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Choke by Chuck Palahniuk (1 Viewer)

strangedaze

Senior Member
so im reading Choke, by Chuck Palahniuk of Fight Club fame, and i am always struck by how much his writing reminds me of a seven year old with downs syndrome. im willing to give Fight Club its due - i enjoyed it, the style didnt annoy the fuck out of me, and it has characters who rise above chucks usual parade of annoying cardboard cutouts. but then i read Diary and i thought, fuck, this is brutal. it couldnt get much worse. could it? oh yes, it could. Choke is such a poorly written book, on so many fucking levels. exampe:

"This one's pretty," the Mommy said, looking at the picture of a woman smiling on the box. She switched the bottle inside with another bottle. All the bottles the same dark brown glass.
Opening another box, she said, "Do you think she's pretty?"
And the kid's so stupid he says, "Who?"
"You know who," the Mommy said. "She's young, too. I just saw the two of you looking at clothes. You were holding her hand, so don't lie."
And the kid was so stupid he didn't know to just run away.


what. the. fuck. first, can someone tell me why the tense breaks down halfway through this linguistic clusterfuck? second, the 'Mommy'? the 'kid'? are you kidding me? third, how can anyone capable of SPELLING THEIR OWN FUCKING NAME get away with a sentence like, 'And the kid was so stupid he didn't know to just run away'? in a PUBLISHED NOVEL? maybe if chuck was doing a vernacular thing, but no. i think hes just that bad.

my gripes with this piece of shit go on and on. i have no idea whats going on or why we are being told useless facts that dont relate to anything. if i wanted to read a compendium of obscure and bizarre factoids, id fucking well buy one. or use google. maybe instead of trying to wow me with his vast knowledge of crap, chuck should focus on giving me characters that i can envision as real people, and not two-dimensional lemmings. im forcing myself to read the rest of Choke, just so i can have more credibility when i bash it.

maybe im being a bit harsh on chuck. maybe. there are things i like about his novels. one - they are imaginative and usually pretty depraved. he writes about things that i enjoy, and he has really brought a lot of male readers back to wide world of literacy. the downside to that is that whenever i read anything hes written, my inner child hangs itself because it so desperately wants someone with any technical comepetency to tackle his subject matter. its like once someone writes about them, theyre lost forever. and its a shame that it has to be chuck flushing them.

well, at least one good thing could be said about Choke: it is aptly titled.


;)

EDIT

i found a review at ruthlessreviews.com that sums up a lot of what i was too spiteful to articulate about Choke, especially this section:

Choke is no different. It starts out with hints at the novel's ending, just like Fight Club. It has a lot of references to things that are not common knowledge, just like Fight Club (but less interesting- Fight Club's arcane knowledge was explosives, whereas Choke's arcana deals with security codes in shopping centers and hospitals). The sociopathic main character finds out that he might not be who he thinks he is, just like Fight Club. He has a sidekick that seems to know all the unorthodox answers to life's riddles, just like Fight Club. By the way, this paragraph could easily have been written about Survivor or Invisible Monsters.

you can find the full review here: http://ruthlessreviews.com/reviews.cfm/id/200/page/choke.html
 
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ms. vodka

i never know quite how to feel when i discover someone's writing is pure shit. i'm like... is it pure shit or is it me? i encountered this most recently when reading the book of kerouac's 'prosedy'. it fucking sucks. it's disjointed and abstract and lame and boring. then i was like... well... maybe it's just me... maybe i just don't understand it yet...

that's why i'm glad to find this... although i haven't read the book so i can't agree or disagree... i'm glad it's not just me who stumbles across things and says wtf... this is just... lame.

kisses,
jen
 

Avarice

Senior Member
this is why I like mr. daze.

I've been reading the ebook of Choke and am reading bits of fight club and yes its very unique and fits the time of how men feel, but I agree, I love his ideas, very original but his minimalist style really kills me after a while. one chapter at a time is ok for me but he cant write dialogue and his whole novel is just depressing outlook with limited humour to keep the reader from hanging themselves.

