Choke: A Novel

Kobo ebook | July 30, 2002

byChuck Palahniuk

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Victor Mancini, a medical-school dropout, is an antihero for our deranged times. Needing to pay elder care for his mother, Victor has devised an ingenious scam: he pretends to choke on pieces of food while dining in upscale restaurants. He then allows himself to be “saved” by fellow patrons who, feeling responsible for Victor’s life, go on to send checks to support him. When he’s not pulling this stunt, Victor cruises sexual addiction recovery workshops for action, visits his addled mom, and spends his days working at a colonial theme park. His creator, Chuck Palahniuk, is the visionary we need and the satirist we deserve.

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Victor Mancini, a medical-school dropout, is an antihero for our deranged times. Needing to pay elder care for his mother, Victor has devised an ingenious scam: he pretends to choke on pieces of food while dining in upscale restaurants. He then allows himself to be “saved” by fellow patrons who, feeling responsible for Victor’s life, g...

Format:Kobo ebookPublished:July 30, 2002Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1400032709

ISBN - 13:9781400032709

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Customer Reviews of Choke: A Novel


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! Chuck is a master of satire on modern day world. This book is no exception. Typical narrative (for Palahniuk). If you loved his other books, you will enjoy this one as well.
Date published: 2016-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of his best This, along with IM and FC, are my favourite novels by Chuck Palahniuk. Disturbing and strange in a wonderful way, Choke isn't a book you'll soon forget.
Date published: 2016-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourite books ever This book spoke to me in a very profound way, it was edgy yet touching... Despite Palahniuk's fall from grace as of late, this is probably his best book and worthy of much respect. It's about family, friendship, and struggling to find your place.
Date published: 2015-03-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I liked it and I didn't I didn't like the main character. There were some interesting, gross parts in there (re: kinks that land people in the ER and the medical protocols created to deal with them). But it's been over a year since I read it and parts still linger with me. I still think about it somewhat regularly. And I have to like that.
Date published: 2014-11-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So great! When I first started reading Choke, my expectations were pretty low because I'd read another one of Chuck P's books before and didn't enjoy it at all. As it turned out, I really liked Choke. It had a very interesting story, and it seemed to have comedic relief in all the right places. Because of the theme of the book, I really had no idea what to expect on the next page, but I can definitely say that I was never disappointed.
Date published: 2011-06-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This one had me smiling. I really enjoy the way Palahniuk can incorporate graphic sex scenes and disturbing scenes of violence to the point of indecency and still get away with a really entertaining and wholesomely enjoyable book. It's a quality to be admired. This particular novel left me wondering if Chuck Palahniuk REALISES he's a bloody genius, or if he's one of those ones that are unaware of his massive intelligence. Just the concept of this book is brilliant. Of course, like the rest of his works, the book isn't for kids alright, but it's definitely an invigorating read for the rest of us.
Date published: 2010-04-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Why didn't I think of this scam earlier? A man pretends to choke in restaurants, thereby allowing someone different to be a hero every time he does it! Those people are left thinking they just saved someones' life, which of course they have not, but they feel great as a result! They also feel very connected to the 'chokee' and often send him gifts on his birthday and at christmas. As a result, the main character has a sweet racket going where he gets free meals in restaurants, and gets free stuff from all of the past 'saviours'; until of course someone sees him choke on two different times at two different restaurants. Regardless, one is left wondering whether he should be allowed to keep choking, as it seems to be beneficial for him (i can only assume he would be on welfare, and a burden to the state without this alternative 'job'), plus it is beneficially to those that save him. Wouldn't you feel great if you saved someone's life? So why not sit down with a nice big snack, take some big bites, don't chew very much, and 'Choke' on this great read? In my top 10 books I read in 2009.
Date published: 2010-02-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This book has me praising Palahniuk! “Cyclical” isn’t the right word, but it’s the first one that comes to mind. Through satire, absurdity and scintillating prose, this self-help book in disguise educates us on the trauma cycle, the cycle of addiction, and a huge dose of karma (not to be confused with “Kama” Sutra, which also has a role in the subject matter). Though this loathsome anti-hero wouldn’t be my first choice as the second coming of Christ, he is rather crafty in his efforts to survive his own troubles, as well as taking on the troubles of others. Choke is laugh-out-loud hysterical and jaw-dropping disturbing, and I’m happy to say it has made me a devout fan of Palahniuk’s. Now I can’t wait to see the movie!
