Reviews of Lullaby (2002)
Firstly, Chuck Palahniuk has been hyped to me from nearly everyone I know. They all praise him as their favorite author, and claim that his writing is very twisted.
I went into this book knowing it was not supposed to be his best (from all accounts, either Fight Club or Survivor is his magnum opus), but I was still told that it was supposed to be very very good and that the ending was great. Amazing plot twists is what expected.
The writing itself is very well done, with just enough cookyness to retain my curiosity. However, I find that Palahniuk believes himself to be the most clever person alive, and sometimes these random "oh-ho, I'm so clever. Look at this cool quote or comparison" blurbs detract from the overall flow of the story or appear very out of context.
It's kind of like he needs to prove he can think of good quotes, over and over again.
The plot is fairly decent, and the premise of the Culling song is quite interesting and original. However, the lame plot twists at the end of the story were very Hollywood-esqu. Like something you'd see in a Blockbuster horror film or in a Goosebumps book. Sure, the story twists, but it eventually breaks.
There were also a few plot-holes regarding, among other things, the Culling song and the translation of the other spells.
It just doesn't make sense. How is it that Carl does not die when Nash reads the culling song aloud at the bar? I thought it kills anyone who hears it?
How can I possibly believe that Helen, a woman with no prior knowledge of ancient languages, can so easily translate texts that are thousands of years old with textbooks she just randomly picked-up somewhere? It would take experts a substantial amount of time to figure the text out...
How did Nash find it? Carl states that he has no idea how Nash discovers the song, and apparently Palahniuk doesn't have an answer either.
A good book, but definitely not great. His writing intrigued me enough to make me want to read his other books. They seem to have better plots (excluding the lame-sounding Diary)
5/10 - Plus 5 for the awesome writing and the interesting concept. Minues 5 for the jumbled ending and plot-holes.
Review by dvogel (2004-03-10)
Overall this is a good book. I gave it a 7/10. It is well written. You really begin to empathize with the main character as he looses control of himself. The ending, while cleverly written, felt a little cheap.
Review by Jorapello (2003-03-07)
Not as good as most of his other books-- after September 11th, Palahniuk tried to get away from satirical commentaries on society, and went more towards disturbing horror novels. This is still a fantastic book with many great plot twists. A beautiful change of pace, while still retaining classic Palahniuk overtones. Classic.