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by Chuck Palahniuk

Really the only part of the synopsis you need to know is...

"The consequences of media saturation are the basis for an urban nightmare in Lullaby. Assigned to write a series of feature articles investigating SIDS, troubled newspaper reporter Carl Streator begins to notice a pattern among the cases he encounters..."

Stop right there - you don't need to read more as it will give away some plot points that are nice to discover rather than having them exposed on the dust jacket. Honestly, I'm sorry I read the entire dust jacket... I found the initial mystery and tracking of a spell as if it were a person leaving a wake behind it a wonderful read. I was really taken in by the blunt attitude of the characters.

Eventually, the story unfolds to bring old world spells into the modern world - with some rather interesting applications. There's even a description of a modern day coven that will have you either crying or laughing - depends on how seriously you take yourself.

This book uses magic as its hook but really it's a modern day Film Noir pulp detective story – complete with haggard-life-weary detective. It's got a lot of dark and dry humor. It would lend itself well to a graphic novel. As one review put it "it's chock full of eco-hippie rhetoric and nihilistic tendencies". I ask you, who can pass that up?!

You may recognize Chuck Palaniuk as the writer of Fight Club, but though I felt involved when reading that work in this book I was just an voyer - a tourist of the absurd. I feel as if I should have feet more, become more incensed about our wacky world, break out of this thing we call culture - but instead I just felt like I was rubbernecking at a car accident. That is not to say reading it was a waste of time. There are moments of startling profundity that awaken the reader to the absurdity of modern culture and make you wonder whose world is crazier - his or ours. Surprisingly, it has some very elegant writing fitted between its cultural comment and grit. Amazing paragraphs of color in contrast to the dark aspects - typical Palaniuk.

Half way through, if you can believe it, it got even more surreal (amazing huh) and, though I finished reading, it was as thought there were two books under one binding. I was not as enthralled with the second half.

Give it a peek and see what you think. But if you did not like or see moments of profundity of the counter culture statements in Fight Club, you won’t like this either.

Reviewed by Trinity




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