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on 23 April 2017
Love Chuck Palahniuk, and once again he's written a great book! Loved the whole premise of it, the characters were so well written and the ending was just what I wanted without knowing! So good!!
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on 20 April 2017
great thank you
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VINE VOICEon 21 May 2006
'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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VINE VOICEon 14 February 2010
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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on 10 October 2002
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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on 9 April 2014
What attracted me to this novel is its incredibly interesting concept. By taking the idea that words can hurt and amplifying it to create a lullaby that can kill, Palahniuk finds a compellingly imaginative way to explore Western culture in the media age, as well the abuse of power. However, I was left with the impression that the story had failed to live up to its potential. Palahniuk undoubtedly expands upon the power of words and sounds in clever ways, and his brief envisioning of a world dramatically altered by widespread knowledge of a song that can kill is fascinating and thought-provoking. After being tantalised with such big, darkly intriguing ideas it was slightly disappointing to find that the narrative's focus became a series of repetitive chapters depicting a road trip in which the protagonist and three other characters attempt to find and destroy all books containing the fatal lullaby. The novel has its impressive aspects, such as the distinctive voice of narrator Carl Streator, which allows the reader to peer directly into his mind, with all its humorously idiosyncratic (if sometimes irritating) thought patterns. It is just unfortunate that the author brushes over some of his most interesting ideas in favour of portraying unnecessary gruesome scenes, and furthermore creates a world which is a little difficult to get a grasp of because it contains too many unlinked far-fetched occurrences.
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on 21 May 2010
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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on 21 November 2007
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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VINE VOICEon 17 September 2006
The premise of 'Lullaby' is great. An journalist has discovered that children are dying having been read an Afican culling poem. Said journalist then goes on a road trip with a few others to destroy all the existing copies of the poem, and that's that.

There are some interesting musings about individual power (and power's ability to corrupt), about loss and capitalism. Despite the basic idea, which could be considered quite depressing, it also manages to be really funny in places.

My main problem is that the core idea doesn't really go anywhere. I was left with the feeling that it would have been an amazing short story rather than a 'fleshed-out' novel.
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on 17 March 2008
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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