Choke is a novel by Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club. It tells the story of Victor Mancini, a medical school dropout who earns money by pretending to choke in restaurants, so that fellow diners think he is in danger and save him in order to feel better about themselves.
This review will discuss Palahniuk’s themes, structure, and style, as well as its overall impression.
Choke focuses on a day in the life of Victor Mancini. His days are spent reenacting choking incidents in restaurants for the altruistic thrill it brings to the strangers who save him.
Victor’s life is filled with deviance, from his relationship with his sex-addict mother, to his profession in a colonial-esque theme park. He is driven by his inner demons and chaotic upbringing to seek out strange thrills.
The novel follows this pattern as Victor attempts to solve the mystery of his unknown father while battling his mother’s health problems and his own inner battle with self-destructive addiction.
Style and Structure
One of Palahniuk’s hallmarks is his ability to combine style and structure to create a unique and powerful narrative. His writing style is characterized by darkly comic dialogue and raw, transparent prose.
He also makes use of other techniques such as character development, realistic and sometimes empathetic descriptions of his characters, and a fragmented structure that replicates the chaotic lifestyle of its protagonist.
Another aspect of Palahniuk’s style is his controversial subject matter and willingness to challenge societal taboos.
At the heart of Choke is the idea of identity and self-discovery. Through Victor’s quest to find his biological father, Palahniuk explores the idea of identity and belonging, as well as the psychological effects of being an orphan on someone’s identity.
Palahniuk also explores the power and fragility of addiction and its effects on personal relationships. The novel touches on many other themes such as faith, family, and the search for meaning in life.
Chuck Palahniuk’s Choke is a darkly comic exploration of identity and addiction. Palahniuk’s stylish narrative, fragmented structure, and controversial themes make this novel a powerful and awe-inspiring read.
Choke is a powerful look into the underbelly of modern society and the fragility of human identity.