Lullaby-- This Playfully Perverse Novel Won't Put You To Sleep
Phil Davetas
4/5/2003 12:44:02 PM

Amid the twisted narrative there beats a heart of good intentions. Lullaby is definitely a Chuck Palahniuk novel-- only with witches, spells, the Book of Shadows and a road trip that might have you reminiscing about Invisible Monsters--the story about super models running amuck on the highways of America. This time we're traveling with three witches and a reporter who's sent in to investigate five crib deaths, finding a mysterious lullaby at each scene. This lullaby causes death to everyone who hears it. The reporter then catches up with a Wiccan coven and goes on a cross-country trip to find and destroy all copies of this evil lullaby before it falls into the wrong hands--but there’s always someone salivating evilly while warming their hands over an invisible fire.

The best way to describe Lullaby [Doubleday] is imagine Anne Rice and Dr. Laura Schlesinger on an acid trip locked together with a dual-headed dildo between them. As always, Palahniuk 's Lullaby is deeply laden with brilliant prose and follows a more linear journey than his first three books (Fight Club, Invisible Monsters, Survivor). The book is rich with characters and situations, but they feel like actors that you've seen in previous work--shadows of Tyler Durden, Marla Singer, Joe the Narrator. Somehow resurrected into new bodies, they seem to hate to live out this plot that Upchuck has left for them. And, as always, they’re written in first person, which leads to certain questions, i.e., when he’s in the front seat, how does he know what Mona's up to while she's in the backseat scribbling in her notebook? This reminds me of all those hard-boiled first-person detective books where you know the guy's gonna live just because he's telling the story.

One of the best elements of the book is that this is the celebration of Dr. Laura Schlesinger's death wish-list. Demons and angels will dance and sing the day Dr. Laura dies, and no one will miss her except for the young girlies she’s brain-fucked over the years. The Grim Reaper Union is fighting over who's gonna take her out. Sickles ring with razor sharp edges while other robed figures wrap barbed wire around their fists, racking 870 12-gauge shotguns, rubber hoses at the ready, and the Bookie of Death taking down bets. Yes, sir. A new holiday is in the making.

© 2002, 260 Pages, Doubleday.

Fight Club, Invisible Monsters, Survivor, Choke. Breakfast of Champions, House of Leaves, Welcome to the Monkey House, Catch-22, Trainspotting, The Acid House, Ecstasy, Porno, Geek Love…


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