Carl Streator is a middle-aged widower who has been running from his past for twenty years. After relocating to a new town following the tragic deaths of his wife and infant, he is now working as a reporter and is writing a story about cases of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). After visiting several crime scenes, Carl discovers a pattern--at each bedside he finds the same book open to the same page. On this page appears an ancient African poem, and Carl is led to discover that this is actually a culling song with the power to kill the listener. Carl next goes on a road trip with his confidante, Helen Boyle, seeking every copy of the book so that they can remove the poem and save other innocents from dying via the culling song.
Palahniuk's newest packs a punch and catches his readers off guard. Lullaby is both a chilling commentary on modern society as well as a psychological thriller bordering on fantasy and, at times, even horror. However, at the same time this is also vintage Palahniuk, combining even horror with humor and satire. This novel is recommended for Palahniuk's devoted fans as well as readers who enjoy satire and black humor.
Reviewed by aw, 11/02. Other reviews by aw.