I'm in awe of his massive fan base though, especially online, the lucky bastard, so at least he knows how to move a book, but I dont think he beats Ellis or Thompson or Copeland.

Pity he wouldnt get some one else to write out his ideas.
 

gigi

Senior Member
assboy,

tell it like it is, kool thing... i'm surprised there has been no opposition to you! lol

and jen, that Kerouac was a major WTF moment for me, too.

"dododododededelalalalala" does not a verse make.
 

strangedaze

Senior Member
im waiting for the die-hard fans to lynch me ;)

jennnnn - shhh, dont tell lans, but im finding it super difficult to get into on the road. shh.

avarice - i actually frequent chucks website. lots of great stuff there. i think the cult website is genius. pure and simple. thanks for stopping by!

lans - im waiting for the backlash. waiting...waiting...
 

mwd

Senior Member
I agree with most of the stuff in your review, but it's odd because I still enjoyed reading the book. Even if his writing was a bit of a clusterfuck, I still enjoyed the book despite that, because it's got some pretty original stuff in it, and it made me think about his themes in ways that I hadn't before.

strangedaze said:
the downside to that is that whenever i read anything hes written, my inner child hangs itself because it so desperately wants someone with any technical comepetency to tackle his subject matter. its like once someone writes about them, theyre lost forever. and its a shame that it has to be chuck flushing them.
Haha, well said. I wonder how his books would change if it was a different writer tackling the subject matter, because that's really the strength of his stuff, is the subject matter/themes he addresses. Maybe he should write essays, instead of novels. Hmm.

Avarice, you should read some Amy Hempel (who Palahniuk lists as an influence). She's very good... of the stories of hers that I've read, my favourite one was "In the Cemetary where Al Jolson is Buried" (which left me in shivers by the end). I found this story of hers http://www.pifmagazine.com/SID/413/ online, which is also pretty good. She's a minimalist writer as well, but her style is vastly different than Palahniuk's ... not liking Palahniuk's writing isn't the same as not liking minimalism in general.
 
M

ms. vodka

I haven't read On The Road since I was like... seventeen. I was considering that yesterday and thinking it may be time for a re-read.
 

strangedaze

Senior Member
its just chuckpalahniuk.net. it has a lot of information about similar writers and has a workshop section. lots of other authors frequent it, too.
 

Fantasy of You

Senior Member
strangedaze- in all due respect, if any is due at all, you need to shut the fuck up.

If you are too narrow minded and cannot appreciate something for it's unique style then do not bitch about it. Chuck has a style different from any other author I have ever written- and i respect him for it. I have read Fight Club and Choke and they are shocking similar- to praise one because you are interested in the plot and call the other one shit because you are not interested in the plot, even though the style and structure are almost identical is shockingly retarded.

If you had the courage to write outside the box like Chuck, or even the skill to write at half his level, perhaps I would take what you have to say more seriously- especialy when you see breaks in tense where none exists.

If you don't like his style, don't read his books, and don't bitch with insane exaggeration about him.

I personally loved every book he wrote, because the style appealed greatly to me.

strangdaze, in short, I have gone from not knowing who you are, to knowing how much of an idiot a person can be.

You don't understand him- so don't pretend to while you take the piss out of him. Dick...
 

Avarice

Senior Member
lol here you go daze, the die hards are coming...

Fantasy, chuck uses minimalist style... many writers use that, some one further up even gave an example of one....

Chuck isnt the most skilled writer, I've never heard any one say he is, but they, and I do all agree his plots are interesting...


Dont say daze is exaggerating when you're acting like Chuck has the skill of Stephen King.

Whats there to understand? He writers minimalist style nihilist books that highlight how empty people are feeling in this day and age, daze didnt say " y'all suck coz y'all like de bad man, mr palanuk!"

And, "dick"? now name calling is just childish.... even for an angry dyslexic child like you.

If you're 16 you could try acting it, time can only do so much for you, baby.
 

Fantasy of You

Senior Member
Avarice- what do you mean I'm acting like he has the skill of Steven King. I didn't like anything I have read from SK, but I have enjoyed reading Chuck's stuff, therefor I think he is the better writer. Your preference doesn't determine the skill of any writer.

