Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Some Themes and quotes in the novel CHOKE by Chuck Palahniuk


Why I do this is to put adventure back into people's lives.
Why I do this is to create heroes. Put people to rest.
"Charity" isn't the right word, but it's the first word that comes to mind.
By choking, you become a legend about themselves that these people will cherish and repeat until they die. They'll think they gave you life.
You might be the one good deed, the deathbed memory that justifies their whole existance.

The question is always: So what do you feel like choking on tonight?
The miserable truth is, every night I still have to pick through the telephone directory and find a good place to almost die.
The cry part, where I'm hugged in somebody's arms, gasping and crying, that part just gets easier and easier.
More and more, the hardest part of crying is when I can't stop.


For sure, instead of wanting to believe something different about God's love, the losers I work with want to find salvation through compulsive behaviors.

Every addiction, she said, was just a way to treat this same problem. Drugs or overeating or alcohol or sex, it was all just another way to find peace. To escape what we know. Our education, our bite of the apple.

I admire addicts. In a world where everybody is waiting for some blind, random disaster or some sudden disease, the addict has the comfort of knowing what will most likely wait for him down the road. He's taken some control over his ultimate fate, and his addiction keeps the cause of his death from being a total surprise.


Anymore when I go to visit my mom, I don't even pretend to be myself.
Hell, I don't even pretend to know myself very well.
I am Fred Hastings, the court-appointed public defender.
See also: Mr. Benning, who defended her on the little charge of kidnapping.
See also: Thomas Welton, who plea-bargained her sentence down to six months.

More and more, it feels like I'm doing a really bad impersonation of myself.


Then she turns on the television, some soap opera, you know, real people pretending to be fake people with made-up problems being watched by real people to forget their problems.

It's pathetic how we can't live with the things we can't understand. How we need everything labeled and explained and deconstructed. Even if it's for sure unexplainable. Even god.

After you find out all the things that can go wrong, your life becomes less about living and more about waiting.


I mean, I'm just tired of being wrong all the time just because I'm a guy.
I mean, how many times can everybody tell you that you're the opressive, prejudiced enemy before you give up and become the enemy. I mean, a male chauvinist pig isn't born, he's made, and more and more of them are being made by women.
After long enough, you just roll over and accept the fact that you're a sexist, bigored, insensitive, crude, cretinist cretin. Women are right. You're wrong. You get used to the idea. You live down to expectations.
Even if the shoe doesn't fit, you'll shrink into it.
I mean, in a world without God, aren't mothers the new god? The last sacred unassailable position. Isn't motherhood the perfect magical miracle? But a miracle that's impossile for men.
And maybe men say they're glad not to give birth, all the pain and blood, but really that's just so much sour grapes.
For sure, men can't do anything near as incredible. Upper body strength, abstract thought, phalluses--any advantages men appear to have are pretty token.
You can't even hammer a nail with a phallus. Women are already born so far ahead ability-wise.
The day men can give birth, that's when we can start talking about equal


We can spend our lives letting the world tell us who we are. Sane or insane. Saints or sex addicts. Heros or victims. Letting history tell us how good or bad we are.
Letting our past decide our future.
Or we can decide for ourselves.

Even after all the rushing around, where we've ended up is in the middle of no where in the middle of the night.
And maybe knowing isn't the point.
Where we're standing right now, in the ruins in the dark,
what we are building could be anything.

There are the things people tell you when they won't tell you the truth.

What we say when we can't tell the truth. What anything means anymore, I don't know.

1 comment:

  1. Great book, I read this and was in awe. Perfectly quoted!!!