Victor Mancini has devised a complicated scam to pay for his mother's hospital care: pretend to be choking on a piece of food in a restaurant and the person who 'saves you' will feel responsible for you for the rest of their lives. Multiply that a couple of hundred times and you generate a healthy flow of cheques, week in, week out. Victor also works at a theme park with a motley group of losers, cruises sex addiction groups for action, and visits his mother, whose Alzheimer's disease now hides what may be the startling truth about his parentage.
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(198mm x 129mm x 19mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
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UK Kirkus Review »
Following on from the disturbed originality of Fight Club, Palahniuk has created a superbly messed-up anarchic anti-hero to confront the suffocating constraints of the 21st century. Turning choking into a fine art, Victor ruthlessly exploits the idea that if you save someone you take responsibility for them, as he deliberately chokes himself in restaurants citywide. His saviours, thankful for the kudos of saving a life, respond to his begging letters with a steady stream of cash, while Victor gets love the hard way. It's little wonder he's messed-up: Victor's deranged mother gave him lessons on subversive art terrorism rather than love during her frequent jailbreaks. Alzheimers has now stricken her brilliantly malevolent mind and while the hospital bills hoover up the choke scam money, the secret of his parentage lies locked within her. A deliberately lost soul, Victor conducts his war on society against himself. Working in a ludicrous colonial theme park, staffed by drug-addled Mcjobbers, he cruises sex-addiction groups for light entertainment, indulging in the sins of the world to fuel his self-hatred. There is a brilliant imagination at play here, parodying society through outrageous plots that abound with weird sex and surreal terrorism. Palahniuk ridicules a society that cements the cracks in its facade with meaningless jobs and meaningful addictions but manages to allow Victor to find a strange sort of redemption. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Chuck Palahniuk
Chuck Palahniuk's eleven previous novels are the bestselling Tell-All, Pygmy, Snuff, Rant, Haunted, Lullaby, Diary, Choke - which has been made into a film by director Clark Gregg, starring Sam Rockwell and Anjelica Huston - Survivor, Invisible Monsters, and Fight Club, which was made into a film by director David Fincher. He is also the author of the nonfiction profile of Portland, Oregon, Fugitives and Refugees, and the nonfiction collection Stranger Than Fiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.