Friday, March 28, 2008

Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk (March 24 - March 26)

Lullaby marks my first venture into the dark twisted world of Chuck Palahniuk who has taken on cult status over the last 10 years or so providing his readers with effervescent bizzare fables usually with strong social commentary (which is where the comparisons to Vonnegut come in) and a crude sense of humor. The plot in this book is as strange as they come taking on elements of the fantasmic involving a children's book of poems that when read outloud or even thought of has the power to kill anyone instantly. The protagonist is a journalist reporter investigating crib deaths who ends up forming a relationship with a real estate agent who sells haunted houses. Along with her secretary and boyfriend who are well versed in wiccan religion, they all set off on a road trip across America to trackdown these books of poems to destroy them. With such an interesting premise, Palahniuk spends too much time on nihilistic rants of contemporary society from mass media brainwashing to the apocalypse rather than the actual story. That isn't to say the story is shoved aside entirely for the sake of self-conscious ramblings. It just feels slightly rushed and only starts to get interesting once the climax arrives. This is a quick read that was thoroughly entertaining and although it didn't really leave much of an impression I'd still recommend it as an excellent piece of edgy post-modern literature that tackles some controversial subject matter in a cynical imaginative way.


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