Choke by Chuck Palahniuk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Being my first Palahniuk(thanks to Banned Book Reading Group), I find ”Choke” as an intriguing, hilarious and convoluted book: not only by its subject, but also by its twists. I think the book it is about the antihero Victor Mancini’s effort of anchoring himself in the world, by projecting his “need of the other” upon the others. The need is however an addiction that stresses the limits of dissolution. Victor Mancini is dissolving himself in sex and almost kills himself by choking in fancy restaurants, trying to explain his “numbers” as an act of unlimited generosity, almost a sacrifice. Though the other do not realize, they need him as much as he needs them.
Being more a hostage of his own troubled mother, Victor Mancini felt always as an outcast. All his endeavors of becoming normal were again and again stopped by his mother, who lies now into a nursing home paralyzed and destroyed by Alzheimer. She looks now to be her son’s hostage, but this is not true. She still keeps the secret of his origin that could explain why he is so different. And from this point, the story starts to have a metaphysical meaning as well. It becomes quite obvious why Victor Mancini is changing the world, by changing, though illusory, the life of the others.
And it follows another twist, which “puts down” again Victor Mancini on his place. He still remains a lonely soul that needs the others, but he now probably is freer. Of his mother .. and his/her demons?
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