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"Art never comes from happiness." So says Mancini's mother only a few pages into the novel. Given her own dicey and melodramatic style of parenting, you would think that her son's life would be chock-full of nothing but art. Alas, that's not the case. In the fine tradition of Oedipus, Stephen Dedalus, and Anthony Soprano, Victor hasn't quite reconciled his issues with his mother. Instead, he's trawling sexual-addiction recovery meetings for dates and purposely choking in restaurants for a few moments of attention. Longing for a hug, in other words, he's settling for the Heimlich.
Thematically, this is pretty familiar Palahniuk territory. It would be a pity to disclose the surprises of the plot, but suffice it to say that what we have here is a little bit of Tom Robbins's Another Roadside Attraction, a little bit of Don DeLillo's The Day Room, and, well, a little bit of Fight Club. Just as with Fight Club and the other two novels under Palahniuk's belt, we get a smattering of gloriously unflinching sound bites, including this skeptical bit on prayer chains: "A spiritual pyramid scheme. As if you can gang up on God. Bully him around."
Whether this is the novel that will break Palahniuk into the mainstream is hard to say. For a fourth book, in fact, the ratio of iffy, "dude"-intensive dialogue to interesting and insightful passages is a little higher than we might wish. In the end, though, the author's nerve and daring pull the whole thing off--just barely. And what's next for Victor Mancini's creator? Leave the last word to him, declaring as he does in the final pages: "Maybe it's our job to invent something better.... What it's going to be, I don't know." --Bob Michaels --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The first book I've read of this author and it will not be the last. As you're reading you are thinking, "what? Read morePublished 5 days ago by Linda Landry-Pires
I'm a pretty slow reader and I read this book in about three days, I was so enthralled with it. It is very dark and has a lot of bold sexual content that is pertinent to the... Read morePublished 6 days ago by NeuroRu
Palahniuk, as usual, creates some pretty insane characters and a plot that makes you keep wanting to read to find out what happens.Published 13 days ago by Michael K.
Very unusual...I liked it! If you like Dark humor, you should enjoy this book.Published 28 days ago by Lisa D
I like Chuck and all the books I've read of his so far. It wasn't as good as invisible monster or savior but then again what do I know. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Logan Stark
Fantastically disgusting with a wonderful want for something more...Published 1 month ago by Erin Mahoney
This book is good. Not amazing but good. You can tell Chuck is a very skilled prose stylist and I love his choice of 1st person narrative for this piece. It works on every level. Read morePublished 2 months ago by evan