The world is falling apart. Torn asunder, shit like that. I’m serious, this is Chuck Palahniuk’s world.
http://google.com/search?q=palahniuk+apocalyptic returns 256 hits as of today. Replace "apocalyptic" with "nihilistic" and you get 299 results.
This is very serious business. Palahniuk, this evil, smug Vonnegut-wannabe, is trying to accelerate the end of the world, and he don't care.
Oh, you don't know who the bastard is?
And now that I have your attention, I'd like to point out that, yes, the world is ending. On the radio, just last night, I heard a complete (and scientific) breakdown of just how, over the next two years, the world climate will swing (almost totally) into the inhabitable range (I blame the gays). And I trust my radio.
And Palahniuk is laughing his evil ass off.
And at this point, I'd like to make several things clear:
- Fight Club is about fascism and violence, not about salvaging whatever bit of humanity you have left.
- Palahniuk's Survivor is a tribute to cultism and mindlessly following leaders, agents, television, et cetera; it is not a critique of these things.
- Invisible Monsters glorifies beauty and drugs.
- Palahniuk is, above all, a writer obsessed with destruction.
Don't think for a second that, although it appears that the central theme in Choke is building things yourself, this is anywhere near Palahnuik's point. This is a novel about manipulation. It's about a man named Vincent who, while eating in restaurants, stuffs large pieces of meat into the back of his throat and then falls backward in his chair, pretending to choke so that someone, some stranger, will perform the Heimilich Maneuver on his faking ass.
Why I do this is to make money. . . . It's that old Chinese custom where if somebody saves your life, they're responsible for you forever.
Oh, and did I mention he's a sex addict?
Yeah, and a med. school drop-out.
Don't make too much of Vincent's friend Denny, who draws pictures and builds sculptures, who spends his days collecting rocks, because it keeps him too busy to masturbate. Don't make too much of the idea of building, as in the act of building that Denny goes through, or of growing, as Vincent would seem to be at least trying to do. These are what those in the business call red herrings. When he says
"Just supposing," I say, "Jesus Christ had to practice being the Son of God to get any good at it . . . What if Jesus spent all his growing up getting things wrong . . . before he ever got a single miracle right?"
don't think he's being serious. This is not profound. What you should concentrate on are lines that critics quote, such as
Some woman writes about how she's started a prayer chain for me. A spiritual pyramid scheme. As if you can gang up on God. Bully him around.
which are, of course, smug and sarcastic. This is the real Palahniuk. This is as profound as Palahnuik is ever going to be.
by Chuck Palahniuk
293 pages, © 2001, Chuck Palahniuk
ISBN: 0-385-72092-0 (Paperback)