Lullaby

Lullaby - Chuck Palahniuk This was highly recommended by a friend whose literary tastes I respect and often share. I can see some of the things she probably liked in it. She likes the fantastical and quirky, particularly served up in a literary style, and I can certainly see both virtues in the book--I just didn't particularly like the kind of quirky--or the kind of style. It's a Blair Witch kind of plot. The lullaby of the book is an African "culling song" found in Rhymes from Around the World. The thing is (as our narrator, a rather jaded reporter, finds out) read it and anyone in the room at the time dies. It's a wild premise, and I do think Palahniuk develops it creepily well and often with an off-beat, often black, humor. A blurb on the cover from People said admiringly that "among sick puppies, Palahniuk is top dog." And yes, often I did find him one sick puppy--the necrophile character was the least of it. I found pretty much all the characters repulsive. And the style? It's in a first person present favored by a lot of literati, and in the right hands that prose style can be lyrical. This never was because it's far too choppy and staccato to flow. Lots of sentence fragments, short sentences, short paragraphs, short chapters. I found it annoying--so much so, I'm unlikely to ever try this author again.