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3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  70,168 Ratings  ·  2,324 Reviews
Carl Streator is a reporter investigating Sudden Infant Death Syndrome for a soft-news feature. After responding to several calls with paramedics, he notices that all the dead children were read the same poem from the same library book the night before they died. It's a 'culling song' - an ancient African spell for euthanising sick or old people. Researching it, he meets a ...more
Paperback, 260 pages
Published June 5th 2003 by Vintage (first published 2002)
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Fight Club by Chuck PalahniukInvisible Monsters by Chuck PalahniukChoke by Chuck PalahniukSurvivor by Chuck PalahniukLullaby by Chuck Palahniuk
Best Chuck Palahniuk Books
5th out of 20 books — 336 voters
Fight Club by Chuck PalahniukA Clockwork Orange by Anthony BurgessAmerican Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis1984 by George OrwellThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Best Transgressive Fiction
26th out of 720 books — 606 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 05, 2007 Jeff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who dye their hair black.
Oh Chuck Palahniuk, why do the kids love you? Years and years and years have passed while I have worked in a bookstore and every single year is the same, some kind of cool hipster guy or girl will come in and ask for anything by Chuck Palahniuk, bestowing praises upon his writing. Okay, I get it. The hipsters love him. Brad Pitt was in a movie based on a Palahnuik book, which was about crazy wacky anarchy, which the young hipsters love.
So, I finally sat myself down and cracked open this lovely b
To most people a lullaby is a soothing song meant to help coax a child to sleep, but in Chuck Palahniuk’s hands it becomes a death spell that can kill anyone. Of course, that’s not twisted enough for Chuckie P. so he had to throw in some witchcraft, necrophilia and dead babies to really make it a party.

Carl Streator is a newspaper reporter working on a feature about infant crib deaths, and he has his own tragic experience in that area. When Streator sees a book containing an African chant at se
Aug 07, 2007 Matt rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no.
Shelves: badnovels
Chuck has never been a very good writer. He comes up with interesting ideas, uses them as a vehicle for a shitty novel, then I read it, and am disappointed every time. I have since stopped reading his books but my girlfriend says they still suck.
Dec 28, 2015 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eudora Welty once said something to the effect that Southern gothic works because people in the South can still recognize grotesque.

Chuck Palahniuk may be the vanguard of the post-modern gothic literary group as he can definitely recognize what is grotesque in our culture. “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me” is an old saying that Palahniuk dissects and violates with an impish joy usually only seen in 8th grade biology.

Centered around the unfortunate discovery of
When you pick up a Chuck Palahniuk book you know that you are going to plunge ever-so-briefly into a raging torrent of absurdity, horror so whimsical that you laugh even as you cringe, and insightful looks at contemporary living. It seems a cheap shot to call his work formulaic, but once you've read through 6 or 7 of his books, the pattern emerges and you have a vague idea of what to expect.

It was Lullaby that finally brought this realization home to me. You have the protagonist, a man who seems
Michael Breen
Jul 29, 2007 Michael Breen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: goodstuff
The war of who can crank their radio louder than their neighbor. Avoiding the big picture by looking at things too closely. Big Brother filling your head with marketing noise 24-7 so you he doesn't have to worry about what your thoughts cause he created them. Control. Unlikely families. Journalism. These are the tried-and-true themes that Palahniuk has worked before in other forms in other books and they all come together nicely with Chuck's dead pan, sarcastic sense of humor. The premise of the ...more
O.M. Grey
May 15, 2013 O.M. Grey rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: No one
Brilliant. That's the word, the only word, that came to mind as I started reading Palahniuk's Lullaby. I struggled to keep reading, as I was too impressed with the prose. As a writer, reading Palahniuk made me feel like a dancing monkey in comparison.

By the time I hit the halfway mark, I struggled to keep reading for an altogether different reason. It had become too fragmented, repetitive, and just plain boring.

