Before I start, let me just say that I have a wonderful fiance (hi, babe!) that wants me to be happy so when I became interested in Chuck Palahniuk, he sent me a gigantic box of his books in the mail. Don't get me wrong, I'm really happy he would do something like that for me. However, of the books I've read so far, I don't like any of them too much. (Hopefully the next 2 I read will be better because I'm giving Chuck another chance after this disgrace.)
The first book by Palahniuk that I read was Fight Club (obviously). I'd read it after I'd seen the movie because let's be honest, most books are better anyway. Either way, I enjoyed both immensely. Now, I've finished Haunted, Survivor, Fugitives & Refugees, and Stranger than Fiction. I was looking forward to reading Snuff but I don't know about that one anymore. Lullaby and Invisible Monsters are next on the list though, and after that, I'm done. I pretty much have already given up on Chuck after reading Choke but...sigh. I don't want to. Anyway, let's get done what I came to get done.
So...Choke. It seemed good as a synopsis but it was really bad all together and just couldn't be redeemed in nearly 300 pages. It's just really, really not good. This is the first book I thought about not finishing. Ever.
The first sentence of the book is "If you're going to read this, don't bother." It's like Chuck knew this book was gonna be awful. I should have listened. Fast forward ten chapters...and I'm sitting here asking myself what the hell is going on. Fast forward another ten chapters, I'm ready to gouge my eyes out. Alas, I always finish what I start so I couldn't just stop (but the want to throw it down and stomp on it then toss it into a fire was strong). Another ten chapters..."yeah, I'm gonna shoot myself now."
Don't get me wrong, I love people that push the envelope. I love people who are a little bit "off" and whose writing styles keep me engaged and thinking and wanting to keep turning pages. Palahniuk doesn't do it for me. He's all about vulgar and depravity which, normally, I wouldn't mind at all. However, in Choke, there's no payoff.
The book opens with a bang. Literally. The scene at the sex addiction meeting just made me want to take a shower. The plot of this story is just absurd. The subsequent happenings are even worse. The writing style is just not for me (and I should have realized this after the first book I read from him). The characters are just...blah. There's nothing to them. There's no growth. I did not find one redeeming quality in this book EXCEPT that I know that if Palahniuk can write something like Fight Club, there *might* be a chance that something else of his is good. This, however, was not that.
If you want a thought-provoking novel (and his best work), all you need to do is read Fight Club. This books reeks of that, too, and it's such a fail in every single way. We've seen this hashed out a thousand times. Guy is lonely, he goes to meetings, meets women, blah blah blah. We get it. Not only does he use repetition in his stories, but in his work overall. Annoying would probably be a good word to describe that. And what's with all the sex? Sex is cool, we all like it, but why is that all he writes about? Irritating.
By the end of the book, I was absolutely, completely, 100% let down. I even knew it was coming, too. That's the bad part. Everything about this book is so unbelievable. I just...basically, don't read Choke. Like, ever. Save yourself the time, effort, and money.