Aug 21, 2009

Choke (2001)

I somehow made it all the way through Choke without realizing it's by Fight Club guy. I have possessed this knowledge in the past, but for some reason it just didn't click, despite the really obvious similarities. The plus side of this was that I was actually able to judge this book on its own. The minus side is that when you judge this book on its own, it's pretty unpleasant. Well-written, certainly, but really very icky.

Pacing's great, voice is great, style is great. Twist isn't nearly as good as Fight Club but I feel like I probably missed some details while I was skimming through the icky bits. It feels derivative certainly - the gross-out anatomy stuff, the support groups, the weird sex, the weirder jobs, the insane people. But hey, if you do something well, why not revisit it? All the great authors do. But I don't know. Anyone read both?

I feel like I like this one more in retrospect than I did at the time...It's not you, Choke, it's me. You did great.

2 comments:

Roland said...

He recently wrote a science fiction novel called Rant. It's the only book I've read by Palahniuk because I've heard that his work is really hit or miss, and Rant is the only book of his that's ever been specifically recommended to me.

It's instantly become one of my all time favorite sci-fi (syfy!) novels, though you really have to have faith that the writer is taking you somewhere. There's a ton of gross-out stuff in it. I kinda skimmed that crap a little bit too, but some of the nasty stuff was genuinely intriguing and most, if not all, is actually relevant to the plot, which is a near future/time travel mess A good, exciting, gross mess. If you're into equal parts creepy/trippy then I recommend it.

Erin said...

Thanks for the recommendation! I'll definitely stick it on the list.