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Fight Club: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Chuck Palahniuk
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,081 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The first rule about fight club is you don't talk about fight club.


In his debut novel, Chuck Palahniuk showed himself to be his generation's most visionary satirist. ?Fight Club?'s estranged narrator leaves his lackluster job when he comes under the thrall of Tyler Durden, an enigmatic young man who holds secret boxing matches in the basement of bars. There two men fight "as long as they have to." A gloriously original work that exposes what is at the core of our modern world.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The only person who gets called Ballardesque more often than Chuck Palahniuk is, well... J.G. Ballard. So, does Portland, Oregon's "torchbearer for the nihilistic generation" deserve that kind of treatment? Yes and no. There is a resemblance between Fight Club and works such as Crash and Cocaine Nights in that both see the innocuous mundanities of everyday life as nothing more than the severely loosened cap on a seething underworld cauldron of unchecked impulse and social atrocity. Welcome to the present-day U.S. of A. As Ballard's characters get their jollies from staging automobile accidents, Palahniuk's yuppies unwind from a day at the office by organizing bloodsport rings and selling soap to fund anarchist overthrows. Let's just say that neither of these guys are going to be called in to do a Full House script rewrite any time soon.

But while the ingredients are the same, Ballard and Palahniuk bake at completely different temperatures. Unlike his British counterpart, who tends to cast his American protagonists in a chilly light, holding them close enough to dissect but far enough away to eliminate any possibility of kinship, Palahniuk isn't happy unless he's first-person front and center, completely entangled in the whole sordid mess. An intensely psychological novel that never runs the risk of becoming clinical, Fight Club is about both the dangers of loyalty and the dreaded weight of leadership, the desire to band together and the compulsion to head for the hills. In short, it's about the pride and horror of being an American, rendered in lethally swift prose. Fight Club's protagonist might occasionally become foggy about who he truly is (you'll see what I mean), but one thing is for certain: you're not likely to forget the book's author. Never mind Ballardesque. Palahniukian here we come! --Bob Michaels

