Choke, by Chuck Palahniuk.  This is yet another Palahniuk book that is based off of a very strange premise.  This is another very interesting book that could only have been written by him.  This book is also interesting in that it tells several stories at once that work to tell one overall story.

Book Stats

293 pages

Stand Alone book

Genre doesn’t work for Palahniuk books, so its the somewhat catch-all Drama category to the rescue.


Vincent Mancini is the main character, and he is one of the most troubled characters in fiction.  His mother led him through a very troubled childhood and now she is very sick and living in an assisted living center.  Vincent also spends a fair amount of time dealing with Dr. Marshall who is in charge of his mother’s care.  The last character that we see a lot of in this book is his friend Denny.  Denny and Vincent are both recovering sex addicts in the process of the 12 step program.  All of the characters are flawed but I found their actions to be understandable given the situations they’re in.


Unless I’m forgetting it, I don’t thing the city that this book takes place in is ever mentioned, but as with all Palahniuk books, the name of the city where the book takes place doesn’t matter.


The plot unfolds on 3 different levels.  One is Vincent’s daily life including everything with Denny.  The second is Vincent interacting with his dying mother.  The third and possibly most bizarre of the three is a flashback to Vincent growing up with his mother.  All three are interesting and work to develop Vincent as a character and explain some of what’s going on in his head.


This book is at times disturbing, at times thought provoking, and altogether as strange as any Palahniuk book.  The main idea of the book is about discovering who you really are and trying to find a purpose in your life.  It’s very well done and yet another Palahniuk book that will require a reread in the future.

Overall Grade

Not what I would suggest for your first Palahniuk book, but it’s a very good book that I would recommend to fans of Palahniuk books.


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