I enjoyed Survivor so much that when I was at the bookstore looking for something to take along with me on my business trip at the end of this month I picked up another novel by Chuck Palahniuk. This time I picked up Choke. Choke is another example of transgressive fiction. Transgressive fiction follows the premise that knowledge is to be found at the edge of experience and that the body is the site for gaining knowledge. Victor Mancini serves as protagonist by way of being a delightfully degenerate grifter. Not just for money– the major crux of his con being the reason for the book’s title– but sex and drugs and happiness as well.
From the back cover:
Victor Mancini, a medical-school dropout, is an antihero for our deranged times. Needing to pay elder care for his mother, Victor has devised an ingenious scam: he pretends to choke on pieces of food while dining in upscale restaurants. He then allows himself to be “saved” by fellow patrons who, feeling responsible for Victor’s life, go on to send checks to support him. When he’s not pulling this stunt, Victor cruises sexual addiction recovery workshops for action, visits his addled mom, and spends his days working at a colonial theme park. His creator, Chuck Palahniuk, is the visionary we need and the satirist we deserve.