Chokeannotation by Melissa Chadburn

book by Chuck Palahniuk

The narrative is episodic, and is presented out of chronological order which at times was jolting… as well as his shifts in POV. He also had a strange way of addressing his reader by saying ______ isn’t the right word but it’s the first word that comes to mind… a lot. He also says _____ is what would jesus Not do frequently. There was a point in the novel where it seemed like Palahniuk intentionally used poor grammar… to help his character appear immature.

Overall I thought this was a hilarious novel that at times got me to laugh out loud.. not easy for a novel to get me to do that. I miss humor sometimes. I don’t think we have enough of it, possibly because it is difficult to write or very particular and people do not want to limit themselves. Either way there were passages that were distinctly Palahnuik and memorably hilarious.

Although I’ve read that much of Palahniuk’s research on Choke was conducted with total strangers at the gym and sexual addiction groups, I feel he could have done more. He made some mistakes that distracted me from the story… he had people introduce themselves by their full names, first and last in anonymous 12 step meetings, and he said the fourth step was a “complete and relentless story of your life” when it is actually “a searching and fearless moral inventory” of your life. While this might be nitpicky it was definitely distracting. I learned to succumb to research in my writing, but the message I got from reading this novel is if I’m entertaining enough they may make a film.


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