February 6th, 2003

Two For One

Chuck Palahniuk, Choke

Another good, solid novel from a really screwed up author. I liked Lullaby better, but this one's pretty damn good too. It revolves around Victor, a med-school drop-out sex-addict, and his ever-so-warped relationship with his mother, a social activist and all-around deviant.

Mr. Palahniuk has a penchant for presenting the reader with Ready-To-Go (TM) scams, perfect for launching upon unsuspecting society -- don't worry, these are in no way spoilers:
    Fight Club's Tyler Durden had a penchant for selling questionable soaps and depositing various... er... bodily secretions in the food at restaurants.

    Choke's Victor Mancini enjoys choking in public places every night, generating sympathy and, possibly, checks.

    One of Lullaby's more memorable characters makes a living placing ads for class-action lawsuits of questionable authenticity.

Makes you wonder what Chuck himself does for fun.

David Sedaris, Holidays on Ice

A collection of stories from humorist David Sedaris, this book gets off to a quick start with a hilarious recounting of his days as an elf in Santa's Village at Macy's, but quickly stalls thereafter. There are a couple of high points -- an apocryphal autobiographical tale of the ultimate in keeping up with the Joneses, for example -- but I'd recommend this slim volume much as I would a menu... pick and choose what suits you best, and leave the rest alone.
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