Thursday, September 18, 2008

Book: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, 208 pages

books to movies challenge,

I'm sorry to say so but, sadly it's true that bang-ups and hang-ups can happen to you.-- Dr. Seuss

I haven't seen the movie yet, but I am intrigued, and of course, there is Brad Pitt.

This book is quite good, but probably not for everyone. The narrator, never named, has insomnia, and starts attending self help groups (liver cancer, melanoma, testicular cancer, brain parasites) around town to get a feeling of wellness. He runs into Marla, also attending self help groups she has no business going to. Around this time, the narrator meets Tyler Durden. They represent the new white male in America, who are working to get stuff that should, but doesn't, fulfill them. In an effort to feel something, anything, they start the Fight Club, for the chance to hit and be hit, no rules and finally feel like men. The first rule of Fight Club is that you don't talk about fight club. Eventually this doesn't become enough and Project Mayhem begins.

The writing style is unique and repetitive and helps the book have the impact it does. There was a Gen X feel to the narration, that this book is the coming of age of a new male, a generation of men raised by women, with no meaningful place in society. Consumerism is also ranted about as a great evil. The plot takes a very interesting twist near the end that I had started to suspect, but it was still good. I liked how the disassociation they felt for society was portrayed, although the thought that there are such angry people is quite scary.

Dark, twisted, violent, and a statement of a sad generation.

As an aside, I've watched Big Brother all season, and they had a Swim Club, where Dan tried to teach Renny and Ollie how to swim. The first rule of Swim Club was never to talk about Swim Club. Ha! I never would have know the significance before this book. I must rent the movie.


  1. OOOOOHHHHHHHH! So there WAS meaning to the rule of not talking about Swim Club! Tee Hee. Thank you for tying it together for people like me. :) I liked that scene anyway, though - just didn't get the deeper meaning behind it.

    Now, you have me VERY CURIOUS about this book. I'm going to do some more exploring now. Thanks!

  2. When I saw that scene, I knew Dan would win. He was so genuinely nice to people. I loved how Dan didn't take anything personally, it was just a game, and he had so much fun playing it.

    I read online at TWoP that there was more to Swim Club. One day Dan put Renny on Detention for making faces behind his back - she had to swim extra laps!

    I never would have gotten the regerence, but it makes it even funnier now knowing where it's from. We are in the loop now, Joy!

    About this book, I don't know... if you would like it. It was different, and you are more critical of books than I am. It's quite violent and gross, which never bothers me, but you might mind it more. On the other hand, it is short, so it's not a long time to be upset.

  3. You must see the movie! I am not sure how it will compare to the book, but the movie rocked in my opinion.

    I have only read "Invisible Monsters" by Palahniuk, but I should pick up something else by him one day.

  4. Thank you, Raidergirl! I quickly told my husband about this and he said I would NOT like the movie, but that I may be able to handle the book.

    As for Dan - love him!!! :) LOL on the detention. I loved this season. (I think I say that every year, though.)

  5. I'd like to e-mail you - is your address posted?

  6. joy - i'm raidergirl3 at gmail dot com

    BB was so good this year, even the worst people weren't that bad. And I liked Memphis a lot too, he was pretty cool, funny dry in the diary room.

  7. The movie is fantastic!! I am regretting right now that we don't have a VHS player so I can watch it. It is, however, incredibly bloody--which doesn't always bother me but there is one scene that is pretty brutal.

    The only book I've read by Palahniuk is Choke and I was a little turned off--about a s*x addict and it is pretty graphic in terms of language and content. I liked a lot of things about the book but I haven't been jumping to get anything else by him because I don't necessarily like gratuitous things. Does this one run along the same lines??

  8. The movie is so awesome. I really want to read the book now, curious what was changed/left out when it shifted to film (something always gets lost) and hoping it will be even better (the books usually are).

  9. Phooey to what my husband says - now I really want to see the movie!!! lol (He'll be happy that I'll watch it with him. I can always close my eyes!)

  10. I just read one of the early reviews of choke. Looks like a really good movie. I love the book, and cant wait to see it.

  11. I just read one of the early reviews of choke. Looks like a really good movie. I love the book, and cant wait to see it.

  12. I enjoyed the movie very much! I'm glad you enjoyed the book.

  13. I liked the film a lot and have been meaning to read something by Palahniuk at some point so will give this a go when I have some free time. He seems to be one of those really popular cult authors along with Irvine Welsh who wrote Trainspotting.


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