Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Review times two: Dexter and Choke

Yes, today is yet another two-fer. It's just been so busy in my world, it's hard to keep on track with the reviews! Hopefully June will be a little less busy for me so I can catch up on some extra reading! Anyways, on to the reviews!

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

by Jeff Lindsay

288 pages

My husband is actually the one who brought this little gem of a book into our house. We have been watching Dexter for a while now (and anxiously awaiting the next season to start!) and he wanted to compare the book to the show. Needless to say, he only got maybe halfway through it before he said "It's pretty much just like the show" and moved on to the next MMA-UFC related non-fiction book he could get his hands on. So, I picked it up.

It really is a lot like the show. And, I could really picture Michael C. Hall as Dexter. He really is perfect for that role.

It's full of witty, kind of dry, yet creepy humor and you really want to not like Dexter because, well, he's a MURDERER. But, since he only kills the bad guys...you just can't help but like him. Despite the look of the shiny-knife-with-bloody-happy-face cover, it's really not all that gory. Definitely nothing that will enter into your dreams and make you not be able to sleep or anything.

Oh, and the ending? Not really at all like the show. It's kind of a combination of the first two seasons of the show in this one book, but it's not really the same. For this reason, I'm really interested in reading the next two books of the series that are out because they are bound to be incredibly different from the show!

9 out of 10 stars. I love me some Dexter.


by Chuck Palahniuk

293 pages

I followed the oddly lovable Dexter book with another book featuring an odd, yet kind of likable main character. Of course, when you pick up a Palahniuk book, you KNOW that it's going to be kind of odd. "Kind of" maybe being an understatement...

So, in Choke, we follow Victor Mancini who has dropped out from medical school and is working at a colonial town setup circa 1734. He seeks sex from women at sex addicts' meeting and, to pay for his mother's assisted living facility bills, he pretends to choke at a restaurant every night so someone will save him then feel somehow obligated to send him money to help with bills (that he makes up). He keeps a detailed list of everyone who has saved him, their name, address, where, etc. All the while, his mother's health is deteriorating and he can't seem to find the reasons to care.

While the book follows Victor's present day life, there are also flashbacks of his childhood, his mother being deemed unfit to care for him and spending her time in and out of jail. Each time he ends up in a foster home, only to have his mother get out of jail and come back to kidnap him. Then she goes on about all sorts of conspiracy theories that she has. No wonder he turned out so messed up!

Everyone in the novel seemed to have really lost touch with reality, but by the end, they all kind of accept the hand they've been dealt. The whole book is centered on Victor going out, choking, then making someone feel like they're a hero, like they have something in their life to be proud of, while he's been lacking that his entire life.

8 out of 10 stars. If you like Palahniuk, I think that this is one of his better novels. And, it's on the 1001 list.


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