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3.7 out of 5 stars
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3.7 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-10 of 15 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on 26 September 2002
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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on 12 September 2002
Mr Palahniuk's work has moved on. The man who brought us Fight Club, Survivor, Choke and Invisible Monsters has matured. Totally. But I'm not so sure if it's such a good thing. Or if this is what his fans want.
The plot is exaclty is stated in the synopsis.
The layout strictly follows other Chuck books - that of Fight Club, Choke and Survivor.
The narrative is, again, from a detatched first person point of view - the lead character, journalist Carl Streator.
But the themes dealt with tend to be less self-destructive than that of his previous works. They deal with moving on in life and accepting that the world around us will continue to go on no matter what. Reagrdless whether or not we want to keep up and be a part of it any longer. Accepting that this world will never be perfect - no war, no famine, no pollution - that we will always grow old and death will always com sooner or later - and we should just grow up and get on with life while it's there.
Personally, I prefer Chuck's work when it's more nihilistic. But, I did really enjoy it. I'm sure fans of his will love it. Thopse who've never read any of Chuck's work should begin with Fight Club, then Survivor, Invisible Monsters and Choke. Then read this.
But, hey, for giving us Fight Club, whatever Chuck writes will always be great.
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on 1 August 2003
This book initially attracted me because of the original, graphic design of the cover and the interesting blurb. It certainly lived up to my expectations, having read the brilliant 'Fight Club' beforehand. It was a book I could not put down - the many wonderful and creative ideas that keep recurring throughout the story kept me hooked;
'What if words could hurt?'
'The trick to forgetting the big picture is to look at everything close up.'
'Constructive destruction.'
These ideas all link together, and loose ends are tied up nicely at the end. I found myself laughing out loud at how characters in the book become corrupted by the power of the 'culling song' or the lullaby. You get to see situations that would be impossible in real life, but the book is still believable.
However, in places I found myself having to take a step back and think 'what does this actually mean?' I like to understand a book, and with 'Lullaby' you have to constantly remember back to earlier ideas to get Palahniuk's full message.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good comic read, and also loves to see deeper meanings behind words. This book certainly does explore the impact that words and sound can have, in ways you might never have imagined.
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on 14 July 2016
Well written, this was my first Palahniuk book. It's not too complicated and is simple enough to be a casual read but luckily isn't so simple as to be predicatable and boring. I wouldn't say it's the best book I've ever read at all but I do recommend it.
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on 14 February 2005
Just finished reading this book and it has all the inventiveness and humour of fight club. What in other authors hands could have been quite a dark but ultimately boring story here is entertaining and thought provoking with similar nihilism to fight club. I was quite disappointed with choke but would happily recommend this.
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on 7 November 2011
This was the fourth Palahniuk book that I have read this year since starting with the obligatory Fight Club and have enjoyed every single one. I've given the less popular ones a swerve, as some reviews on here have been quite damning. Lullaby is definitely one of his stronger stories, interesting in plot and with the usual periods of discomfort that tend to go hand-in-hand with Palahniuk's work, I greatly enjoyed this book. Not recommended to anyone who is about to have their P-plates taken, there are better books of his for an introduction, (Fight Club, Choke, Survivor) but definitely worth a read. Good solid work again from Chuck.
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on 15 December 2013
Palahniuk's writing is always surpising. You never know what to expect from his stories, which always have a critique to the capitalist western society. Lullaby is both heart-warming and exciting, sad and filled with action and bizarre magic. Worth reading.
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on 3 January 2003
Chuck Palahniuk has been criticised for his extensive following by adolescent males, a reputation which he hasn't exactly taken pains to undermine. However, in his latest book, he can perhaps distance himself from this charge. Lullaby is a lilting song, one which lulls the reader along, encouraging and inciting the reader's progression through the work, page after page.
The basic plot is well-summarised on Amazon, so I won't recite the details. Suffice it to say that Lullaby is full of interesting surprises, witty observations, and dark humour and cultural musings about the modern world. It is at once exhilarating and disturbing, in Palahniuk-esqe fashion. Fans of his work will not be disappointed. First-timers would be well-advised to start with this book.
Palahniuk has publicly stated, disturbingly, that his favourite author is Amy Hempel. One wouldn't know it, however, from reading Lullaby, and one hopes that his work will not converge with his leisure pursuits. Do not expect answers or advice from Lullaby. Do not expect to divine some deeper meaning in your life. Expect, however, to be fresh with ideas and anarchic/idealistic inspiration, and to be eagerly awaiting the next instalment in the Palahniuk canon.
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HALL OF FAMEon 11 January 2003
The only other exposure I have had to the work of this writer, Chuck Palahniuk, was the cinema version of his work, "Fight Club". If you have seen the film you already know how original a thinker he is, and while I don't know how much the story changed from book to screen, I had no trouble recognizing, "Lullaby", as the work of the same writer. I even found myself placing the same actors in the primary roles in this book that appeared in the previous film.
"Lullaby", is thought provoking at a minimum, and will take you to areas of conduct that are still among some subjects that virtually all will consider taboo. An example is Necrophilia which I think will make most people feel they are reading material that will cause varying degrees of discomfort. The entire book is meant to press the darkest buttons inside of readers, Mr. Palahniuk will venture wherever he decides his story needs to go, he offers no respite, no safe haven. Whether you like this style or not I think it is refreshing to find an author that will go in to the darkest areas of human nature, not to be puerile or exploitative, rather to utilize material that is a valid piece of his tale. He is not afraid of offending, or perhaps he is just completely honest, he writes what he needs to write, if some are put off and he sells less books, so be it. The man is not commercial.
Placing topic aside for a moment and turning to style, I find this writer's work to be original in how he presents detail. Colors play a large part in this book, so when he needs to use green it becomes much more than simply green. He describes the green that appears on the felt of a pool table, but only when the red number 3 ball is upon the felt, as opposed to the yellow number 1. Or green is not lime but rather like the color of key lime pie, not avocado but avocado bisque topped with a thin sliver of lemon. This level of description is not meant as sleight of hand or an effort to fill space; it makes the reading incredibly rich, or perhaps lush
Mr. Palahniuk is not for everyone but if you like stepping away from what you usually read, and take a bit of a risk, you may be pleasantly surprised and appropriately rewarded. This writer follows only his own path.
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on 24 May 2010
The idea of being able to kill with nothing more than thoughts is an unlikely vehicle for such a funny story, but it really works. The bleaker (and sicker) the scenarios, the funnier it gets. And although there is a constantly surreal sense to the proceedings, it never stretches the bounds of credibility. The lampooning of certain character types is masterful (realtors/estate agents, environmental activists) and the economy of language means the punchlines come at a steady pace. I laughed out loud several times (the recruitment ads for class act lawsuits eventually had me in stitches) and winced several times too. Original, compelling, thought-provoking, funny and silly - but in a good way.
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