At the beginning, this passage stopped me. Full stop. Absolute. No going further out
Mar 27, 2008 Nate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a great sense of humor and/or Palaniuk fans
Shelves: favorites
Palahniuk makes another social statement(criticism) with Lullaby, but this time with more humor than he's mustered in any of his other books. It definitely helps to be somewhat cynical about the modern world, if you want to enjoy this book (good rule of thumb w/ any C.P books). But even if you love life, there's much to appreciate in the this book, mainly the fact that it's hysterically funny and the events that occur that are really bizarre.
The story revolves around the main character who stu
Joel Lacivita
Aug 23, 2015 Joel Lacivita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chuck took me on an interesting ride with Lullaby. It’s about a culling poem that will kill people when they hear it. But that’s a very simple way of explaining this book, there’s a lot more to it. It has several themes but it seems to be mostly about how people are never in total control of themselves. We are all possessed by something. I liked the way he talked about people that have problems with excess (ie. Drinking, eating, gambling, etc…) are actually being possessed by ghosts of people wh ...more
Jun 18, 2015 Darwin8u rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
“After long enough, everyone in the world will be your enemy.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Lullaby


Chuck Palahniuk can sometimes be casually dismissed as an oversold shock author who appeals to a certain type of hipster reader who buys his books (and now comics) with a slavish devotion usually reserved for members of an asteroid cult. Sometimes that view rings true. Occasionally, Palahniuk will deliver a book or an idea that is more of a gimp monster or lame demon of mediocrity than an explosive novel of
Sep 18, 2008 Sean rated it did not like it
The only novel by the acclaimed author of Fight Club that I've read, this book is more or less an essay concerning the contaminating effects caused by the constant "noise" to which Americans have grown accustomed in their lives. Be it mass media, advertisements everywhere one turns, or talking heads always telling one what to do and when to do it, this noise is everywhere, and utterly inescapable, the author argues. While I generally agree with the author's displeasure over constant sensory over ...more
Dec 04, 2008 Catten rated it it was amazing
Palahniuk, the Portlander (Oregon, not Maine) who wrote the cult classic Fight Club, has four other novels. One of them is Lullaby, which might or might not be just as off-the-wall as its more popular brother.

The book opens with a scene from a real estate office. Helen Hoover Boyle and her assistant Mona listen to a police scanner for deaths (and potential sales) and field calls from frightened new homeowners who have bought what Helen calls "distressed" (haunted) houses. Helen sells the same ho
Apr 10, 2016 Lauren rated it really liked it
Lullaby was my first book to read by Chuck Palahniuk. I was so very impressed with his writing style and his well-crafted story.

Assigned to investigate Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, a reporter uncovers an ancient culling spell. When he learns the power of the spell, and the damage it can do, he sets out with some other very interesting characters, to remove this poem/spell from every library and bookstore in the country.

In my opinion, the power of Palahniuk's style is in his use of repeated phra
Marco Tamborrino
Divertente e terribilmente reale. Diventa forse un po' troppo confuso alla fine, ma comunque un ottimo libro, indubbiamente superiore a Fight Club. Sublime il personaggio di Helen Hoover Boyle.
Aug 17, 2008 Michele rated it really liked it
Aside from not knowing how to pronounce this author's last name, reading this book was quick and easy (I read it in three days worth of bus rides to school and back). But just because it's an easy read doesn't mean it's not thought provoking.

Palahniuk wrote Fight Club which was made into a movie starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. (If you haven't seen the movie, go see it - it combines the uncertainty of a Sixth Sense or the confusion of a Memento with the light hearted social critique/comment
Aug 10, 2008 Nicholas rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: First time Chuck Palahniuk readers.
Attention Readers of Edgy Black Writings, of Chuck Palahniuk

If you've read Lullaby and have felt bored you are not alone.

OKay, so this is my fourth Palahniuk book and I enjoyed the first three so much (Survivor, Choke, & Invisible Monsters)and I was very excited to read this. I got through most of it and felt really bored and unsatisfied. I mean I love the idea of the culling song and having the power to kill by voice even if you just say it in your head but I think the characters and the pl
❅ Eze ❅
Feb 11, 2016 ❅ Eze ❅ rated it really liked it
Crei haber leido todos los buenos libros de Palahniuk, por suerte no fue asi y di con Nana.

