Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Book Review: Choke by Chuck Palahniuk

Another Quirky Gem by Palahniuk

Not sure who Palahniuk is? Think Fight Club and Invisible 

I should know by now that Palahniuk is going to throw me some curves. I was braced for the twists and turns his story would provide but like usual, he still managed to surprise me. What I love is that his main characters, as well as those in supporting roles, are often beyond flawed but somehow I still grow to love them and root for them in their struggles.

Choke features the (not sure how it is but) lovable character of Victor. Victor is a medical school dropout who is smart and in survivor mode. He is trying to support the expensive care of his mother, with who he has a very complex and strained relationship (understatement), at a long term facility. There is quite a history between Victor and his mother. Through flashbacks we learn that Victor grew up in many foster homes over the years and his mother was a radical outlaw and must have experienced symptoms of mental illness long before his current dementia.

He really can't afford her care through his job at a historical village as a indentured servant so he has come up with a con to choke at expensive restaurants to get both a free meal and also donations as those who "save" him feel a need to continue to support him. Twisted? Of course.

Did I mention that Victor is also in a twelve step program for sexual addiction? Well that is of course part of the roller coaster ride that a Palahniuk novel takes and it's always a fun ride. Highly recommend this book - it is twisted fun.

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