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"Art never comes from happiness" 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 Palanhiuk territory. It would be a pity to disclose the surprises of the plot but suffice 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 that book and the other two novels under Palahniuk's belt, we get a smattering of gloriously unflinching sound bites, such as this sceptical slight 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 Palanhiuk 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. And what's next for Victor Mancini's creator? Leave the last word to him, declaring as he does on the final pages: "Maybe it's our job to invent something better ... What it's going to be, I don't know." --Bob Michaels, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Wonderfully elegant read. You'll be on the edge of your seat until the end.Published 15 days ago by Elizabeth
Choke made me feel strange and uncomfortable and horney and sick. Over all good read.Published 7 months ago by Sarah amelia piercey
Great novel, this is my favorite Chuck Palahniuk yet (I've read Haunted and Survivor)! I have found myself laughing out loud quite a few times and read it in a few days (normally,... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Radaghast
I accidentally bought this book in French. I don't read French so I have just re-purchased and will submit a review once I read the English version. Read morePublished on Nov. 29 2010 by Nicole K. Archer
Every thing is ok, excellent book, low price and fast shipping, for the story it's a palahnuik tour de force like always...Published on April 16 2010 by Alexandre Richer
Terrible novel. Repetitive, boring, stupid. Palahniuk writes like someone more interested in crafting a quotable-quote than an actual story. Read morePublished on Dec 13 2007 by Benjamin Anderson
"Choke" is tied with "Survivor" (another Palahniuk novel)as being my favorite book, and the novel "Katzenjammer" by Jackson McCrae. Read morePublished on March 8 2006 by Dennis M.