He comentado en alguna ocasion, que al igual que muchos lectores de el, puedo separar sus libros en dos categorias. Los previos a Nana y desde ese en adelante. No pense que este fuera tan interesante, parecia solo ser un punto de inflexion. Pero termino resultando en una de sus mejores obras.

Lo malo, llegando al final, en la "ultima recta" digamos, se pone un poco denso. Pero es solo una pequeña cantidad d
Jul 05, 2014 Whitney rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, not-a-fan
It's been a few years since I read this book but I just happened to see it in my recommendations and wanted to nip this in the bud before GoodReads decided to do me anymore favors.
I remember reading this with expectations built on everyone telling me how great and awesome it was. Even though I wasn't into spreading my literary wings at the time, I gave it a go because who doesn't trust their friends? Liars, all of them.

Lullaby is like some pretentious, avant-garde art piece that is supposed to
Feb 17, 2009 Dana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-read
My interest in Palahniuk was selfish: since suffering the loss of a loved one, experiencing a mental breakdown at PDX airport and, two days later, being terminated from my hellish job and thrown blindly into unemployment with no health insurance, no savings and a laundry list of neurological pills that needed popping (prescribing, and purchasing, too...) I was desperate for a distraction.

This book is aaaaallllllll about the distraction, the noise, and the general clusterfuck that spins on aroun
Oct 04, 2012 Rayna rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
I recently stated to a friend that I had serious reservations about reading a Chuck Palahniuk novel. I, like many, do not like to be typecast into certain roles. Due to my age, interests, and lets just admit it, "quirks," I am a perfect candidate for membership in the Chuck Palahniuk fan club. Yet, for the majority of my adult life thus far I have been fighting the urge to, "drink the kool-aid," my scenester peers seem to enjoy so much. How very scenester of me, right? I mean come on, I gave the ...more
May 16, 2012 Guido rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stati-uniti
Un romanzo basato su un'idea non nuovissima ma comunque interessante: una filastrocca che uccide all'istante la persona a cui viene recitata, e personaggi sufficientemente folli da sfruttare senza troppi ripensamenti un potere simile. La filastrocca, che consente di dare libero sfogo a rancori repressi da anni, potrebbe essere la "cura" per una società che non sa trovare momenti di silenzio, fatta di individui che si illudono di pensare liberamente, governati in realtà dal Grande Fratello dei me ...more
Mar 20, 2015 Krbo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moj prvi susret s Palahnikom - privukao me fantasy dio priče - "kletva".

Nisam čitao Fight Club (mislim da ni neću - gledao film pa me nešto i ne privlači radnja), a osim priče Guts jučer ni išta drugo tako da ne mogu suditi o njegovoj navodnoj ozloglašenosti no Uspavanka ima samo neke sitne izljeve bijesa.

Druga je stvar tko i iz kog razloga izgovara kletvu (koja stvarno "radi")

Što bi vi uradili da imate tako neku zanimljivu kletvicu u pripravi?

Možda bi vam Palahniuk dao koju ideju pa pročitajte
Sep 13, 2014 Luis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How words can be so powerful. How you are never sure whether the life you're having is the life you want or the life you've been trained to want. How you would come to think that your mind is never ever yours alone. How they--from God to tv commercials--control your thoughts for you. To occupy you so you won't be able to have the time to think about things. So you won't have time to actually rebel.

Experts in ancient Greek culture say that people back then didn't see their thoughts as belonging t
Jenni Lou
Dec 05, 2010 Jenni Lou rated it it was amazing
The only real knowledge I had about Chuck Palahnuik was though the film Fight Club. (Which a terrific flick and excellently directed and photographed. It’s gotta be in my top 25-50 of all time.) I had never read one of his books before. Until now. I checked Lullaby out of the library as I was browsing around looking for something new and interesting. The librarian who checked me out remarked that he is one of her favorite authors and she owns all of his books. So I was intrigued. And this book?

