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Showing 1-10 of 231 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 783 reviews
on February 27, 2011
I'm not an avid reader. At all. I'm one of the guys who saw a movie and wanted to pick up the book to compare and be able to finally tell people "Yeah, the book is bla bla bla compared to the movie." Maybe this will give me a point in credibility to my hipster friends.

I must say that I'm glad to have picked this title up. The movie isn't for everybody. The book isn't for everybody. This is because the story isn't for everybody. If you are like me and enjoy dark humor with a psychological twist and are not easily offended then this story is for you. For more detail about what this story is actually about then read the amazon review or one of the many other reviews.

To get to the book specifically (while catering to those who are like me and admittingly do not read often), I will say this was a great casual read. It was fun flipping through the pages with the movie in mind and comparing mental notes about accuracy and placement of the story. Since I was going into this book with very little care to the translation from book to film I wasn't disappointed. In fact I felt it was a great supplement to the movie. Yes, some charactors aren't portrayed exactly alike. No, the ending isn't the same, it's quite different. But what a great ride it was. Plus, for a casual reader such as myself the fact that the 304 page book is broken up into many chapters averaging 4 to 7 pages, makes it a great "pick up, put down" or "toilet read."

This book sparks my interest enough to actually start reading more books, and of course starting with another title by Chuck. Maybe Fight Club, but I would like to read another title that isn't accompanied by a movie. I'm curious to see what goes through my mind without the mental images a film director and actors already fed me.

Pick it up. You'll know if you like it just by clicking the "look inside" option anyway.
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on June 8, 2015
Those of you who enjoy Palahniuk's early work will enjoy this as well. Using the same minimalist style, Palahniuk dives into the odd world of a sex addict. There's no doubt this story will maintain your interest. Its funny, disgusting, and touching all at the same time. A common complaint of Palahniuk's work is the similarities of the narrators in his stories. Though I am a huge fan of his work and would normally defend his work, I must say that Victor Mancini reminded me of lead characters in past Palahniuk novels. However, this is not a bad thing if you have enjoyed Chuck's older novels. Overall, it is a very good book. I would definitely recommend this book to Palahniuk fans and readers wanting some excitement.
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on September 27, 2015
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. I also like the language. The author definitely has a way with words.

However, the title and premise are misleading. This is not a story of a guy who chokes on food to make a living. This is the story of a very, very disturbed person with more issues and defects that I can count who happens to choke on food to make a living. I expected this to be the A plot when it was really more of the Z plot. I kind of felt like it was a bait and switch.
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on November 30, 2010
I feel the need to add in the same warning I saw on another review - THIS IS NOT A BOOK FOR CHILDREN! IT'S ALSO NOT FOR SOMEONE WITH A WEAK STOMACH OR SOMEONE WHO GETS OFFENDED EASILY!

I recently finished reading the novel Choke by author Chuck Palahniuk. If you're not familiar with his name, you're definitely familiar with some of his work - this is the man who wrote Fight Club and countless other novels. Someone at work recommended him for something to read that was interesting and "out there" so I decided to download some of his stuff to my Kindle and give it a shot.

Choke is definitely an interesting concept. The main character, a drop-out medical student named Victor Mancini, is a sex addict working as an Irish indentured servant in a colonial reenactment town. His mother, Ida, is in a nursing facility; she is addled with dementia after years and years of drug abuse. His upbringing was definitely NOT your traditional childhood, and, as a result, his view on society is very skewed.

How skewed? He goes to expensive restaurants and makes himself choke on his food. Why? So some unknowing stranger will be forced to perform the Heimlich maneuver to save him. His idea is, after saving his life, the stranger feels protective of him and wants to make sure he's okay for the rest of his life.

Like I said, the concept of the book itself is very interesting but very weird. You are invited into Victor's world through the glimpses he gives of his normal activities. With his days spent supposedly giving historically-accurate reenactments to school children and tourists; and visiting his mother at St. Anthony's, where he meets an intriguing young woman named Paige Marshall, you get glimpses of how twisted this man's view of the world is. His nights are consumed with finding as many sexual conquests as he can - normally at Sex Addicts' meeting.

While the concept was interesting, the writing itself was very confusing and slow in my opinion. I can normally read a novel in less than an evening, and I kept finding myself unable to keep up with this one. I kept putting it down for days at a time but always returning to it, determined to get through it. The dialog in parts was very contrived and did not flow well for me.

