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Choke Paperback – Jun 11 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; REPR edition (June 11 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385720920
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385720922
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13.6 x 1.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (329 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Walker on March 19 2006
Format: Paperback
"Choke," by Chuck Palahniuk is one of the most unique novels I have ever read. From the first page which implores the reader not to read the book (who does that?) to the surprise ending, the novel was a great read from start to finish.
The main character, Victor Mancini, is many things, a con artist preying on other's sympathy, a med-school dropout, an "actor" in a colonial-era theme park, a sex addict, a loving and caring son trying to take care of his mother suffering from Alzheimer's disease, as well as a descendant of Jesus Christ, or perhaps Jesus Christ himself. The other characters in the book are just as demented.
The writing style is clear and even the flashbacks to Victor's childhood are not intrusive to the story, but rather enlightening to where Victor is in his life at that moment.
Also recommended: DIARY by Chuck P. and KATZENJAMMER by McCrae.
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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, I'm not such an avid reader). Highly recommend this, it's a great read!
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Format: Paperback
In literature today, Chuck Palahniuk is the man of the moment. No other new author in recent memory has made such an immediate and important impact. With the controversial "Fight Club" Palahniuk muscled his way into the spotlight and gave his readers an uncompromising look at the flaws in our sometimes over-glorified culture. With the no less controversial "Choke" Palahniuk continues to deliver. (I haven't gotten to "Haunted" yet; I'm a little behind.)
"Choke" is an exploration of sexual deviancy, but the main theme of the novel, like "Fight Club," is the modern-day angst caused from the apparent purposelessness of our watered-down, machine assisted lifestyle. There is a certain desperation that can be felt behind the novel's sometimes witty, sometimes grotesque, always compelling escapades. More so than in any of his other novels, you can hear Palahniuk's own uncertainty behind the false bravado of his unfortunate characters.
Essentially, "Choke" is a discussion on what is most important in life and a plea for some guidance as to how to achieve it. But by presenting this argument through a series of ill-conceived misadventures, the discussion is rendered light and compelling.
Palahniuk writes with a short, terse style that is always compared to Vonnegut but which also reminds me of Hemingway. He tries to write as people speak, and the often grammatically garbled, yet perfectly understandable sentences that result are given a very spontaneous feel as a consequence. The novel is obviously well conceived and well polished, but it is not tediously overworked, as most novels that try to sound literary tend to be. Although I would hesitate to call Palahniuk's style new, he does add a dimension to this sort of "free" writing that I haven't seen before and which is very refreshing.
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Format: Paperback
Few books can survive on a clever idea alone. Palahniuk is probably the only author I know who can pull this off. This is not to say that the rest of "Choke" is not clever--it is--but the premise alone is good enough. Victor Mancini is a con artists of mega proportions. By day he works in a colonial theme park and when he's not doing that, he goes to restaurants and diners and fakes "choking." This, in order to get cash to help his mother who is a nursing home.
I thought the writing in this novel was simply brilliant and can't wait to tackle all of Palahnuik's works. Bravo
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Format: Hardcover
I actually picked this book up in the "How To" section of my local bookstore. No lie. I could spend hours trying to decipher the accidental or intended implications of such a placement, which stinks of either conspiracy or revolution, I can't tell which.
Anyway, seeing as Fight Club is my all time favorite movie, it only seems logical that I'd gravitate towards ol' Chucks work. Why it took me so long I can't say. Having read none of his other books, I can't really compare them. I can say that I will be purchasing them shortly. Choke is brilliant and extremely funny. It's not often that a novel can make me laugh hysterically in public, but this one did.
The premise of the book and one of it's strengths is the theory that if you make someone else into a hero, they'll love you forever. The protagonist repeatedly fakes choking to death in restaurants to pay his dying mothers hospital bills, but at the same time, he demonstrates that even the most ordinary people have the capacity for the extraordinary. It's sick and beautiful at the same time. Peppered with addiction, sex, insanity, medical references, urban legends, and a ton of Oedipus issues; Choke is about confronting your past, or being consumed by it. Like Fight Club (the movie that is. I know, I blaspheme.) it's about tearing down who you think you are to find out who you really are. It's about rebirth and redemption, perception and illusion.
It's about all that stuff and more, but bottom line, it's just a blast to read. If you like Vonnegut, Irving Welsh or David Foster Wallace, chances are this book is for you. It will probably make you laugh, it might even make you think, but it will definitely entertain you.
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