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Choke by Chuck Palahniuk
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's review
Nov 30, 08

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Recommended for: Anybody who's only read one or two Chuck Palahniuk books
Read in November, 2008

I enjoyed this as a Chuck Palahniuk book, but was decidedly "whelmed" (neither over nor under). I appreciate that he has a style, but "see also:" and "the first thing that comes to mind" were less involving motifs than Fight Club's hypnotic lost-dreamy "you wake up in" and visceral "I am Jack's", and couldn't hit the vapid disconnection of Invisible Monsters' "give me . FLASH". It came across as merely formulaic as opposed to really drawing me into the character. I realize a case could be made that it was an accurate portrayal of Victor's generally blase demeanor, and it probably wouldn't have come across as as much of a meaningless device if this had been my first Palahniuk book, but I've just seen better.

This is one where I'm curious to see the film adaptation, but won't be returning to like Lullaby or Invisible Monsters or Fight Club. Oh, and I did go through the audiobook version - Chuck shouldn't be allowed to read his own work, if anybody's. I've heard authors breathe life into their own novels (see: Douglas Adams, Steve Martin) - Chuck flattened even flat characters further than seemed appropriate.

Bottom line: formulaic and unnecessary, but containing enough winning quips to warrant a quick once-over.
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