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Thursday, March 01, 2018

Choke (2001) by Chuck Palahniuk


Book Review
Choke (2001)
by Chuck Palahniuk

  Looks like I'm going to come up about 150 short on first pass through the 2006 edition of 1001 Books to Read Before You Die.  Some of those are the pre 18th century section books- I just skipped those in the beginning.  The rest are books that I skipped, mostly because they were multi-volume with all the volumes indicated, or too long, or foreign, or all of those.  The other major category of the skips are books I've already read, particularly from about 1960 onward.  Actually, the already read category is likely the biggest of the 150 or so title that will remain after I've done the first pass.

  I'm not a big re-reader but, that too, is something I want to address by completing this project.  I'm not sure I should have left all these books for the end, but there you go.  Choke I read...in college?  After Fight Club the movie (1999) came out.  I never actually read Fight Club, and I didn't like Choke when I read it in college. Fact is, I don't like Chuck Palahniuk, and like Paulo Coehlo readers, I'm pretty sure I don't like his fans, either.  Choke, with its themes of sexual addiction and mental illness, unsympathetically addressed, has not aged well. 

  Perhaps you can call him a prophet of the Trump era to come- only a decade or so in advance of the trends that congealed in his election.  To me, there is a clear, direct, line between Choke and the election of Trump as President.  That's not a reason in and of itself to dislike Palahniuk or Choke, but you add that to the fact that I didn't like this book when it came out, it's enough. Fuck this guy. 

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