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Lullaby | [Chuck Palahniuk]

Lullaby

New York Times best-selling author of Fight Club, which was adapted into a major motion picture, Chuck Palahniuk offers a haunting tale. Winner of the Northwest Booksellers Association Award, Palahniuk is one of the rare literary geniuses who has been able to bridge the gap between a cult following and commercial success.
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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author of Fight Club, which was adapted into a major motion picture, Chuck Palahniuk offers a haunting tale. Winner of the Northwest Booksellers Association Award, Palahniuk is one of the rare literary geniuses who has been able to bridge the gap between a cult following and commercial success.

Carl Streator, a 40-something widower and newspaper reporter, has lived a reclusive life since the death of his wife. His latest assignment is to write a series of articles on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. In doing so, he discovers that there is an underlying commonality in the deaths. A children's book, Poems and Rhymes Around the World, containing an African Death chant, is found at the scene of the cases he investigates. Having read the chant aloud, he quickly realizes the lethal power of the words. As he fights against its powerful grip, which has turned him into a serial killer, he enlists the aid of some eccentric compatriots who vow to rid every library and bookstore of the deadly text before further lives are jeopardized. But what begins as a crusade to save lives soon becomes the ultimate game of cat and mouse, as they uncover the truth about the rhyme and are hunted by the force holding Streator captive.

Newsday hails Palahniuk as "one of the freshest, most intriguing voices to appear in a long time." Richard Poe's powerful narration expertly captures every tormented detail of this paranormal thriller.

©2002 Chuck Palahniuk; (P)2002 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"Hilarious satire." (Publishers Weekly)
"Outrageous, darkly comic fun of the sort you'd expect from Palahniuk." (Kirkus Reviews)
"In his last novel, Choke, Palahniuk proved he could write a best seller without sacrificing his trademark biting satire. And in Lullaby, he manages an even more impressive feat by showing himself capable of tenderness as well as outrage." (Booklist)
"This is vintage Palahniuk: weird, creepy, twisted, upsetting, and ultimately a great read for anyone who wants to be scared for pleasure." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (608 )
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3.9 (264 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sean Gulf Shores, AL, USA 01-12-05
    Sean Gulf Shores, AL, USA 01-12-05
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    "Palahniuk's New Hit"

    Again, Chuck Palahniuk skirts the border of genius versus insanity. "Lullaby" is a spellbinding journey through America, for control. Much more of an action adventure, than the title lets on; this book follows a man, Carl Streator, in his quest to control himself, his companions and the "Big Brother" of our world.

    Following the same style of writing as "Fight Club" and "Survivor" Palahniuk fills this book with bits of information that make "Lullaby" consistently interesting, and enhances the story. The audio selection is well read and easy to understand.

    Final Point; Great story that I couldn't stop! If you liked any other of Palahniuk's work, then this is a definite read! ~ Enjoy

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Marietta, GA, United States 07-22-05
    Barbara Marietta, GA, United States 07-22-05 Member Since 2004
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    "My first excursion into Palahniuk Country"

    ...except for the film version of "Fight Club", which I thoroughly enjoyed and which had people everywhere telling me, "But you GOTTA read the BOOK!" Somehow I never did - maybe because no one would surrender their copy.

    "Lullabye" from Audible seemed like a painless way to experience a new author, and having now done so, I'm reminded of a reviewer of Richard Brautigan's novels in the late 1960s, who wrote, "Someday, people will no longer be said the write 'novels' - instead they will write 'Brautigans'."

    "Lullabye" is the first "brautigan" I've read in decades, and a fine example it is. Inventive and intense, it might be easy for the un-brautiganized reader to fret about the dangerous world Chuck P. has created, which writhes and pulses in your hands like the fresh meat it really, really is. Not to worry, Gentle Reader, you can trust this man. He's a professional.

    I'm glad that ALL writers aren't like Chuck Palahniuk, but I very, very happy that HE is.

    PS: Very nicely read for the Audible version, too. The perfect tone, which can't have been easy to find, or maintain.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linsey BRANDON, FL, USA 04-27-05
    Linsey BRANDON, FL, USA 04-27-05
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    "Better than Diary"

    And I didn't think I could like an audiobook better than Diary! What a terrific book--I wanted to pull the car over about 100 times to jot down some great line to remember. CP never disappoints!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Chapel Hill, NC, USA 01-19-05
    Donna Chapel Hill, NC, USA 01-19-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not my cup of tea"

    This was an interesting book. I was uncertain whether it was a satire or the wanderings of someone who is losing their mind. While I probably would not read another book by this author, I must admit that it was a change of pace for me. From that perspective, I would recommend it as a choice. The characters were odd, the situations they found themselves in bordered on insanity and impossiblity just enough to draw me back to listen. I thought the author did a nice job of creating a story that kept one's interest even though it was the kind of "sick" interest one might have when driving past an accident on the highway.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 10-27-11
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 10-27-11 Member Since 2005

    Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Likely to please Palahniuk fans"

    Love him or hate him, Palahniuk???s books seem to have a common theme. In them, modern culture is cast as something of a terminal malady, a cancer rapidly consuming both the Earth and the original human spirit. For his characters, the only release is through some form of anarchic lashing out.

