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Choke by Chuck Palahniuk
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Choke (original 2001; edition 2002)

by Chuck Palahniuk

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
9,840139290 (3.59)1 / 119
Member:Kassilem
Title:Choke
Authors:Chuck Palahniuk
Info:Anchor (2002), Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:**
Tags:Gothic Fiction

Work details

Choke by Chuck Palahniuk (2001)

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English (130)  Italian (4)  French (2)  Portuguese (1)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (140)
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
It took a lot for me to finish this book. The ending was weird. The good thing about this book was that the chapters were short. ( )
  alwelker | Jan 25, 2016 |
It took a lot for me to finish this book. The ending was weird. The good thing about this book was that the chapters were short. ( )
  alwelker | Jan 25, 2016 |
I'll give this 3 stars because I felt it was well-written but I have to say it had far too much gratuitous sex for my liking. I should have realised that the title Choke referred as much to masturbation as to physically choking on food. Not really my cup of tea. The parts about his relationship with his mother and the various escape ruses they used when he was a child interested me but I didn't feel sympathy for the adult Victor Mancini. ( )
  sashinka | Jan 14, 2016 |
In my younger and more vulnerable years (i.e. when I was young, stupid and immature), I rather enjoyed Palahniuk's writing. Now I see it for what it is - shock for the sake of shock. It's no different than a middle schooler scribbling dicks all over everything while saying "DEEZ NUTZ." It offers no real insight or interest beyond trying to get the audience to go "He can't say that! OMG, I can't believe he just said that!" What a snoozefest. ( )
  benuathanasia | Dec 14, 2015 |
Choke is the story of Victor Mancini and his friend Danny, over the course of a few months of their lives. However, there are frequent flashbacks to their childhood. As a med-student dropout, Victor devised an ingenious scam to help make money. He likes to pretend to choke, while dining in fancy restaurants. When he is not pulling off this scam, Victor likes to attend Sexaholics Anonymous meetings, looking for action.

I have read one Chuck Palahniuk novel before, Fight Club and I did not think much of it. I originally thought maybe it was the fact that I have already seen the movie and knew what to expect. I picked up Choke because it was on the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list and thought it was a good excuse to try another of Palahniuk’s books. I know for certain that Chuck Palahniuk is not an author for me.

I found that Choke and Fight Club just had too many of the same elements in common. I expected psychological elements, I expected twists and I knew that Palahniuk would try to write something for shock value. Everything was expected and this made the novel feel boring and generic. There was nothing I really enjoyed about Choke at all, and I was looking forward to it ending.

I know there are a lot of Chuck Palahniuk fans out there, and I can see why he would appeal. For me it was the same book as Fight Club, and reading Choke offered nothing new to my reading experience. I am sure people might offer suggestions of other Chuck Palahniuk novels to try that are better, but in all honesty, I think I am done. I have so much to read, I do not have time to give this author another chance. Having said that, who knows what the future will bring, I might find myself reading my Palahniuk, but I will not be in any hurry to pick one up.

This review originally appeared on my blog; http://www.knowledgelost.org/book-reviews/genre/contemporary/choke-by-chuck-pala... ( )
  knowledge_lost | Dec 4, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 130 (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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Epigraph
Dedication
For Lump.
Forever.
First words
If you are going to read this, don't bother.
Quotations
"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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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)

» see all 7 descriptions

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