Choke (novel)

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It's not how long life is but the quality of our life that is important.
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Choke, novel by Chuck Palahniuk

  • Just keep asking yourself: 'What would Jesus NOT do?'
  • The world won't end with a whimper or a bang, but with a discreet, tasteful announcement: 'Bill Rivervale, phone call holding, line two.' Then nothing.
  • "The way to remember the symptoms of melanoma is the letters ABCD.
Asymmetrical shape.
Border irregularity.
Color variation.
Diameter larger than about six millimeters."
  • This is the world we live in. I've been there, taken the MCAT. The Medical College Admission Test. I went to the USC School of Medicine long enough to know that a mole is never just a mole. That a simple headache means brain tumors, means double vision, numbness, vomiting followed by seizures, drowsiness, death.
  • A little muscle twitch means rabies, means muscle cramps, thrist, confusion, and drooling, followed by seizures, coma, death. Acne means ovarian cysts. Feeling a little tired means tuberculosis. Bloodshot eyes mean meningitis. Drowsiness is the first sign of typhoid. Those floaters you see cross your eyes on sunny days, they mean your retina is detaching. You're going blind.
  • The diseases a mother can pass to her baby are TORCH: Toxoplasmosis, Other (meaning syphilis and HIV), Rubella, Cytomegalovirus, and Herpes. It helps if you can picture a mother passing the torch to her baby.
  • The glue and resin smell in new cars is formaldehyde, she'd tell him, the same thing they use to preserve dead bodies.
  • If you're ever in a big hotel lobby, and they start to play 'The Blue Danube Waltz,' get the hell out. Don't think, run.
  • You tell me, what does it get you if you can square root a triangle and then some terrorist shoots you in the head?
  • Here in your mind you have complete privacy. Here there's no difference between what is and what could be.
  • Drugs or overeating or alcohol or sex, it was all just another way to find peace. To escape what we know. Our education. Our bite of the apple.
  • Language... was just our way to explain away the wonder and the glory of the world.
  • We live and die and anything else is just delusion.
  • People had been working for so many years to make the world a safe organized place. Nobody realized how boring it would become.
  • When you're an addict, you can go without feeling anything except drunk or stoned or hungry. Still, when you compare this to other feelings, to sadness, anger, fear, worry, despair, and depression, well, an addiction no longer looks so bad. It looks like a very viable option.
  • The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because it's only intangibles, ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die.
  • The past, the future, life on other planets, everything is such a projection of life as we know it.
  • What I want is to be needed. What I need is to be indispensable to somebody. Who I need is somebody that will eat up all my free time, my ego, my attention. Somebody addicted to me. A mutual addiction.
  • The deluded little rube who thought he could ever earn enough, know enough, own enough, run fast enough, hide well enough. Fuck enough.
  • It's pathetic how we can't live with the things we can't understand. How we need everything labeled and explained and deconstructed.
  • We can spend our lives letting the world tell us who we are...Or we can decide for ourselves.
  • ...maybe it's our job to invent something better. What's it going to be, I don't know...and maybe knowing isn't the point.
  • Without access to true chaos we'll never have true peace.
  • Parenthood being the opiate of the masses.
  • When people dance to fire alarms and gun shots, something is wrong.
  • Masochism is a valuable job skill.
  • Torture is torture and humiliation is humiliation only when you choose to suffer.
  • It's the martyrdom of Saint Me.
  • In America, if your addiction isn't always new and improved, you're a failure.
  • All women have to do is get naked, and we give them all our money. I mean, why are we such slaves?
  • The magic of sexual addiction is you don't ever feel hungry or tired or bored or lonely.
  • Nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it.
  • Art never comes from happiness
  • Every son raised by a single mom is pretty much born married
  • The magic of sex is it's acquisition without the burden of possessions. No matter how many women you take home, there's never a storage problem.
  • We've taken the world apart but we have no idea what to do with the pieces.
  • By the time you're thirty, your worst enemy is yourself.
  • How can it be prostitution if all the women were dead?
  • A good addiction takes the guesswork out of death.
  • The only thing that separates us from the animals...is we have pornography.
  • (Insert word) isn't the right word, but it's the first word that comes to mind.
  • Nobody can expect you to remember every near-death experience.