Choke: The Bastard Son of a New Apocalypse
Phil Davetas
7/14/2002 3:03:49 PM

'Entertaining' isn't the right word, but it's the first one that comes to mind. If Fight Club, Invisible Monsters and Survivor had an orgy, then Choke [Doubleday] would be the bastard son of them all. You can definitely see much of each theme in this one. The house on Paper Street, the spiritual loneliness, image isn't everything, the grim sarcasm and everything else that makes up a Chuck Palahniuk novel. Choke is much more linear than his other novels and seems to have more control of the story than Monsters and Survivor. Palahniuk seems to know his research, but with his latter novels seemed to have lacked a control of the theme and at times just rants. Choke rants, but seems to regain the control like he did with Fight Club. Sometimes you have to search for the meaning behind the whole reason of Choke's' story, but in the end you really don't come up with anything new. In Fight Club there were multiple realities that left you knowing what really happened at the end. Choke could probably be set just after Fight Club with the cameo of Tyler Durden sitting in the corner of the mental ward where Victor Mancini frequents to visit his screwy mother.

Victor is often found pretending to be other people and sometimes gets confused on who he's supposed to be on each visit. What I like about Palahniuk's books is the fact that I often learn a lot of odd little things that you would see on 'MacGyver.' Apparently, you can make napalm out of half part gasoline and two parts orange juice concentrate. Palahniuk's brother is supposedly a bomb specialist of some kind and he knew some chick who made her own soap -- which comes up in Fight Club. After friends who have actually tried this stuff, I've grown to appreciate the brutal truth he has given us over the years and this is nothing new. This is a good book to read and have fun with, but that's about all you really get. Just a fun time with mutant chickens, whacky mothers, restaurant grifting, rolling baby heads, getting drunk on slug-infested beer, rape role-playing, wet dream prostitution, pot-smoking cows and horny milk maids, stone collection to avoid sex, horny pre-school teachers and the art of sexing it up in various commercial jet restrooms.


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