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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lullaby will make things better...
'The-guy-who-wrote-Fight-Club's fifth novel starts off intriguingly, based on the premise that words - specifically, a children's poem - have the power to kill. The story quickly mutates into a road trip/crusade, in which the central character and narrator, Carl Streator, attempts to destroy every copy of the poem, at the same time seeking redemption for his own...
Published on 21 May 2006 by Matt Pucci

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, fun and lively, with a dollop of schlocky macabre.
Carl, our narrator is a reporter pursuing a story about crib death. He finds in a number of cases that the parents had read a particular lullaby to their babies prior to their deaths. It turns out that this rhyme is an ancient 'culling spell', and Carl finds he can use it to kill people at will, leaving no trace. The spell is also known to Helen Boyle, a realtor who...
Published on 14 Feb 2010 by Jason Mills


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lullaby will make things better..., 21 May 2006
By 
Matt Pucci "mattpucci.com" (Here, there and everywhere) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Lullaby (Paperback)
'The-guy-who-wrote-Fight-Club's fifth novel starts off intriguingly, based on the premise that words - specifically, a children's poem - have the power to kill. The story quickly mutates into a road trip/crusade, in which the central character and narrator, Carl Streator, attempts to destroy every copy of the poem, at the same time seeking redemption for his own wrongdoings. Aiding him in this quest is his new 'family': Helen - a ruthless real-estate agent who accidentally killed her own son Patrick with the same deadly poem some years prior - Helen's secretary, Mona, and Mona's eco-warrior boyfriend, Oyster. Streator is another one of Palahniuk's great antiheroes, in as far as he succumbs to the temptation of using the 'lullaby' for his own purposes; that is, to kill anyone who pisses him off. Palahniuk's genius lies in his ability to make this seem both scarily natural and blackly hilarious.

As with all his novels, Palahniuk succeeds in creating well-rounded characters that are both despicable and heart-breakingly human, at the same time delivering an unflinching narrative and a series of stark but thought-provoking observations on American society and the world at large. Though his observations and predictions are invariably bleak, they are wrapped in warped notions of love, romance and hope for the future, giving Lullaby a unique, refreshing twist.

Occasionally, Palahniuk does seem to be labouring the point with regards to the idea that words and music have become a disease of the mind. It is also worth noting that Lullaby is one of Chuck's more far-fetched novels, as he delves into the worlds of witch-craft and occupation spells, but, with a healthy suspension of disbelief, the reader should reach the final page of this strange and beautiful novel completely convinced of Palahniuk's fortitude as a master story-teller.

Matt Pucci
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent book, 10 Oct 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Lullaby (Paperback)
I have read three of Chuck's books, and I started out with Lullaby. This is the book that made me want to read his other novels... and to finally get round to watching fightclub.
He's a truly excellent writer, though the style of Lullaby is certainly different to the other books. It's much more subtle than his previous novels, which is the beauty of it. He describes this poem, which when read aloud will kill people. The first instance is with cot death. It's an idea this simple that is chilling, especially for all those mothers out there. He describes the chaos that would rein if society ever found out about is, yet adds a dark humour to it.
I think Chuck is a fantastic writer with a great and refreshing style, he's certainly very gifted and probably sees and analyses much more than you and I ever think about.
It really is well worth the read, and if you've never read and of Chuck's work before then I would definitely pick the subtle chilling novel before moving on to the more complex plots. But they're all great, and you won't be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does It Again, 17 Oct 2010
By 
Mr. M. A. Reed (Argleton, GB) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lullaby (Paperback)
"LULLABY" by Chuck Palahniuk

There are many rumours about Chuck Palahniuk. That he lives alone. That's he's secretly been married for eight years. That he lives on an abandoned farm in the middle of desolate American wasteland, hasn't got a television, and accesses the net maybe once every two weeks.

That his grandfather murdered his grandmother, and then stomped around the house with an axe looking for an 8 year old Chuck who was hiding under the bed. That his father was murdered in a driveway by a jilted lover only two years ago. That he has facial reconstructive surgery every three years. And that people call him "Sir" in restaurants when he asks for clean food.

Rumour knows nothing. Some of the things that people say about me, I don't even recognise the guy they're talking about.

But what I'm about to tell you is fact. "Lullaby" is Palahniuk's best book since his debut. Whereas previously his other novels have dealt with the personal apocalypse, this novel ups the ante in style. This time the whole fate of mankind could rest on the whims of anyone who can memorise a short poem.

The power to give and take life makes whomever has it a God. In "Lullaby" we can all play God.

With noble intentions to track down and eliminate every copy of this culling poem, Carl Streator instead learns that power corrupts. And the power to murder is absolute power. In Palahniuk's convincing first-person narrative, we learn only what Streator sees. A world of babbling fools, whom with the power to kill ever present in his mind, can soon be turned into a paradise.

It's no surprise that our narrator is faced with the temptation of becoming one of the biggest serial killers in human history and just can't help himself.

And so, in breathless, clipped prose and surreal plot developments, in urban paranoia and characters described solely by their computer passwords, Palahniuk gives us a nightmarish vision of a world that is possible, but just beyond the plausible. A world where things continue ceaselessly, often without reason, and yet its still a world we recognise, a world we despise, a world that if we had the power, maybe we would give into that temptation.

