And so they do, in Chuck Palahniuk's morbid and uncomfortably fun Lullaby. Abashed, I admit that Lullaby is only the third story that I've read by author Chuck Palahniuk (though, as I type this review, I've since completed another of his works). I was beginning to believe that the lust for literature was waning with the ending of the year, but it was that a friend made a veritable mountain of books a gift to me, and upon its summit was crowned a slim, white volume with a day-glow yellow bird printed on its cover - belly up.
Not one to waste time with neon roadkill, I plucked the pages from their perch and was quick to discover that the book was authored by none other than Mr. Palahniuk, a writer whom I'd grown to respect over the past several years. I can't tell if it's the (not so) vague sheen of misanthropy that glistens over his prose, or the irony that pesters his protagonists with the subtlety of a hidden bandsaw, but I always felt the writer was a man after my own heart. I drifted through Lullaby with the long forgotten ease of being lost within story, and the book proved to be anything but disappointing.
Lullaby tells the tale of Carl Streator, a solitary reporter who, while collecting information for a piece on "sudden infant death syndrome" comes into possession of an African culling song - a chant that was traditionally used to bring final rest to the wounded and the infirm. Streator speaks the culling song at first only to test his theory that it's the link to the many local crib deaths he's investigating. When Streator's editor drops dead from no apparent cause, however, our hero finds himself out of luck and on the run - trailing a host of pagans, policemen, and unrepentant necrophiles as a colonnade of corpses stacks less than neatly within the wake.
Now, does that sound like fun or what?