Book Review: Fight Club by Chuck Palahnuik


Fight Club has been on my list for years but I could never find a copy cheap enough. Palahniuk books are always so expensive! A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a link that provided e-book collections of Palahniuk (and Haruki Murakami, among other authors!!!) and I just couldn’t help myself! So, I read Fight Club first it has been a roller coaster ride. Here’s to me breaking the first and second rule!

Fight Club is about an insomniac who finds refuge in attending support groups for the terminally ill (he’s healthy, except for the fact that he can’t sleep). Here he meets a fraud just like him in the form of a skinny chain smoker named Marla. He is both infuriated and captivated by her. On a business trip, he meets Tyler Durden, a charismatic character who helps him change his life forever through a secret group where men pound on each other as a form of release. This group quickly evolves as it catches on, growing bigger and bigger and develops an agenda to revolutionize society as we know it. The group consists of everyday people you see, they are everywhere, they are the people who cook your food, clean up after you, guard your houses, deliver your mail. They are the backbone of the community and they are unstoppable.

As I was reading the book I found myself wishing I could experience this without watching the movie yet. Palahniuk’s writing is raw and rugged, he tells it how it is, all with the dirty details. He helps you vividly visualize the horror and grime.

“We don’t have a great war in our generation, or a great depression, but we do, we have a great war of the spirit. We have a great revolution against culture. The great depression is our lives. We have a spiritual depression.”

Seeing Fight Club and Project Mayhem in greater detail is amazing. Figuring out that Tyler Durden is actually the narrator’s split personality is just mesmerizing. Having seen the film a handful of times already, I saw the signs of it before the narrator figures it out for himself and I wished I never saw the movie so I could have my mind blown all over again.

I am so amazed by Tyler Durden. His philosophies and pep talks speak the cold hard truth. The way he thinks just captivates me. It must be nice to share the consciousness of Tyler Durden, to experience his thoughts.

If I wasn’t so busy I would have finished the book in a few days. I just tore through it and couldn’t stop reading. The book has a way of gripping you by the balls and showing you how shitty life can be. It shows you how pathetically you live your life, striving for material things that are destructible. It makes you wanna punch people, tbh.

The book’s ending is different from the movie. Both are open ended and I honestly like them both. The movie ending was metaphorical and a little hopeful, while the book ending stays true with its hard reality fucked up theme and ends with the narrator in the hospital after his plan to shoot Tyler Durden out of his head, was futile and that he can’t seem to get away from the army Tyler built and Project Mayhem lives.

My rating: ★★★★★

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