My book club recently finished Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk. I was intrigued to read it, as Mr. Palahniuk wrote Fight Club, so I was expecting some real mental exercise.


Not so much.

The only theme I really found interesting was the question ‘Who deserves to die?’ If you could kill with a thought, who would be worm-food? I can think of one or two folks who would have to make nice with me P-D-Q. (One of the members of my club mentioned that ‘Road Rage’ would become a whole new concept, and the streets would be littered with bodies before she got to work in the morning. There is a scene very like that idea in the book, and frighteningly enough, it made me chuckle. Random death due to snitty attitudes should NOT make me chuckle. Bad girl – BAD!). The necrophilia theme, and the character of Nash, were so disturbing and disgusting that I couldn’t see what message the author was trying to send, unless it was the misogynistic concept that a woman is better in bed when she’s dead (more relaxed, you see). I was so grossed out that if I ever meet Mr. Palahniuk, I will probably look sideways at him.

The characters didn’t do it for me, either. There was not a one I felt connected to or cared about. The main character, Mr. Streater (turns out his first name is Carl) is a tormented soul who I wish I could empathize with, but instead find myself annoyed with. His self-mutilation and disconnectedness are not the way I would handle trauma, especially not so many years later, so I’m instantly put off. When I read about the events that led to the writing of the book, though, my level of empathy rose considerably, and some of the plot elements made more sense. I found myself empathizing with the author, though, and not his characters, so the purpose of the book was not served.

The big reveal at the end does come as a bit of a surprise (and kind of a gross-out, imagine), and that was good. I hate figuring it all out too soon.

On the whole, a C grade from me.


2 responses to “Lullaby

  1. Not a fan of his at all. He’s a big woman hater.
    Love the new design for the blog, Camron.

  2. I loved it, but I couldn’t work out why at all. Still can’t. I wouldn’t say he is a mysogynist though – normally I’m quite aware of such things, and it’s not something that has popped into my head while reading his stuff. I think it may seem so because his narrator’s voice is very similar between novels, it could easily be taken to be his personal viewpoint. But then what do I know?

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