Choke by Chuck Palahniuk Essay

Reading the novel Choke, by Chuck Palahniuk, followed by watching the movie Choke by director Clark Greeg, puts the words you previously read, to life, on screen. There wasn’t much difference between the novel and the book in the general Story line. The main character Victor Mancini, a medical school dropout, con artist, and sex addict makes a living being a colonial “tour guide” as his mother put it, as well as pretending to choke in ritzy restaurants, taking money from the people who have saved him from his close encounters with death. Come on, how else is he supposed to keep his mother alive and pay her nursing home bills?

His character in the movie fit the books description like a glove. The dark yet comical mood of the movie is the same as in the book. The book is very repetitive; the movie pushes you through the story swiftly, still getting the valid points across. Ida, Victor’s mother isn’t the greatest role model for a child to have. She is a junkie, criminal, and we later find out a kidnapper. (Throughout the story we see her kidnapping victor from his foster families, but the big surprise doesn’t come until the end when we find out that Victor isn’t even her child.

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She stole him out of a stroller in Waterloo, Iowa when he was a baby. ) Needless to say, Ida’s character was perfectly portrayed as imagined from the book in the movie. Paige Marshall, the “doctor” who we find out was really a patient the whole time played a great “under cover nut,” in the movie and in the book. You really would not have been able to pin her out as a patient until you saw or read her bracelet drop. Denny, Victor’s best friend and fellow sex addict, isn’t as hardcore in the movie as he is in the book, yet blends right into the story line without causing so much chaos.

Personally I don’t feel like there was as much reference to sexual relations or contact between actual people in the movie, as there was jam packed into the book. Although we do see it in Victor’s visions of almost every woman he sees, young or old, good looking or not so much, topless, which makes up for that slightly. The almost rape scene, not included in the text, between Victor and the neat freak woman he found in the classified section of the newspaper, was as strange yet funny as something Palahniuk would have come up with so it fit in great to the movie.

One clear un-arguable difference between the movie and the book was the ending. In the book we read about a news cast that draws all the people who have “saved” Victor from choking throughout his life to help him and Denny build Denny’s rock structure. When they all show up they discover that they all have been victims of Victor’s life long hoax. We also see evidence of these people’s existence throughout the book more than throughout the plot of the movie. The movie ends on a happier note with a reunion of Paige Marshall and Victor on an airplane hooking up. They gave the movie a happy ending rather than a realistic one.

Addiction is something that is a very real issue in the world today. People can be addicted to anything whether it be drugs, sex, video games, food, exercise, school, anything not done in moderation, good or bad, without having the will power to stop is an addiction. Just like Victor narrates in the book, they are your everyday people, the ones you shake hands with on a daily basis. Everyone’s looking for that thing that makes them happy. Sex Rehab with Doctor Drew on VH1, has brought to light the idea of sex addiction. There are a couple kinds of sex addicts.

There are ones like Victor, who are addicted to the act of sex with another person, many people, and can not create a healthy relationship with one person because of it. Than you have people like Denny who are addicted to masturbation, the feeling they get from it is better than anything in the world to them and they do it so much that it gets in the way of their life. You can see both the characteristics of Denny and Victor in the people on this television show. They didn’t become this way out of no where, they had issues in their childhood, or throughout their life that made them become this way. Victor had what you could call Mommy issues.

The only person throughout his life he ever had a relationship growing up with was his Mother, which was never a stable in the first place. They were always on the run, how could he make any kind of healthy relationships with others, how is he supposed to learn? Now that he is grown he spends time with these women who he sees once a week at a 12 step meeting has sexual relations with, and doesn’t see or hear from them again until the next week patterns that were instilled in him as a child. Overall, the movie paralleled the book and one enhanced the other, there was never a dull moment in either one which kept you hanging on.


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