"Please Don't Think This Was Anything Special"

Choke, Chuck Palahniuk, ISBN 0099422689

I discovered Chuck Palahniuk via Fight Club, reading the book after having enjoyed the film, and promptly went and bought lots of his other writing. At the time of writing this isn't his latest book but it is the one I bought most recently.

Victor Mancini, the "hero" of the book is a sex addict who pretends to choke in restaurants so that those who save him will feel responsible for him and (in particular) send him money. He also has an insane job, an insane and dying mother (hence the requirement for lots money), and amusingly demented friends and sex/love interests. There's the occasional halfway sane character too but they don't really get much of a look-in, which is probably for the best from their point of view.

The main thread of action is cut with flashbacks to provide color and explanation, and hops between the various parts of Victor's life. Everything comes together in satisfying conclusion.

I loved this book. It's darkly funny and the writing is up to the author's usual high stylistic standards. It did remind me in many ways of Fight Club but he hasn't just written the same book again with the serial numbers filed off; it's different and enjoyable on its own merits.


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