FIGHT CLUB, Chuck Palahniuk's controversial and blazingly original debut novel, introduced a fresh and even renegade talent to American fiction, one who has retooled the classic black humour of Terry Southern and Vonnegut for the lunacy of the millennial age. In his new novel, CHOKE, he gives readers a vision of life and love and sex and mortality that is both chillingly brilliant and teeth-rattlingly funny.
Victor Mancini, a dropout from medical school, has devised a complicated scam to pay for his mother's hospital care: pretend to be choking and the person who 'saves' you will feel responsible for the rest of their life. Multiply that a couple of hundred times and you generate a healthy flow of cheques, week in, week out. Between fake choking gigs, Victor works at Colonial Dunsboro with a motley group of losers and stoners trapped in 1734, cruises sex addiction groups for action and visits his mother, whose anarchic streak made his childhood a mad whirl and whose Alzheimer's disease now hides what may be the startling truth about his, possibly divine, parentage. An antihero for our deranging times, Victor's whole existence is a struggle to wrest an identity from overwhelming forces. His creator, Chuck Palahniuk, is the visionary we need and the satirist we deserve.