Palaniuk does know how to flesh out his characters though. By the time the book ends, he has given birth to a tragically wounded, confused young man who you come to realize is only looking for a place to belong. Through the glimpses of Ida given as Victor remembers his childhood, you start to get to know this outrageously vivacious drug addict with very strange views on the world; and she tries to impart these views on her son. And while seeming just a minor character in the Mancini universe at first, Victor's best friend Denny is a well-matched complement to Victor's refusal to combat his vices and addictions.

All in all, I'd have to give this book a 2.5. It's not something I'll probably read again, but it was worth a read once. It seems to have enough of a following that, like Fight Club, the book has been turned into a movie (starring Sam Rockwell as Victor Mancini.)
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on January 29, 2017
I don't even quite know to describe this. Unpredictable, crazy outlier characters. Gotta love it.
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on February 5, 2009
If you've read anything by Palahniuk before, you should know what to expect from this novel; it has an (almost) unbelievable twist ending, the protagonist is out of sync with society, the protagonist has women-issues - oh boy, does he ever...well, you get the point...
But just because the guy is a little formulaic doesn't mean he's not a brilliant author, and just because we might have been here before doesn't mean that this isn't a great book. One thing Palahniuk has going for him is his energy - you can feel it come across the page and slap you in the face. If Jackson Pollock had been a writer instead of a painter, or Vonnegut was a little grittier, or Bret Easton Ellis was a little more clever...well, that would Palahniuk.
The male characters in this book are emasculated - kind of like in fight club - and, same as in that book, it is not their fault. A great deal of Palahniuk's work tends to focus on the emasculation of the male; how there is no place in society anymore for an everyday guy to be a hero, or a cowboy, or a Knight-in-shining-armor, or much of anything at all, because the world has become so safe and consumer-friendly. The Inner dialogue of the main character, Victor, explores his addictions and chick-issues yes, but also gravitates around the fact that he doesn't want to be soft and mushy; he wants to be a jerk, and in the end, both fails and succeeds at the task. If your male and ever had to deal with the expectations of your mother, all of this will seem strangely familiar to you...
This book is a page turner; the dialogue may be a little stilted, but hey, what do you want from the guy, this is the way people actually speak in our `modern times.' Besides, the prose is so visceral and beautiful it gos a long way towards raising the value of his words.
If your into cynical, subversive, humorous, and clever books, you'll probably enjoy novel.
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on May 15, 2014
This is one of those books that I just loved. It was so strange and yet at the same time such a hard book to put down. There are many times when you will be scratching your head while reading and other times you'll be laughing out loud like a nutso! I really couldn't say anything negative about this book. Maybe not a good starting place if you have never read a Palahniuk before but even if you haven't I still think you would really enjoy the book. The ending is one that left me wanting more but I liked that. It made me miss the book ever so slightly when it was all over. Check it out, if you like Chuck there is pretty much no way you won't like that book.
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on October 13, 2008
I picked up Chuck Palahniuk's Choke after seeing the movie preview for the same title a few weeks ago. The movie preview made absolutely no sense, was hard to follow, and tough to summarize - as Palahniuk's novel would turn out to be. But the preview was intriguing enough for me to go out and buy the book, and I'm glad I did... sort of.

There really isn't much of a story line to Choke. The book centers on a drop-out med school student, Victor Mancini, who works at a colonial theme-park; fakes choking in restaurants to ultimately pay his mother's institutional bills; and is a raging sexaholic. In a strange twist, he also may be a direct descendant of Jesus Christ.

That pretty much sums up Choke.

The book doesn't so much present a linear story line, as it is a tale of self-discovery for Victor, who is trying to figure out his ancestry as well as why he is the way he is. Along this path, Palahniuk describes detailed sexual situations, gruesome medical conditions and creepy mental disorders that follow Victor from scene to scene. Palahniuk's descriptions are so vivid, in fact, that you'll start to wonder, "Could this ever happen to me...?" And you'll then quickly pray that it does not...

On the plus side, Choke is certainly interesting, moves quickly, and is very funny in some parts. You can knock this out in a long weekend or two, and it's an easy read, especially after trying to absorb The Unbearable Lightness of Being, as I did previously.

But along the same lines, there are better options out there if you're into books about 20- to 30-somethings looking for answers on the road through life.
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on May 14, 2017
One of my favorite books. An awesome read!
Shipping arrived in good time.
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on June 22, 2017
Another really good Palahniuk book - kind of messed up and confusing, but that is to be expected.
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