Date published: 2008-11-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I'm a performance artist doing dinner theatre: A review of Chuck Palahniuk's Choke If you can get four or five hours to yourself , CHOKE can be read in a single sitting. This is a pre-Clark Gregg review, the movie will be out in September and after the film the book will never be the same. CHOKE was Palahniuk’s first novel to appear after the DVD edition of Fight Club made it to market. Fight Club bombed at the box office due to scathing reviews about its excessive violence and fraternity. Invisible Monsters and Survivor were published in 1999 with some circulatory success but Choke hit it fairly big. It was widely reviewed and read. In a fairly recent interview (Summer 2008) Palahniuk suggested that Choke was a kind of sequel to Fight Club. I thought it was pure PR but after reading it again I changed my mind. It is in many ways written like a sequel to Fight Club. It was probably written on a tide of enthusiasm for the DVD, amidst hundreds of interviews about the film and laudatory praise for its fierce imagination. So . . . I’m willing to grant that it is a kind of sequel. Ida Mancini could have been Tyler Durden’s mother. I’m assuming that this is deliberate, why mess with something that works. Since the novel has been out for several years I don’t consider including Spoilers unfair game. Consider yourself warned. The novel begins and we’re introduced to Victor Mancini and his mother. The philosophy of his mother is written on the wall: “You had to risk your life to get love. You had to get right to the edge of death to ever be saved” (3). Thie novel is Victor’s confession, step four in the twelve-step recovery program. Victor is a sex addict. Like many of his novels it uses the techniques of journalism to tell its story (Choke is a confession, the fourth step in a recovery program; Survivor is a confession recorded by a flight recorder; Rant is an oral biography, etcetera). Victor on distraction: “That’s pretty much how we get through our own lives, watching television. Smoking crap. Self-medicating. Redirecting our own attention . . . Denial (60-61). “Every addiction, she said, was just a way to treat this same problem. Drugs or overeating or alcohol or sex, it was all just another way to find peace. To escape what we know. Our education. Our bite of the apple” (150). Fight Club "copy of a copy": “Wednesday night mean Nico. Friday nights mean Tanya. Sundays mean Leeza” (16). When Victor has an orgasm, “I’ve got no problems in the world. No mother. No medical bills. . . I feel nothing” (19). The love triangle: Victor Mancini, Ida Mancini, and Paige Marshall (narrator – Tyler Durden – Marla Singer). I am Joe’s . . . is replaced by: “Parasite” isn’t the right word, but it’s the first word that comes to mind (33). “Beatific” isn’t the right word, but it’s the first word that comes to mind (36). Followed by “Pilgrimage” (36), “Freedom” (38), “Savior” (39), “Hero” (39), “Charity” (50), “Ponzi scheme” (79), “Stalking” (110), “Revenge” (119), “Incorrigible” (160), “Vandalism” (177), “Tombstone” (195), “Morning sickness” (230), “Defused” (232), and “Widower” (270). The “Fight Club” chapter is chapter 6 in Fight Club. The “Choke” chapter is chapter 7 in Choke. “Why I do this is to create heroes” (49). This isn’t unlike the scene in Fight Club where he makes a human sacrifice, putting a gun to the head of a clerk and threatening to kill them unless they live out their dreams. “It’s the martyrdom of Saint Me” (51). Tyler Durdenisms: “Screw history. All these fake people, they’re the most important people for you to know,” the Mommy said (97). “Another thing she said was, ‘The Enlightenment is over. What we’re living in now is the Dis-Enlightenment’” (98). “‘My generation, all of our making fun of things isn’t making the world any better,’ she says. ‘We’ve spent so much time judging what other people created that we’ve created very, very little of our own’” (111). “Parenthood is the opiate of the masses!” (112). “If you’re looking for enlightenment, the Mommy said, a new car isn’t the answer” (148). “Without access to true chaos, we’ll never have true peace. Unless everything can get worse, it won’t get any better” (159). “She used to say, ‘The only frontier you have left is the world of intangibles. Everything else is sewn up too tight’” (159). “Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because nothing is as exciting as your fantasy” (164). This becomes a mantra throughout the rest of the text. This is the first time the phrase appears. “These men and women sitting behind unlocked doors know a bigger house is not the answer. Neither is a better spouse, more money, tighter skin . . . The answer is there is no answer” (256). The recommendations are related to the religious themes in CPs novel.
Date published: 2008-09-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I hope the movie version turns out as good as Fight Club The life of an addict - a sex addict, who pretends to choke on food to get attention and money. His job sucks, his mother doesn't even remember her own son, and things just keep going down this path. Funny and imaginative. I can't wait for the movie.
