Search - Choke

Author: Chuck Palahniuk
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...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780385720922
ISBN-10: 0385720920
Publication Date: 6/11/2002
Pages: 304
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.

3.6 stars, based on 579 ratings
Publisher: Anchor
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Choke on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
This book was refreshingly different from what I have been reading recently. Palahniuk's writing style was enjoyable although I found it very similar to that of Vonnegut. I have yet to decide whether this is a good thing.

The story was bleakly humorous and interesting, but I thought that the repetition of certain sentences for effect was somewhat irksome, especially when they were being used on every page. Luckily, this began to ebb after the first half of the novel.

"Annoying isn't the right word, but it's the first word that comes to mind".

Underneath the satire and occasionally excessive sexuality is a story about a guy wading through his problems while attempting to discover himself; problems that he essentially blames on his deteriorating, archetypal philosopher mother.

I have to disagree with the book's opening sentence- "If you're going to read this, don't bother". I recommend Choke to anyone interested in reading Palahniuk. My first novel by him, but certainly not the last.
reviewed Choke on + 705 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
This was my first taste of Palahniuk. I'm not real sure what to think of it -- the book had something in it to offend everyone! It was very strange and bizarre but also quite creative. The main character is a compulsive sex addict (the book goes into great length describing his addictions. So be warned. Maybe a little too much information) who creates heroes by purposely choking at restaurants and getting himself saved. This book is not for the easily offended, but it is interesting and has a moral of sorts in showing the impermanence of material things. The story itself is also extremely funny and the situations are outlandish. I'm not sure if I would go out my way to read other Palahniuk books, but I did enjoy the book overall.
reviewed Choke on + 591 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Like others, I saw the film Fight Club but had not read any of Palahniuk's books before. This book had been sitting on my TBR shelf for a while, and with the upcoming release of the movie I figured it was time to give it a try.

The word "sick" seems to occur frequently in reviews of Palahniuk's work. After reading this book I understand why. Many of the images in the book are quite disgusting, but "sick" is also a good word to describe the world as Palahniuk portrays it. Despite the high gross-out factor, this book is at times laugh out loud funny - indeed I could not decide if some of the scenes were for shock value or attempts at dark humor.

The protagonist Victor behaves in an appalling manner, but because the book is written in first person we can almost understand why and feel sympathetic towards him. However, whenever Victor starts to become likable, Palahniuk quickly does something to make us gag or laugh again. What a strange book.
reviewed Choke on
Helpful Score: 5
Hilarious. Seriously, if you like dark humor, if you have a nihilistic streak, if you are a sucker for satire-- you want this book. I laughed, I felt sick from emotional attachment, and I enjoyed this book immensely.
reviewed Choke on + 252 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I would like to reach inside Chuck Palahniuk's head for just a moment to get a taste of his mind because if this is what he writes about, imagine how many other twisted images are lurking in there, stored away. What a great raunchy novel! This was my second sampling of his work, more please! In this novel we get to know Victor Mancini. Victor is a medical school dropout, a sex addict stuck in the fourth step of recovery, an employee at Colonial Dunsboro, and a regular choking victim. Victor's mother is Ida Mancini, extremely delusional, wasting away at St. Anthony's from starvation and Alzheimer's. Victor is seeking the truth about his parentage. Is he the perfect manifestation of God, the second coming of Christ? For serious, this book is sexually explicit! The first word that comes to mind is nasty. Do not read this book if you are easily offended! Sick!
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reviewed Choke on + 7 more book reviews
I'd never read anything by Chuck before this book; I've never even watched Fight Club let alone knew it was a book first. So this was my first taste of /all/ of that. A recommendation from a friend.

That being said, it was alright. The writing gnawed a bit on my nerves, and some of it seemed unnecessarily descriptive and disgusting, but because the book was short I decided to bite back and get through it.

I'd never read about a character with this kind of outlook, so it was a nice break-off from the usual. The best part about /that/ is, that I (we?) can relate to his way of thinking. I wanted to hate the guy, but I couldn't, I can always think back to one time or another where I felt/thought the same way, the difference is he doesn't feel guilty about it.

This book is a nice dose of one of the /worst/ sides of humanity. Depending on the person, it's a nice cold drink of water. Once you get past all the dead flies floating in it.
reviewed Choke on + 9 more book reviews
This book has a unique sense of humor and a refreshing style. Palahniuk manages to bounce between explicit sex, the narrator's off-kilter self-evaluation, and bits of insight about humanity without missing a beat.
reviewed Choke on + 7 more book reviews
What a great read from a great author! The perspective in this book is unique. The main character isn't someone class, but kinda the world's underdog. The storytelling of his life fills in with... I wouldn't say brilliant scenes, but with very believable details. You think you know him, then you KNOW you know him..... and then you're wrong. I enjoyed this book very much and would recommend it to anyone who wants something out of the norm and a bit twisted.
See also: Creative
See also: Sordid
See also: Page Turner

Book Wiki

Victor Mancini (Primary Character)