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My friend was at a reading recently, to forth graders, where Palahniuk explained that his name rhymes with “suck a dick” Okay, he didn’t say the word “dick” but he said the rest of it. I thought that was hilarious and sort of sums up my feelings about his books. I don’t get the feeling that his novels are gross because he’s trying to shock anyone, or is working out some inner demons, I think they’re gross because those are the things he thinks about and, well, writing is his job. Lucky guy.

This story is about a guy who chokes. Well, that’s what the notes say but it’s really a complicated story of family and abandonment and this character who is just a mess [and many of Palahniuk’s are] and how he deals with it. He raises money for his invalid and somewhat crazy Mom by choking [for real] in restaurants and then letting the people who have saved his life continue to be a part of it, often by sending him money. He works it like a racket. If you read any of Palahniuk’s other books, this will not surprise you. Oh yeah and he’s also a sex addict. And for a short part of the book he thinks he is Jesus Christ. I totally enjoy the seemy underbelly of characters and situations that Palahniuk’s books spell out in gory detail. As with all his books, they are not for everyone.