Date published: 2008-08-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another extraordinary job. Choke is another fantastic work from Chuck Palahniuk. With an unusal story to begin with, it ends with an even more unusual twist. Lately I can't get enough from this master of satirical fiction. I'm looking forward to how they go about portraying it in the film version, and have to wonder if it will start a new fad of people pretending to choke in restaurants as Fight Club started underground fight clubs.
Date published: 2008-07-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Very unusual Our main character is someone who pretends to choke on food in restaurants to gain attention and money, is a sex addict and has an insane mother. And there's even more oddities when you get into Choke. Palahniuk has this ability to write very odd characters with somewhat negative and depressing personalties, but not in a bad way. Again like in Fight Club we are presented with some ugly truths about our society and the people living in it. I'm continuing on with his other books and I suggest that others give them a try too.
Date published: 2008-05-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Palahniuk Does it Again Palahniuk is certainly the king of satire, but truth be told, what I've always loved about his novels are the trivia. I tend to read his novels close to the computer so I can look up those bits and pieces he drops, googling to find out if any of them are true. One of the last few chapters of this novel will definitely have you thinking differently about flying... and those unlocked bathroom stalls.
Date published: 2008-04-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from round've applause for a job well done. I daresay young master Palahniuk has done it again with a tour-de-force novel. I'd say it is as similar to his other works as any novelists stories would be and accusations of it being "just the same" are as unfounded as they are dastardly. Almost a bit too randy for my liking, if you aren't too squimish about matters of a sexual nature, give this book a read.
Date published: 2008-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another Sharp Commentary on today's Society Palahniuk again delivers a powerful observation of 21 century living. Although Chuck's books all seem to share a similar quality, it is still worth the read. Anarchy through intelligence!
Date published: 2006-06-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from dry wit with an edge Choke is one in a collection of delightful yet noir novels by Palahniuk. I've read all that I could get my hands on. Choke is up there with his best. Choke is a novel worth reading if you enjoy dry wit with an edge and unexpected endings. It has a plot in the palahniuk style, it's hard to miss. A book that let's you sneak a peek at the mind of the type of person who, at times, a doorknob would look good to.
Date published: 2006-06-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outrageous and witty Choke is Chuck Palahniuks best novel, every bit as outrageous and witty as his previous works. This book will keep you guessing right to the end. It is clear that Palahniuk did a great deal of research for this book, medical texts eat your hearts out! Choke is a book about Victor Mancini, a medical school drop out, a sex addict, an anti-hero, who intentionally chokes at restaurants to gain the financial support of strangers in order to support his aging mother's medical bills. Anyone who liked Fight Club will love Choke. Masterpiece isn't the right word, but it is the first word that comes to mind.
Date published: 2006-06-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply Amazing If you enjoyed Fight Club then you'll love Choke. Choke is about a sex addict who works during the day and chokes on food at restaurants at night. He does this to support his mother who is in critical care. A very sexual book. Quite graphic. It is filled with flashbacks so it can seem jumpy at times. If you liked how Fight Club ended with a crazy twist then this is perfect for you. Completely unpredictable.
Date published: 2006-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Whether you love or you don't With this novel, Palahniuk (Pau-la-nik) resumes what could be the second chapter of Fight Club. Victor Mancini, a med-school dropout chokes in restaurants to pay for his ailing mother plugged to some machines. Dark, humoristic, satirical, the best Palahniuk so far. Stay away if you don't like Vonnegut, Coupland, and the likes. Very factual, not for those who like the flowery crap that you can buy everywhere.
Date published: 2004-06-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ALL KINDS OF TWISTED There's something about reading a book, by an author who has the ability to verbalize everything you've ever been afraid to say. Palahniuk creates a masterpiece, full of twists and turns and events that will not only shock you because of his incredible use of the english language, but also because the symbols and the metaphors are so deep that you have to read it twice. This book is for anyone, who has ever thought anything, about anything.
Date published: 2003-06-20