Carl Streator is a reporter investigating Sudden Infant Death Syndrome for a soft-news feature. After responding to several calls with paramedics, he notices that all the dead children were read the same poem from the same library book the night before they died. It's a 'culling song' - an ancient African spell for euthanizing sick or old people. Researching it, he meets a woman who killed her own child with it accidentally. He himself accidentally killed his own wife and child with the same poem twenty years earlier. Together, the man and the woman must find and destroy all copies of this book, and try not to kill every rude sonofabitch that gets in their way. Lullaby is a comedy/drama/tragedy. In that order. It may also be Chuck Palahniuk's best book yet.
There are more plot ideas in Chuck Palahniuk’s Lullaby than some writers manage in a whole book
Palahniuk starts with a throwaway thought - "what if words could hurt?" - and stretches it until it snaps
A black comic cauldron bubbling with contagious ideas
Mr. Palahniuk further refines his ability to create parables that are as substantial as they are off-the-wall
This is vintage Palahniuk: weird, creepy, twisted, upsetting, and ultimately a great read
Charles and Di, Blur vs. Oasis, mobile phones or dial tones... the Nineties were a cultural and technological melting pot. Here, from J. K. Rowling to Jonathan Coe, Ben Okri to Helen Fielding, are some of the authors who best captured the decade in words.