January 14th, 2003

Lullaby, by Chuck Palahniuk

Sometimes, the biggest insult you can throw at a novel is that it reads like a screenplay; you get the sense that the author was writing the novel only as a necessary prerequisite to parlaying it into a film deal.

Lullaby reads like a screenplay, but in a very different sense: the writing is so intense, so visceral, so evocative you feel like you're watching a film.

This novel is not for the faint of heart, but it has moments that stand out so emphatically they're nearly unforgettable. Palahniuk -- the author of Fight Club, and it shows -- builds elaborate symbolic structures, and then twists them into shapes both beautifully and grotesquely altered. The characters do things that, at times, are unbelievable, yet they are complete, interesting, and consistent... and thus, in their own way, believable.

This book (along with, apparently, all of Palahniuk's other works) paints a dark world, but not a world without hope. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who enjoys something with substance, something to chew over.
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