    In Fight Club, it was young men rediscovering their smothered masculinity through basement brawls and acts of civil destruction. Here, the story revolves around a supernatural device, a lullaby hidden in an obscure children???s book that has the power, when read, or even thought, to kill. The book???s oddball protagonists (including two characters dealing, in their own strange ways, with having accidentally killed their own families with the lullaby, and a hilariously obnoxious young vegan nudist) set off on a quest to destroy, through trickery or mayhem, every last copy of the book, but, this being Palahniuk, much consideration is also given to the idea of simply using the lullaby to put modern society out of its misery.

    The key to reading Chuck P is to accept that his books are wildly implausible and over-the-top, both in terms of how his characters act and his own reduction of the world. What Palahniuk does do, though, is shove the reader off balance, bombarding them with betcha-didn???t-know-this factoids and a bleakly humorous treatment of dark subject matter. These quotable little nuggets of twisted insight and wit are really what you get for the price of admittance, even more so than the story itself.

    Compared to Fight Club, I did find this book a bit chaotic. What plot there is is thin and makes a lot of swift turns, which had me checking my audiobook a few times to see if I???d accidentally missed some piece of information (nope). It may test the patience of non-devotees. But, on the other hand, the chaos are part of the experience and it???s not a long read. All in all, I enjoyed it. Palahniuk is his own institution (in both senses of the word) and a good break from tamer, blander novels.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clowntronics Ozarks 03-11-09
    Clowntronics Ozarks 03-11-09 Listener Since 2009

    Gaming Connoisseur

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    "See the forest for the trees"

    Although this book has it's flaws I found it a fun book to listen to in my car going to and from work. I really think that this author has his mind somewhere else other than earth and this book is proof. Everything in this book from the story to the descriptions of events are off-the- wall bizarre. HOWEVER, I have NEVER had so much fun with a book and I look forward to reading more from this guy! Long story short is that the book has it's flaws but it's kind of like a Jackie Chan movie..........terrible but wonderful at the same time!

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 04-01-08
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 04-01-08 Member Since 2007

    I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)

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    "Insanity!"

    How does one rate this book? It is not really a fantasy, though the premise is fantastic (as in "ridiculous", not as in "terrific"). If I had to pick one word to describe this story it would be "insane". The book is a spoof/satire of modern life and has very little grounding in reality so you really have to suspend your belief from the start or you'll never make it through the story.

    The reader does a terrific job. So that's worth a star.

    There were several points I was about to give up listening because, well, the story is ridiculous, but then there are some parts that are absolutely hilarious. I don't recall any other audiobook that caused me to waffle between laughing out loud (naked wiccan meeting anyone?) and turning the book off. How does this help those who are trying to decide whether to buy this or not? I gave it a star for the laughter.

    It is certainly a book you'll either like or really really REALLY dislike. The author goes off on long tirades of made up words (noiseoholics, silenceophobes, etc) which gets rather irritating after awhile. So that takes a star away.

    I have never heard or read this author before and have no idea what else he has written. I will probably not buy another of his books though - the long winded tirades were just too, well, tiring to listen to and while there are good parts, the over all story is just too crazy.

    I'd give it a 3.5 stars in total but have to choose between 3 or 4 in this rating system. I choose 4 because if you like this kind of insane mockery of reality, it's quite good and very well read, and if you don't like it, you'll HATE this book.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 05-02-12
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 05-02-12 Member Since 2009

    Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit

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    "Weird and wicked"

    I liked the fast and efficient plot delivery of this book - the author didn't waste a lot of time on superfluous detail - he just jumped right into the meat of the story. The characters are bizarre and they take each other through a gruesome adventure that reminds me of a modern day B-horror flick. There's spirits, witchcraft, ancient voodoo, perversions with corpses, and a buttload of death. If a well-crafted horror masterpiece is a six course gourmet dinner, then consider this book your favorite drive-thru burger and fries value meal with a chocolate milkshake to wash it down.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Dripping Springs, TX, USA 09-11-08
    Thomas Dripping Springs, TX, USA 09-11-08 Member Since 2004
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    "Know what your in for, and then enjoy the ride!"

    Lullaby is a book about a man who discovers that a particular children's poem has the ability to kill those who hear it, and his quest to rid the world of this cursed chant..... Now, if you think this is actually going to be a story about a man, a deadly poem, and some adventures, then you do NOT know Chuck Palahniuk.
    Lullaby is a wild ride that deviates violently from any coherent story line. Often nothing makes sense and nothing is meant to. It is an adrenaline pumped chaotic journey that happens to include an original story along the way.
    So be warned... this is not your Dickens or Ken Follet here. If your expecting that, then your going to be shocked. Chuck Palahniuk's writing is crazy and intense. It's an experience all it's own.
    I highly recommend this book for pure excitement and originality. Plus the narration fits the story perfectly.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Houston, TX, USA 03-28-08
    Brian Houston, TX, USA 03-28-08
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    "The details . . ."

    The details about this book are that the narrator's voice is straight out of a Chandler novel -- perfect for this part. The story is interesting but tested my ability to suspend my disbelief. Look at it as a work of philosophy; in that respect it holds its own. As a novel . . .well, I just couldn't care about any of the characters -- too little development and too little to be sympathetic about, unlike Fight Club where I liked the characters and the message. The dialogue and diction are witty enough, but if you want to read prose of reading prose's sake, get something from Tom Robbins like Half Asleep or Fierce Invalids. Overall, ok, but by the end, I was wishing for a culling song to use on myself.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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