I haven’t read any of Chuck Palahniuk’s books before, but I saw Fight Club some years ago, and now I bought three of his books to see what’s the story with this guy. I read Fight Club, Invisible Monsters and Choke. Although everybody said that Fight Club is his best book, my favorite is definitely Choke.
Artwork by : Tyler Parkinson
The title of the book tells it all. Victor Mancini, a dropout from medical school and a sex addict, pays his mother’s elder care by going in expensive restaurants and pretending to choke while eating. Someone saves him and he manages to convince that someone who saved him to give him money every once in a while. Multiply this some ten – twenty times and you get a pretty big monthly allowance. Besides the choking job, Victor works in a History Park, pretending to live somewhere in the 16th century.
The characters are all having some big issues up there. Most of them are sex addicts. At first I thought that they are sexually obsessed, but no. Sex addict means that you feel the need to have sex anytime and with anyone. It’s exactly like a drug addiction and there is a place where you can go and get therapy (exactly like Alcoholics Anonymous). One of Victor’s friends starts collecting rocks in his tentative of not having sex. In a couple of months, his house is full of rocks, from small ones, to giant ones that can barely be carried by a human being.
It’s a sick book, with crazy situations. A mother who is trying to remember who Victor’s father is, sex all over the place, a bunch of drug addicts, an insane young woman who says she’s Victor’s mother doctor and tells him that the only cure for his mother would be a treatment with new born brains. Victor’s story is horrific and comic in the same time, but an outrageous comicality. The scenes described in the pages of this book make you sick if you imagine them in detail, but make you laugh in the same time.
Chuck Palahniuk prefaces this book with a warning: ‘If you are going to read this, don’t bother. After a couple of pages, you won’t want to be here. So forget it. Go away. Get out while you are still in one piece. Save yourself.’