He's done it again. You'll love this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, fun and lively, with a dollop of schlocky macabre., 14 Feb 2010
By 
Jason Mills "jason10801" (Accrington, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lullaby (Paperback)
Carl, our narrator is a reporter pursuing a story about crib death. He finds in a number of cases that the parents had read a particular lullaby to their babies prior to their deaths. It turns out that this rhyme is an ancient 'culling spell', and Carl finds he can use it to kill people at will, leaving no trace. The spell is also known to Helen Boyle, a realtor who specialises in repeatedly selling the same haunted houses. What they do with this lethal knowledge and how it changes their lives forms the bulk of the story.

The book is abuzz with ideas, every short chapter adding some lively new development to the mix. It comes to be about trying to find meaning in life, through the din of consumerist culture. (This chimes with my memory of themes in the movie Fight Club, based on another of Palahniuk's books.) It's funny, colourful, inventive, smart, sprinkled with interesting facts, and sometimes moving - though not for the faint-hearted. (Necrophilia anyone? Broken babies?) For all that, though I enjoyed and admired it, I wasn't gripped to the page.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great concept, underwhelmed by the execution, 24 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Lullaby (Paperback)
The concept of this book is fantastic. Imagine a world in which words had the power to control life and death. The author's style however, whilst apparently revered, wasn't to my taste. I would have liked a book that would have further explored the concept of the power of words, rather than some rather lengthy and seemingly irrelevant descriptions that added nothing to the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best, 21 May 2010
By 
F. Wight "F.W" (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lullaby (Paperback)
Lullaby is really quite similar to a few of Palahniuk's books.

They all start off with a great idea and run with it completely, at no point does it stop or limit itself within 'reason' - this is a good thing. The only problem is that by doing it again and again, were not asking 'what next' because we just know that its very likely to just keep expanding before what passes for a conclusion is added on at the end.

I do love Chuck Palaniuk's books - I really really do, but lullaby is just a bit average and slightly boring.

It has the similar road chat that Invisible has, the same family characteristics like all his books, and ofc the slightly skewed more gruesome take on every day life.

Even if this was the first of his books that I read, I don't think I'd have been a fan. The conversations were uninteresting and held pretty much no tension - which when you can kill someone so easily you could simply add in easily.
Wasn't a big fan of any of the characters either for that matter, they just wern't interesting and I found their motivations pretty cliched and unoriginal.

Overall I found it a lazy book which was dull and unoriginal. Maybe you should try another one of his books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!!, 17 Mar 2008
By 
C. Jenkins "CJ" (Bridgend, South Wales) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lullaby (Paperback)
This book is written on so many levels that it keeps the reader's attention throughout.
This was my first novel by this author, it was recommended to me by a colleague at work; I am forever greatful.
It has opended my eyes to a way of writing that has provided an escape that turns and takes the reader on a journey they will never forget.
I can't wait to read more titles and I had never known about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arresting, 21 Nov 2007
By 
This review is from: Lullaby (Paperback)
Lullaby was an absolutely fantastic read. Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Fight Club, I decided to go through the rest of Palahniuck's books. Lullaby is very dark, very gritty and bitterly addictive. It is definitely not a book for the faint hearted, or the easily fazed. It has strong sexual references, including some that turn the stomach. Palahniuck's writing is astounding, he doesn't simply push the boundaries, he sets them alight. This was definitely a book that I found hard to put down, Palahniuck's characters are vivid and intricate, and frighteningly credible. He goes where most writers do not dare, to the dirty, corrupted world of criminals, but also of the police and people in positions of power and trust.

An incredible book, the imagery impressed upon you will stick with you forever.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rewarding, 26 Sep 2002
By 
Steven Willis (Newcastle, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lullaby (Paperback)
I was initially quite disappointed with Lullaby when I began reading it, for the simple reason that I thought the plot was just so implausible and far-fetched! But obviously this being Chuck Palahniuk it can't be taken too literally, and once I'd got my head around that I really enjoyed it. I think it should be mentioned in reviews that this isn't really a horror novel. It is psychologically provocative, and has an occult glossing, but is more of a statement about media influence than anything traditionally 'horror'. I don't think it is a big departure from his previous novels. Lullaby has really short chapters, and this helps the narrative keep its pace throughout, which is important to the story. There are loads of typical Palahniuk twists and subplots, which really make the book for me. I find his books to be like three-quarter finished jigsaws, which the reader has to complete, using what is in front of them, and Lullaby continues this. Overall, it doesn't beat Survivor (for me personally), but it is a quality addition to the authors' remarkable body of work.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not Grounded Enough for Me, 1 Jun 2014
By 
N. Baseley (Haslemere, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lullaby (Kindle Edition)
I'll try to avoid spoilers but my reasons for disliking Palahniuk's Lullaby when I enjoyed Fight Club and Choke so much, might be too much info for some, so proceed with caution!

With Lullaby I was hooked from the prologue - a description of Helen Hoover Boyle in her job as realtor specialising (not that her clients know) in haunted property. Ah, I thought, I can't wait for the reveal... whatever is happening, it can't actually be supernatural. Deeper and deeper into the novel, and more incredulous unreal events. The whole time, me waiting for the twist.

Now, my disappointment was simply due to expectation from Fight Club and Choke - exaggerated, fantastic, but grounded. In Lullaby, it was such a big ask of me that I just couldn't go there with him. As such I spent far too much time trying to work out a twist that was never scheduled to arrive.

Yes, still nicely written, fun with surprises. Just not the surprises I needed!
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Lullaby
Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk (Paperback - 5 Jun 2003)
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