Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk


12 Critic Reviews

Outrageous, darkly comic fun of the sort you’d expect from Palahniuk.


Ever heard of a culling song? It’s a lullaby sung in Africa to give a painless death to the old or infirm. The lyrics of a culling song kill, whether spoken or even just thought. You can find one on page 27 of Poems and Rhymes from Around the World, an anthology that is sitting on the shelves of libraries across the country, waiting to be picked up by unsuspecting readers.

Reporter Carl Streator discovers the song’s lethal nature while researching Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and before he knows it, he’s reciting the poem to anyone who bothers him. As the body count rises, Streator glimpses the potential catastrophe if someone truly malicious finds out about the song. The only answer is to find and destroy every copy of the book in the country. Accompanied by a shady real-estate agent, her Wiccan assistant, and the assistant’s truly annoying ecoterrorist boyfriend, Streator begins a desperate cross-country quest to put the culling song to rest.

Written with a style and imagination that could only come from Chuck Palahniuk, Lullaby is the latest outrage from one of our most exciting writers at work today.

About Chuck Palahniuk

See more books from this Author
Chuck Palahniuk is the author of the best-selling novels Fight Club, Survivor, Lullaby, Diary, Rant, Damned, and many other works of fiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.
Published July 29, 2003 by Knopf Group E-Books. 274 pages
Genres: Horror, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, Professional & Technical, Crime, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Lullaby
All: 12 | Positive: 9 | Negative: 3


Above average

Outrageous, darkly comic fun of the sort you’d expect from Palahniuk.

Read Full Review of Lullaby | See more reviews from Kirkus


Below average
on Sep 28 2002

One gets the feeling that Palahniuk takes his social diagnoses more seriously than he takes his story.

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Publishers Weekly

Above average

Palahniuk's decision to commit himself to a genre, and this horror tale of both magic and mundane modernity plants him firmly in a category where previously he existed as a genre of one.

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Star Tribune

on Sep 14 2002

Palahniuk offers in spare, straightforward prose a harrowing and hilarious glimpse into the future of civilization.

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Book Reporter

on Jan 22 2011

Uncomfortable and nihilistic yet thrilling and funny, LULLABY is a small masterpiece of both imagination and reality.

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AV Club

on Oct 11 2002

For the first time since Fight Club, he's not only telling a highly entertaining story, but also shaping a riveting world where the incipient breakdown of society is equal parts insurmountable horror and blessed relief.

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Booklist Online

Reviewed by John Green on Mar 24 2014

It’s a fun ride, but what separates this novel from Palahniuk’s previous work (Fight Club, 2001) is its emotional depth, its ability to explore the unbearable pain of losing a child just as richly as it laments our consume-or-die worldview.

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Suite 101

Above average
on Apr 16 2011

Palahniuk's theme may grow tired, but this supernatural story keeps you holding on to an interesting ride.

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Below average
on Oct 14 2002

His jabs at consumerism are as well-aimed as ever, but like some of his other books Lullaby ends by tap-dancing in its own gore... Bold black comedy, but too bitter for most

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on Feb 17 2011

After Survivor, Lullaby is my favorite Chuck Palahniuk book. In fact, no other book he has written since then has made me laugh and wince as much, or turn the pages as quickly.

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Shelf Life ~ Book reviews from the VC/UHV Library

Below average
Reviewed by vcuhvlibrarian on Dec 06 2012

It’s a quick read and the characters are well developed, but early on in the book there are hauntings in some of the local houses, and Lullaby fails to tie up those loose ends.

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Teen Ink


With this story's plot, characters, and the author's style of writing, this book is a good read for anyone especially for someone who can agree with the author's philosophies and really understand the bigger picture in the book.

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Reader Rating for Lullaby

An aggregated and normalized score based on 513 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

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Michael Manley 19 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 5 out of 5