Name calling is childish? I'm glad you pointed that out, it was the exact reason I did- to prove a point. Name calling is childish, but you seem to accept it from strangedaze just because you agree with what he is saying.

And don't say name calling is childish, and then call me lol, at least keep constant when you talk crap.
 

Avarice

Senior Member
how could you not appreciate the shining or misery? Thats impossible, they have the same dark themes of dispair that palahniuk could only dream of creating.
 

Fantasy of You

Senior Member
Lol, to be honest, Shining was ruined by the Simpsons spoof of it... but I simply don't like SK style, or the fact he sold his soul to commercial profit..

I don't like them, but I'm not going to slate his books and style and cuss him for daring to do what he loves, am I? So I don't think daze should either...
 

strangedaze

Senior Member
Fantasy of You said:
I don't like them, but I'm not going to slate his books and style and cuss him for daring to do what he loves, am I? So I don't think daze should either...

but you sure were quick to cuss me for daring to have an opinion contrary to yours, werent you sunshine? ;)

as for your intense angst over my dismissal of the novel. if i dont like a book, im going to say i dont like it. and since this is area is called 'Book Reviews', not 'Lets Hold Hands and Pray That Chuck Lets Us Hold His Wee-Wee While He Pees', i think i have every right to.

i reviewed the book honestly, the way i saw it. you're free to do the same. and while youre at it, call me a dick again. its endearing , in a queerish kind of way.

;)
 
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ms. vodka

well, drew... i think a thread title change is in order. i suggest you pm a mod. ;)

fantasy of you... please refrain from making this personal. strangedaze does have every right to post his opinion in regard to the book in question... if you'd like to argue that opinion that's fine, but please do so without personally insulting other members of the forum.

whoa doggies, let's rope this one back in and bring it back on topic. yee-haw!

vodka
 

strangedaze

Senior Member
jen to the rescue. and ive already petitioned to have the thread title changed to:

'strangedaze should be strung up like a side of veal'

has a nice ring to it, yeah?
 

IamLegend

Senior Member
Fantasy of You said:
strangedaze- in all due respect, if any is due at all, you need to shut the fuck up.

If you are too narrow minded and cannot appreciate something for it's unique style then do not bitch about it. Chuck has a style different from any other author I have ever written- and i respect him for it. I have read Fight Club and Choke and they are shocking similar- to praise one because you are interested in the plot and call the other one shit because you are not interested in the plot, even though the style and structure are almost identical is shockingly retarded.

If you had the courage to write outside the box like Chuck, or even the skill to write at half his level, perhaps I would take what you have to say more seriously- especialy when you see breaks in tense where none exists.

If you don't like his style, don't read his books, and don't bitch with insane exaggeration about him.

I personally loved every book he wrote, because the style appealed greatly to me.

strangdaze, in short, I have gone from not knowing who you are, to knowing how much of an idiot a person can be.

You don't understand him- so don't pretend to while you take the piss out of him. Dick...

Tone down the naivete and ignorance my friend. Palahniuk, haha. He's highly overated, and that's being nice. He's developed a cult following mostly due to the work of David Fincher and Jim Uhls. Check out the Fight Club book sales before the movie came out, and see how they escalated as a result (although the movie didn't do too well in the box office either). Oh and I suppose you "understand him". What are you, his husband? Jesus, he's not some tortured genius that everyone picks on and nobody appreciates, he's an average writer with a very tedious writing style that does a lot of research, most of which is random and looks like it took a lot of effort to fit into what kinds of make shift plots he comes up with. Don't get me wrong, I read Fight Club; hell I even own Survivor (I believe this is is best work, but that isn't saying much) and have read Choke, Haunted and am reading Diary right now. Yes that sounds contradictory, but I've gotten in the habit of picking up an author and reading everything by him regardless if I enjoy it or not.

I guess what I'm getting at is that calling someone a dick because they disagree with you is blatently ignorant, and frankly just a flat out dick move. Try and take in some different opinions, it may do you some good. Oh and, I hope you know you did exactly what strangedaze predicted would happen about the Palahniuk die hards coming out in arms.
 

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