Choke is a book by Chuck Palahniuk (pictured below) and is now a recently released movie.Chuck Palahniuk is the author of Fight Club and other novels and I am a big fan of his work.Choke tells the story of Victor Mancini who has a scam going where he pretends to choke on food in restaurants.He does this so he can be saved by other patrons and then they will feel so responsible for saving his life that they will send him money.The idea being that everyone loves being a hero so they will view him as their success story and help him along in life with money.
Victor does this scam because his mother who has Alzheimer's disease is in a home and he needs money to pay her bills.His day job is at a theme park based in colonial times where he works with his best friend Denny and a motley group of losers and misfits.He also goes to sex addiction groups looking for action as he is sure to get it there!!!!! Victor is unsure about his past and parentage and yearns to learn more from his mother but she goes in and out of reality.He finds he can talk to her longer if he pretends to be someone else but it hurts him when she talks badly about Victor to this supposedly different person.
This may all seem like very heavy reading but I can assure you that it is not.Palahniuk really makes the whole book hilarious as it's full of outrageous moments such as sex in airplane toilets and and a Victorsex addict conducting a fantasy rape!!!!! Choke is told from a first person perspective and we follow Victor's hilarious escapades from being with sex addicts to taking credit for all the wrongs that were done to Alzheimer's disease patients.I worked in an old age home for a while so I know that patients with Alzheimer's disease will think that you are someone else all the time.I can see why Victor would just get so sick of it that he just says yes I am that person when they ask.Then when they accuse him of being someone who molested them years ago he just says yes for the hell of it! Soon the whole home is accusing him of something or other!!!!!
Just when you think you have the whole book figured out there is a twist near the end and it is very good.Choke deals with sex in an explicit way so if you are easily offended don't read this book! If you are like me and don't mind , then you will love this book just as I did.I found myself laughing out loud along the way at the off-the-wall and totally outrageous incidents.It reminded me of American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis for all the descriptions and details that it goes into and I recently read and reviewed that book here.In this case its the sex and all the quirks and addictions of the sex addicts.A comment from a paper on the cover of the book calls it Fight Club for sex addicts and this is true!!!
All of Chuck Palahniuk's books are optioned and being made into movies and it's easy to see why as they are all so brilliant.At just under 300 pages Choke is the perfect length as it never gets boring or outstays it's welcome and had me laughing throughout.This is a book that I will definitely read again and again as it's so funny and over the top.I would definitely recommend you getting this book and reading it.If you are easily shocked though, stay away!
Choke by Chuck Palahniuk (10/10)