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Publisher's Summary

Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk's controversial and blazingly original debut novel, introduced a fresh and even renegade talent to American fiction, one who has retooled the classic black humor of Terry Southern and Kurt Vonnegut for the lunacy of the millennial age. In this novel, Choke, he gives listeners a vision of life and love and sex and mortality that is both chillingly brilliant and teeth-rattlingly funny. Victor Mancini, a dropout from medical school, has devised a complicated scam to pay for his mother's elder care: Pretend to be choking on a piece of food in a restaurant and the person who "saves you" will feel responsible for the rest of his life. Multiply that a couple of hundred times and you generate a healthy flow of checks, week in, week out. Between fake choking gigs, Victor works at Colonial Dunsboro with a motley group of losers and stoners trapped in 1734, cruises sex addiction groups for action ("You put 20 sexaholics around a table night after night and don't be surprised"), and visits his mother, whose anarchic streak made his childhood a mad whirl and whose Alzheimer's disease now hides what may be the startling truth about his (possibly divine?) parentage. An antihero for our deranging times, Victor finds that his whole existence is a struggle to wrest an identity from overwhelming forces. His creator, Chuck Palahniuk, is the visionary we need and the satirist we deserve.
"Even I can't write this well," says Thom Jones, and Bret Easton Ellis opines, "Maybe our generation has found its Don DeLillo."
Choke is also available in print from Doubleday.
©2001 by Chuck Palahniuk
(P)2002 Random House, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"One of the freshest, most intriguing voices to appear in a long time. He rearranges Vonnegut's sly humor, DeLillo's mordant social analysis, and Pynchon's antic surrealism (or is it R. Crumb's?) into a gleaming puzzle palace all its own." (Newsday) "At times very funny. Also sick and perverted....Readers will love it. Readers will hate it and be offended by it. Must listen to figure out what you think." (AudioFile) "Displays a Swiftian gift for satire, as well as a knack for crafting mesmerizing sentences that loom with stark, prickly prose and repetitive rhythms." (San Francisco Examiner)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Pamela on 10-26-03

Oh please, not another abridged!!!

Will you please stop featuring such appealing novels only available in abridged format? I am continually stumped as to why oh why anyone with a brain would even bother to read an abridged novel. Several times I have found on your site what promised to be a good read, but only available in the abridged version, and I have gone to the competition and rented the unabridged cassettes. Please stop the insanity!

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160 of 170 people found this review helpful


By Pamela Harvey on 10-26-03

Oh please, not another abridged!!!

Will you please stop featuring such appealing novels only available in abridged format? I am continually stumped as to why oh why anyone with a brain would even bother to read an abridged novel. Several times I have found on your site what promised to be a good read, but only available in the abridged version, and I have gone to the competition and rented the unabridged cassettes. Please stop the insanity!

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86 of 93 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Mustafa Marwan on 05-06-17

Very talent individual. Very inspiring!

chuck is definetely an inspiration to myself and my writing career which I just started. I enjoyed reading and listening to this novel immensely.

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By Emily Scawthorn on 01-09-17

Very unique

Took me a while to work out what was going on, but I throughly enjoyed the story once I got into it.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Kevin on 12-10-17

Love it or hate it. I’d give it 51/100. A mere pass.

Still not sure how I feel about this book. Any book that takes me a considerable amount of time to read I consider a fail. This has been one. Chuck’s performance is dry. But it does add some grunge to the story. The story is also rather slow, and uninspiring but still interesting in the characters and the taboo of the topics. I found quite a lot of inconsistencies in the characters choices and not in a way that could be justified to elicit a response. Overall I would talk about the book but save anyone the trouble of actually listening to the dry performance and the gritty and fairly banal story.

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