Bresdin's Reviews > Choke

Choke by Chuck Palahniuk
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's review
Jul 29, 2008

liked it
Recommended to Bresdin by: Nicholas C Encinias
Read in August, 2008

** spoiler alert ** Well first of all this is not exactly my type of writing but I was however impressed by Chuck’s style. It is interesting and crude but Chuck pulls it off. When my boyfriend read this book he laughed out loud through the whole book. I personally never found it to be extremely funny however. I let out a few chuckles usually when he was in 1734; which was a brilliant twist behind the scenes of a tourist attraction. After the book however I felt unsatisfied. I felt like a lot of ends were not tied up very nicely. I felt that way through most of the book however it might be the style of writing. I had a hard time believing he was ever a medical student because of the language he used throughout the book. Not only does he say “For serious” but he also says “Dude… and then three words following.” The way he spoke was nice if I wasn’t thinking of him as being a medical student somewhere in his past. It easily could be the charade he puts on for other people but I have such a hard time imagining him in medical school. In fact I have a hard time imagining him in school at all. I feel like he was “dumbed” down just a little too much. The only time I picture him as being smart is when he explains how he keeps records of all of his “hero’s” at each restaurant and when. This shows major organizational skills which is usually picked up from college and shows maybe he is not as dumb as you might think. Personally I think that the movie will be funnier for me than the book was because I will not take it so seriously. However I did not despise this book.
Denny was an amazing character. He put himself whole-heartedly and passionately into everything he did. He cared so much about stopping his addiction and only a quarter through the book I knew he was not as idiotic as Chuck might have led you to believe. Sure enough by the end I found that to be true. Denny was probably just about the best thing in the book.

Victor however is another story. He was created to be a superficial jerk and be universally hated. However how could he be? He takes care of his mom as much as he says he only wants her barely alive so that he finally has some power over her. Although he could easily have her in a hospital that did not cost $ 3,000 if that’s truly what he wanted. His dark “un-Christly” soul still had the decency to make sure his mother got the best care for a crazy woman he could find. Even in the end he wanted to save his mother’s life so badly that he truly believed he was a son of God and thought he could. The ending throws so much karma on his head that I’m still at a loss to say if he truly deserved it or not. He also had a pretty hectic childhood as well; it’s a wonder he did not grow-up even worse off than he was. He was a pretty shitty human being however I can’t decide if learning he was stolen by his fake mother, not Jesus, the girl he likes is crazy, kills his fake mother, starving and completely constipated, all of his hero’s attack him and have two detectives find out his complete and entire life story while choking to death for real all happen within two or three chapters is a bit much.

After reading the entire book and disliking Victor somewhat Chuck seems to twist your original judgment and make you feel extremely sorry. He goes from being a complete jerk, sex-addicted conman to being a lost, scared, alone and unloved individual. The readers’ idea of this character is instantly flipped and you feel the need for him to be comforted. To be taken care of.

For the record, Paige Marshall is truly crazy. However if anyone has ever seen Twelve Monkeys then quite possibly she isn’t.
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