Podcast: A Reflection of “Choke” by Chuck (2001)


Hi everyone! Recently I finished Choke by Chuck Palahniuk and it struck me that at the end of his book, he included where he got the inspiration from, (but only on the audio version). While he’s 51xyvskabyl-_sx323_bo1204203200_never been known to choke on food, he has always gotten his stories from relatively real scenarios. However, at the end of this particular book, there’s an interview where he talked about his father dying.

I finished Choke with Audible and much to my surprise, Chuck read the book himself. Before this, I didn’t know what exactly his voice sounded like. It seemed as though he was hiding a Canadian accent or, coming from Washington, that’s just what a really Northern accent sounds like. It’s deep, slow, and not-at-all monotonous (if you were hearing me right now, you’d know I was being facetious). Yet, despite all of that, I’ve found that I respect him more.

See also: Northern dialect

See also: Profound

The story about his father is really screwed up. He was just looking for love. Yet, he was looking in all the wrong places like most of us do.

Palahniuk’s father answered an ad on Craigslist. It stated that she was looking for a partner and she landed on his father. Unfortunately, the woman he met up with had a rather jealous ex-husband.

It all occurred in Fred’s home in Missouri.  He set up a surprise for Donna to mark their six-month anniversary, but her ex-husband decided to follow up. His name was Dale Shackleford and he murdered Donna Fontaine and Fred Palahniuk the same year Fight Club was in production (1999).

This all led to several stories about Chuck’s brother, more of his dad, and a story about where he got the inspiration for Victor Mancini, (the main character of Choke).

Sam Rockwell in the film adaptation of Choke

One afternoon, Chuck was driving home and he wondered what would happen if he just… pulled over, walked a bit, and laid down on the side of the road. Eventually, a policeman would come and wrap his arms around him, inform him he was okay, and get him back on his way.

See also: Comforting

See also: Brainstorming

I’m not sure if he actually pulled over and got out, but he made Victor Mancini a force to be reckoned with. He’s an anti-hero, yet he’s still giving people a motive. He chokes on food so people can save him and feel like a hero themselves. He meets a wonderful nurse, pays for his mother’s minimal life care, and helps his friend Denny complete his project stone-by-stone, rock-by-rock.

While I was reading this book, I seemed to have become disgusted with Victor. Chuck usually wants his readers to feel a sort-of… attachment to his main characters, but this one, in particular, gave me a conflicting feeling. Without giving too much of the plot away, Victor came off as arrogant and tended to be on his high-horse all too often. With his mom in a nursing home, his job at Colonial Dunsboro, (a theme park stuck in the 1600s), and not-to-mention his sexaholics anonymous steps he’s been avoiding… his life wasn’t exactly where he wanted it to be, but whose could be at that point?

For those of you reading, I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy of Choke at your local bookstore. While I only gave it four stars for my lack of attachment to Victor, it’s definitely worth the read.


Image Locations

Choke: https://www.amazon.com/Choke-Chuck-Palahniuk/dp/0385720920

Sam Rockwell in Choke: https://alanzilberman.wordpress.com/2008/09/

Chuck at his desk: http://chuckpalahniuk.net/author/strange-but-true-a-short-biography-of-chuck-palahniuk


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