A review of a review of Chuck Palahniuk’s Choke

by Jess

Firstly, yes, I did spell Chuck Palahniuk’s name correctly on the first try without looking.

Secondly, thank you Dana Stevens for your unimpressed review of Clark Gregg’s movie remake of Palahaniuk’s eponymous novel.  Stevens quips, “Thank God we have another film about the fantasies, hang-ups, unintentional cruelties, and eventual redemption of a fucked-up straight white guy.”

Full disclosure: I hated Choke.  Okay, so maybe I have some latent psychological hang-ups about a culture that is completely okay with frequent casual sex and sex acts that seem to carry no emotional or physical consequences — but that’s my cross to bear.  I’ve haven’t seen the movie, but the book itself was not impressive.  I’m not a fan of big surprises that punch me in the face at the end of a work, and, while Choke’s big surprise was not a fact upon which the story itself was hinged, I found it terribly annoying.  Also annoying were all of the characters, except perhaps the elderly mother, who was caustic and confused and oddly endearing.

It feels almost anathema to call out Palahaniuk after the cult following he’s garnered for Fight Club.  But Fight Club was good.  Choke is not.  It is an excercise in excess and egoism.  End of story.