Choke by: Chuck Palahniuk

Centered around scam-artist and sex addict Victor Mancini, this satirical story covers a season of Mancini’s life with flashbacks to his childhood scattered throughout. When not scamming people out of money pretending to choke at fancy restaurants, Victor is visiting his mother in the nursing home or attending sex addict recovery sessions less for help and more for filthy bathroom quickies.

The book sounds disgusting, and much of it was too vulgar for my ladylike sensitivities, but I recommend it because it changed my perspective on a lot in life. Satire has that ability to point out the differences in human nature and reality and experience in a very raw, almost intolerable way.

By the end of the book, I felt this big breath of fresh air sweep into my lungs. Almost as if Victor was trapped in a windowless house, roaming, searching aimlessly for a way out, and by the last chapter had found it, lit a cigarette and cursed the damned experience for making him a better person.

I honestly loved the book.

Some of my favorite quotes:

“The truth is, every son raised by a single mom is pretty much married. I don’t know, but until your mom dies it seems like all the other women in your life can never be more than just your mistress.” (page 15)

From the ever “wise” Ida Mancini, Victor’s mother: “We’ve spent so much time judging what other people created that we’ve created very, very little of our own.” (page 111)

Another that inspired more compassion for the elderly:
“…they show the movie The Pajama Game every Friday night, and every Friday all the same patients crowd in to see it for the first time.” (page 57)

“The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because it’s only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. If you can change the way people think. The way they see themselves. The way they see the world. You can change the way people live their lives. That’s the only lasting thing you can create.”

“What I want is to be needed. What I need is to be indispensable to somebody. Who I need is somebody that will eat up all my free time, my ego, my attention. Somebody addicted to me. A mutual addiction.”

2 thoughts on “Choke by: Chuck Palahniuk

  1. Wow! Just wow! I love how you used quotes from the book. I am glad that even though the book was out of your comfort zone that you continued to read it. That makes me even more in love with your writing and your perspective. This seems like a very interesting book. I feel like I would enjoy it a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

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