Friday, April 26, 2013

Review: Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk

Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk

Published June 5th 2003 by Vintage (first published July 28th 1999)


"Ever heard of a culling song? It’s a lullaby sung in Africa to give a painless death to the old or infirm. The lyrics of a culling song kill, whether spoken or even just thought. You can find one on page 27 of Poems and Rhymes from Around the World, an anthology that is sitting on the shelves of libraries across the country, waiting to be picked up by unsuspecting readers.

Reporter Carl Streator discovers the song’s lethal nature while researching Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and before he knows it, he’s reciting the poem to anyone who bothers him. As the body count rises, Streator glimpses the potential catastrophe if someone truly malicious finds out about the song. The only answer is to find and destroy every copy of the book in the country. Accompanied by a shady real-estate agent, her Wiccan assistant, and the assistant’s truly annoying ecoterrorist boyfriend, Streator begins a desperate cross-country quest to put the culling song to rest."


Let me first off let you all know about how Chuck Palahniuk never, EVER fails to blow my mind. Lullaby was no exception to this rule. I would however like to say that although I did like this book, it's not the best he's ever written. Then again, it's not making itself out to be the best. This book was written as a way for Palahniuk to cope with a tragedy in his life and he wrote this solely for himself -- yes, it's published and shared among readers but in the end, so is this blog. I write solely for the joy of writing, but I also want to share my thoughts and feelings about what I'm writing as well.

So to enlighten those of you who don't know, Palahniuk wrote this book to help him cope with a big decision. In unfortunate tragedy, his father and his father's girlfriend were murdered by the girlfriend's ex-boyfriend. The murderer was caught, and was put on trial, but they gave Palahniuk the opportunity to be a part of a decision; does this murderer live, or die?

This is a large theme in the novel -- the idea of playing God. Who are we to decide who lives or dies? When that power is imparted on us, what do we use it for? There's also the old "sticks and stones" idea. How badly can words hurt? There's also a lot of mention about how much we're influenced by the media; noise from televisions, radio, movies, music and so on and so forth. This book, as strange as any of Chuck Palahniuk's books ring with a lot of things worth thinking about. It's also a story about a merry band of misfits on a road trip, which is also kinda fun.

Lullaby isn't Palahniuk's best work, in my humble opinion, but it isn't bad either. I think if you're a fan of his other stories then you would enjoy this. Although I liked reading this, Invisible Monsters still rings as my favourite from this author. I really liked the themes and ideas that this book portrayed, but I also felt that the direction was disjointed and the characters were difficult to like sometimes. Basically, it was good in places but fell apart in other areas. With that, let's move onto the bookworm rating:

Rating: 3/5 Bookworms

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