Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk (2002)


L: 9/10

M: 8/10

 Analysis from a silent letter, looking for its sound:

More nostalgia here for me. Another homer pick and another trip down memory lane. It took me a few chapters to fall right back in step with this story and let Mr. Palahniuk’s words possess me once more. These were the glory days for Chuck when all of his books came out firing on all cylinders. His first several books really had a captivating edge that I feel has been a little dulled as of late. His earlier stories throw you headfirst into the deep end of one of his crazy worlds, forced to find your own way and having an awe-inspiring time trying to make it to the surface.

Lullaby spends it’s majority as a bizarre road trip tale, slicing back and forth across the states. The cast of characters never really make a cohesive group, and no character really stands out as likable. The information vomit that Chuck buries you in is a little overwhelming at times in this book. It’s as interesting as always (ways civilization has already destroyed the world, different types of witchcraft, Greek culture), but the way it’s delivered feels a little robotic.

My only other gripe with this book is the lack of a real villain. The book they hunt for and its page they wish to destroy is the main baddie here. Flash forwards show that a different type of hunt comes out of the road trip, but when the who’s and what’s have been revealed the end credits are already rolling and a great story is kind of left floating in the air. I’d have to argue with myself here and conclude that any work that leaves you longing for more must-have left its mark. And that’s exactly what Chuck does with Lullaby. I’ll continue to dive headfirst into whatever world he crafts next.

Analysis from a choose your own adventure snob:

Perhaps I was still feeling the sting from being burned by the disaster of Beautiful You, but this book was a hard sell at the beginning for me. I hate the feeling that I’m not cool enough to get what Chuck is dishing out, so it was with a heavy heart that I read the first few chapters. Then…out of nowhere…BAM! Brilliance! I mean, the entire idea behind this book is just incredible. The power to kill with no repercussions. At will murder to someone at any time or place is a terrifying concept. Chasing down books of spells to save lives while ending some along the way. What mind comes up with these twists and turns? I’m torn between wanting to live in it and wanting to have it committed. The book is surprising and dark following a man and his makeshift family I would never want to be apart of. Chuck paints such graphic pictures with his words that images I’ve never seen are burned in my brain. A foot full of shards of random structures, a mouth of chewed up diamonds, a room full of naked hippies, and fucking chili everywhere…these are now in my mental albums. Fuck you, Chuck. Fuck you, and thank you. Now, this is my life.


Chuck Palahniuk

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