Firstly, I am a fan of Chuck Palahniuk. I’ve found all his books to be original, refreshing and somewhat disturbing. So I had great expectations when I started on his this book, ‘Choke’. Was I disappointed?
Chuck Palahniuk’s Choke is about the spiritual self-immolation and reclamation of one Victor Mancini, con artist and sexual addict. Once again Palahniuk makes short work of invoking compassion for his lost boy viewpoint character by daring you to like him in spite of all the reasons not to. And, if you’re like me, you do. You pull for Victor even when he’s told you not to. You pull for him through the most scatalogical, pornagraphic, manipulated and just plain sick moments of your reading life, and you feel either thrilled or sordid yourself as you are led through all the messed-up elements of his messed-up life.
To sum it up, this book is pretty funny, but doesn’t have the deeper meaning that Fight Club had. The characters didn’t have the depth or weirdness of those in his other novels. There is an unexpected, and rather good, surprise towards the end of ‘Choke’ but it wasn’t enough to derive any entusiasm. If you’re going to give Palahniuk a try, read Fight Club first. If you like that, then try this one out.