From Publishers Weekly

Featuring soap made from human fat, waiters at high-class restaurants who do unmentionable things to soup and an underground organization dedicated to inflicting a violent anarchy upon the land, Palahniuk's apocalyptic first novel is clearly not for the faint of heart. The unnamed (and extremely unreliable) narrator, who makes his living investigating accidents for a car company in order to assess their liability, is combating insomnia and a general sense of anomie by attending a steady series of support-group meetings for the grievously ill, at one of which (testicular cancer) he meets a young woman named Marla. She and the narrator get into a love triangle of sorts with Tyler Durden, a mysterious and gleefully destructive young man with whom the narrator starts a fight club, a secret society that offers young professionals the chance to beat one another to a bloody pulp. Mayhem ensues, beginning with the narrator's condo exploding and culminating with a terrorist attack on the world's tallest building. Writing in an ironic deadpan and including something to offend everyone, Palahniuk is a risky writer who takes chances galore, especially with a particularly bizarre plot twist he throws in late in the book. Caustic, outrageous, bleakly funny, violent and always unsettling, Palahniuk's utterly original creation will make even the most jaded reader sit up and take notice. Movie rights to Fox 2000.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 868 KB
  • Print Length: 210 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (October 17, 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000U0O9FM
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,889 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
121 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exhilirating read January 22, 2002
Format:Paperback
Usually great books are either turned into mediocre films or else great films are made from mediocre books (and we won't even get into the sordid details of the novelizations). Fight Club is one of the rare instances where a great film was made from a great book. It is perhaps unfair to mention the film version while discussing the book as they are actually two very different animals. (And animal is the right word -- perhaps uniquely amongst contemporary novelists, Chuck Palahniuk writes novels that seem to live in the reader's hands, often threatening at any minute to lunge for the throat.) While most of the film's incidents are in the book and much of the razor-sharp dialouge is reproduced directly from the page, the book actually has a far greater satiric edge than the film. Whereas the film used the story as a celebration of nihilism, the book is far too self-aware to allow itself to truly celebrate anything. As such, it becomes less a call to action and more a devastatingly real portrait of a society that has become so commercialized and codified that even the once primal act of revolution becomes just another submission to pop culture.
Fight Club is the story of an unnamed narrator, an insomniac yuppie who spends his days helping insurance companies get out of having to pay their claims. He wanders through a meaningless life until he discovers the emotional release of attending therapy groups for people suffering from various deadly (and rather embarressing) diseases -- all of which the narrator pretends to have. When the arrival of another "faker" (the wonderfully dark Marla Singer, whose role is far less central in the book than in the film), the narrator finds even the shallow comfort of testicular cancer self-help groups has been taken away from him.
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70 of 80 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FIGHT CLUB ROCKS - 4 STAR SPECTACLE May 4, 2000
Format:Paperback
Chuck Palahniuk's debut novel, "Fight Club," is one of the greatest, provocative, and enlightening books written for our generation. It's a must-read, with a brilliant story, a writing style wonderfully crafted to depict the real world for as disgusting as it is, and a mischievous character who goes by the name of Tyler Durden, who's out to change the grotesque problems of modern-day society, for good.
--And great brain food. There are some issues and statements given in this book that really make you think especially about how we're defining "progress" for humanity. How do we define success and progress, but by how big of a house we have, or how much we have in the bank, or how pretty our wives look? In this book, the anti-society society "Fight Club" determines success by how little you have.
"Only until we lose everything, are we free to do anything."
Tyler Durden, Fight Club--the movie
Modern-day consumer-driven cultures have begun to press down on people to the breaking point, and now Tyler Durden has started his own therapy group that is growing rapidly in number by each session. It's a therapy group, unlike most of the others, and instead of giving you guided spiritual meditation and opening your chakras, it promotes violence, pain, and self-destruction. It's a group where aggressive males are sporting organized fight sessions to empower themselves by hitting rock bottom. Its called "Fight Club," and it's rapidly spreading in bars all over the United States.
But I've probably said too much already. "First rule of fight club is you cannot talk about fight club, and the second rule of fight club is you cannot talk about fight club.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I know this because Tyler knows this May 29, 2000
By Trixie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you're coming to the book after seeing the film-it's ok to raise your hand here as your reviewer did also-you'll see the screenwriter pretty much took the book's contents verbatim. What's missing are a few funny moments like Marla's unwitting part in the soap-making process and some disturbing details of her's and Tyler's sex life. Plus a different and more satisfying ending (c'mon, you didn't think the narrator and Marla were really in love did you?)Palahniuk's jump-cut, stream-of-consciousness style take a little getting used to, but this is a clever black comedy that leaves you with more to think about than the punchlines when it's over. It's about a culture of numbness, where Huxley, not Orwell, was right and the only way to feel is to drive yourself to the limits of physical pain or destroy something beautiful. You've probably seen the movie and giving away plot details would just detract from the experience. Just read it!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Palahnuik Gets It Right April 5, 2001
By Exodus
Format:Paperback
After seeing the movie based on the book, I didn't wait more than an hour to grab the book. A quick 208 page read, where everything the movie couldn't explain in detail is revealed. Once finishing, I sat down and sighed thinking "This is one damn good book." Ever since, I've been a cult follower of Palahnuik.
Fight Club is a blazingly fast novel focusing on a depressed man just sick with his life and wants to change it, somehow. While on this "spiritual" journey he meets Tyler Durden, a guy who ends up being everything the narrator wanted to be. From there, the narrator explains his rollercoaster ride of a life in great detail and examines exactly what life meant to him.
All in all, Fight Club is a masterpiece, despite anything other people say. It is well-written, engaging, and thought-provoking to say the least.
The book compared to the movie? The book is certainly better, especially the ending. The last five pages make much more sense than the movie's ending. Additionally, Palahnuik proves his own secular answer of "Where is God in all this mess?" with this last chapter.
Fight Club's characters are some of the most intriguing people I have read about. The narrator, Marla, and Tyler all have their personality quirks that draws in readers in a couple words. Philosophies toward consumerism, materialism, and life are not as prevalent as one might think. But its always a good thing to read a book twice to get much more out of it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars What's not to love?
It is a quick read. A modern classic. What's not to love?
Published 16 hours ago by ktb
5.0 out of 5 stars A wake up call seldom heard
You are going to die one day. What will you wish you had done with your life? Go do it.
Published 1 day ago by Michael Scott Walls
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
You can't beat your own imagination. Adds to the awesomeness that is fight club. Easy read, keeps you interested. Great thoughts on what is really important.
Published 2 days ago by Jared Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars ... wanting to read this for some time since I liked the movie so much
I'd been wanting to read this for some time since I liked the movie so much. I'd say the book is a bit darker with a less obvious ending, but the underlying theme of "You are... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Edward Woodworth
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a great book, though
A surprising case where the movie actually improved on the book. Still a great book, though. Writing style is a bit choppy, but I think that is deliberate. Read more
Published 15 days ago by J. K. White
4.0 out of 5 stars Good product. good price.
Good product. good price.
Published 17 days ago by 2muchcoffee
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Can't beat this book!
Published 17 days ago by Steph Ramirez
5.0 out of 5 stars Damn Skippy
A book about lending a hand to a friend. Although I'd share more, I just can't talk about it. Enjoy.
Published 18 days ago by Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars The psyche is the author's playground
I saw the movie before reading the book, and was really surprised to see that they had done such a good job on the film when given THIS to work with. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Swankivy
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the movie!
GREAT READ!
Published 20 days ago by t
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More About the Author

Chuck Palahniuk's novels are the bestselling Fight Club, which was made into a film by director David Fincher, Diary, Lullaby, Survivor, Haunted, and Invisible Monsters. Portions of Choke have appeared in Playboy, and Palahniuk's nonfiction work has been published by Gear, Black Book, The Stranger, and the Los Angeles Times. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.

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Welcome to the Fight Club forum
Um... what? You said you watched the movie and then watched the film.

I read the book first, was blown away. I didn't even know. I originally boycotted the flick, because I didn't much like Brad Pitt at the time. Let's just say this movie turned me around on THAT topic.
Feb 12, 2006 by ChrisBrogan |  See all 4 posts
I loved this book
I am currently reading it, and I feel like the writing is easy, but not easy. Difficult to explain I guess, but the overall idea of the book just seems way too easy and I feel like maybe I am not grasping the true essence of the book?
Apr 1, 2013 by Mike |  See all 2 posts
T.R.W.Building.
TRW Incorporated was an American corporation involved in a number of businesses, mostly defense-related, but including automotive supply and credit reporting.
Jul 18, 2007 by Cliff Hutson |  See all 2 posts
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