Oct 12, 2012 April rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, horror, gave-up
I really need to sort out my feelings with Palahniuk. Since Fight Club bewitched the eyes and souls of friends, I was convinced one way or another I'd end up favoring him above other authors as some sort of writing genius.
However, I read Invisible Monsters a few years ago and I simply couldn't get into it. It remains abandoned on my shelf with an array of other books that have failed to attain my interest. Maybe it's because I was too young at the time and I just couldn't be bothered to finish
Mar 16, 2007 Tim rated it liked it
Like all of Palahniuk’s work, Lullaby is a fairly strange, twisted take on society. In this case, the focus is on folklore and the rather corrupt moral compass that seems to drive modern man.

For anyone who’s read Palahniuk before, you probably already know what to expect from his writing. He uses a fairly informal tone and relies on short, rapid sentences to keep the action moving. His characters are painted in vivid, near comic terms at times, and their motivations are fairly transparent. The
Orbi Alter
Apr 26, 2016 Orbi Alter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sanjari
Ako se ne varam, citala sam jos njegov Dnevnik i imala sam visoka ocekivanja, pa sam se razocarala i sad nakon ove knjige mogu utvrditi da su mi anarhisticke ideje njegove srcu zbilja drage, ali je to sve previse postmodernisticko da bi bila moja salica caja. Fali mi svega...
Nov 17, 2015 محمد rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to محمد by: هشام فهمي
ربما كانت هذه الرواية أشد ما قرأت من نقد للمجتمع الامريكي، تشاك بولانيك يفتح النار على الجميع، الهيبيين ورجال الأعمال والمستوطنين القدامى والمحافظين على البيئة والمعترضين على المحافظين على البيئة، كلهم كلهم.
كتاب تعاويذ غريب، وتعويذة سحرية تحقق أمنيات الأجزاء حالكة السواد من نفوس الأبطال، تحولهم التعويذة إلى أنصاف آلهة، ولا تنتهي الرواية كروايتي بولانيك نادي القتال والناجي الأخير، بل هذه المرة تأتي أغنية المهد بنهاية نصف مفتوحة، تتيح لنا - وللكاتب - أن نسرح جميعًا بخيالنا في حوادث وشخصيات أخرى له
Kristina King
Jan 29, 2009 Kristina King rated it really liked it
Hi. It's been a while.

After reading Galapagos, I set off to read some short stories. I read "Colony" by Philip K. Dick (awesome!) but then I had enough. If I am trying to read a load of books and write about them, reading short stories is antithetical.

On to a review: my first experience of reading Chuck Palahniuk wasn't bad, but it didn't help me understand why so many people enjoy his work. That was Choke (which, BTW, the film comes out next month). I really had to understand the hype, so I rea
Theresa Flores
Dec 18, 2013 Theresa Flores rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: with-review, owned
Imagine a plague you catch through your ears.

Lullaby is about a culling song found on page 27 of Poems and Rhymes from Around the World. Once thought or spoken, the culling song will kill its target-- may be an enemy or may be just an innocent victim. Carl Streator, the novel's narrator, is now on a hunt with a woman named Helen Hoover Boyle, to search for all the remaining copies of the culling song to destroy it-- or so he thought that was all there was.

4.25-4.5 stars.Classic Chuck Palahniuk
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Book Club: Book selection #1 11 12 Dec 28, 2015 09:06AM  
Palahniuk 48 271 May 02, 2013 05:18PM  
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Written in stolen moments under truck chassis and on park benches to a soundtrack of The Downward Spiral and Pablo Honey, Fight Club came into existence. The adaptation of Fight Club was a flop at the box office, but achieved cult status on DVD. The film’s popularity drove sales of the novel. Chuck put out two novels in 1999, Survivor and Invisible Monsters. Choke, published in 2001, became Chuck’ ...more
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“Big Brother isn’t watching. He’s singing and dancing. He’s pulling rabbits out of a hat. Big Brother’s busy holding your attention every moment you’re awake. He’s making sure you’re always distracted. He’s making sure you’re fully absorbed.” 431 likes
“Maybe you don't go to hell for the things you do. Maybe you go to hell for the things you don't do. The things you don't finish.” 376 likes
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