming ahead. Once I began reading, I couldn't put it down. It was loaned to me by my future son-in-law. ( )
  Phyllis.Mann | Jul 13, 2015 |
Very long, drawn out story for a kind of lame ending. But still good, I need to watch the movie now to better appreciate it. ( )
  Ellie.Pelto | Jul 7, 2015 |
Definitely not his best. Somehow the film adaptation turned out wonderful though. ( )
  heradas | May 31, 2015 |
Is Victor the son that is a mother’s worse nightmare or is his mother a son’s worst nightmare? This is an irreverent look at a promising life driven to life on the wrong side of the tracks. Read this only if you are up to listening to one person’s adventures best left to whispers on a dark night with no one around to overhear. ( )
  bemislibrary | Feb 16, 2015 |
I ordered this book after reading a plot synopsis and being intrigued, coupled with the fact that the author also wrote Fight Club, one of the most original and compelling movies I’ve seen. It has elements of borderline pornography, so if that bothers you look elsewhere, as the protagonist is a sex addict.

In addition to being sexually impulsive, Victor must support his delusional mother in an assisted care facility, at a cost of $3,000 per month. How to raise that kind of money on a menial, minimum wage job? Victor trolls through area restaurants, staging choking incidents, compelling patrons to “save his life”. Having done so, he finds they subsequently feel responsible for his well-being, sending him money from time to time. The story cycles through choking incidents, sexual encounters, visits between Victor and his Mom (past and present), Victor’s job as a colonial reenactor and his relationship with his best friend, Denny.

The story is filled with other characters, just as “damaged” as Victor. This is certainly original and initially quite entertaining, but though short, it runs out of steam well before a nice plot twist near the end. ( )
  santhony | Dec 29, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 125 (next | show all)
Choke seizes the dirty truth disguised beneath our modern glamours and screams it loudly into your ear. You may find yourself feeling unusually militant after reading Choke – consider this a warning.
In Chuck Palahniuk's 1996 cult novel ''Fight Club,'' a young man escapes the emasculating boredom of modern life by indulging his violent, antisocial impulses. Victor Mancini, the narrator of Palahniuk's energetic, exasperating new book, also keeps in close touch with his inner bad boy, though what it is he's trying to escape is less clear. His operating principle is ''What would Jesus NOT do?''
''If you're going to read this, don't bother.'' So Chuck Palahniuk introduces the reader to Choke, showcasing the punkish style of his fourth novel from line one. The narrator, Victor Mancini, continues: ''After a couple pages, you won't want to be here,'' he warns. ''Save yourself.'' The hero's warning is the author's awkward wink, and there, in the third paragraph, you have the story's over-worked theme: salvation.
So ''Choke'' is an uneven but still raw and vital book, punctuated with outrageous, off-the-wall moments that work as often as not.
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First words
If you are going to read this, don't bother.
"Sobriety is okay enough," Denny says, "but someday, I'd like to live a life based on doing good stuff instead of just not doing bad stuff. You know?"
You could put most of these folks [in an old-people's home] in front of a mirror and tell them it's a television special about old dying miserable people, and they'd watch it for hours.
Ten times out of ten, a guy means I love this [when he says I love you].
When it comes down to a choice between being unloved and being vulnerable and sensitive and emotional, then you can just keep your love.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the novel, not the film.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385720920, Paperback)

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 of Choke are 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 under Palahniuk's belt, we get a smattering of gloriously unflinching sound bites, including this skeptical bit on prayer chains: "A spiritual pyramid scheme. As if you can gang up on God. Bully him around."

Whether this is the novel that will break Palahniuk into the mainstream is hard to say. For a fourth book, in fact, the ratio of iffy, "dude"-intensive dialogue to interesting and insightful passages is a little higher than we might wish. In the end, though, the author's nerve and daring pull the whole thing off--just barely. And what's next for Victor Mancini's creator? Leave the last word to him, declaring as he does in the final pages: "Maybe it's our job to invent something better.... What it's going to be, I don't know." --Bob Michaels

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:19 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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