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Fight Club: A Novel Paperback – October 17, 2005
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“Diabolically sharp and funny.”
- Washington Post Book World
“An astonishing debut.... ?a dark, unsettling, and nerve-chafing satire.”
- Seattle Times
“A noir fable with a potent punch.... A genuine, two-fisted talent.”
- Katherine Dunn
“Amazing and artful disturbance. ?Fight Club ?is for everybody who thinks and loves the fine American language.”
- Barry Hannah
About the Author
Chuck Palahniuk is the best-selling author of fourteen fictional works, including Fight Club, Invisible Monsters, Survivor, Choke, Lullaby, Diary, Haunted, Rant, Pygmy, Tell-All, Damned, Doomed, Beautiful You and, most recently, Make Something Up. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.
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Having watched the movie was the strongest reason why I didn't feel the need to read the book. It always bumped in my mental vault, the fact that someone had come up with such a powerful and compelling idea, executed it impecably on screen (Norton's and Pit's acting was phenomenal; perhaps Pit's finest performances). I finally gave the book a try. I was surprised to see that the book was short. It didn't put me off at all, it was just an observation, especially after having watched the movie I expected a lengthier book.
As I read through the pages I was aware of the nuances with the movie, something that made my neurons glitch from time to time, for I expected one thing, yet found something else. Yet, Palahniuk's mastery of his unique style and narrative kept me reading and reading, constantly trying to decipher why the writing style was so good and so bold and so... damn original.
The story itself is strong, consistent to the bone and detail oriented without being overwhelming. I figured Fight Club was very successful because it defined a putrid, rotten world that exists within the human realm. Fight Club gave this world a face, a personality, a tangible morphology we could finally grasp. This world occupies the mind of the bluest, the raw material of hatred towards the organized, paved by those who seek to control through the creation of rules that determine a beings reality. This reality has a big blind-spot, and the world Palanhniuk described in Fight Club defined this blind-spot and exploited it. This blind-spot is an individual's need to feel unique, and yet, the opposing desire to feel he is part of a movement, a group, to be part of a collective. To be part of Fight Club one had to slay one's reality, to lay naked midst the ugly and emerged reborn, only to join a new set of dogmas. This is portrayed as the idea of propagating organized-chaos, an idea that spread through the mediocre like a virus. The virus lived among society cloaked under the veil of working men, men who seemed to follow a set of social rules; the virus unveiled during the night, during Fight Club. An integrant of Fight Club was a menacing soul in search of freedom, from social expectations and the boxed-in sensation felt by binding rules of how one must supposedly behave midst peers. The soul within Fight Club sought freedom, even from itself, only to be lured by its desire to belong, to be part of the clan: the paradox of wanting to be unique and yet, the inevitability of desiring to be part of cult, to be part of the change. Man's demise is served cold in Fight Club, for example, when Tyler makes soap out of fat rendered by liposuction--society's shame--, sold back to the thinned as soap, purchasing what once was thought as biological waste, now regarded precious and a standard of "high society".
To leave aside the story, I would like to mention Palahniuk's writing style. To achieve the deliverance of a message so profound, in such a raw manner, using short sentences and explicit imagery is indeed a literary achievement. I truly enjoyed this read, far better than watching the movie. The movie, however, is also an achievement in itself.
Far warning it is a voilent and sexually charged book but it really does give a good insight on people with schizophrenia. It's a very easy read because of the writing style, also a little different from the movie. I believe in the movie Tyler and the narrator meet on a plane but it's VERY different in the book but the books explanation plays more into how Tyler takes over the narrators life.
Fight Club is no different. Although the placement of some scenes is different from the book, this is almost a play-by-play. I appreciate when film makers do that, especially when you were one of the individuals that saw the movie first, than found the book out of love for the film.
The nameless hero suffers from insomnia every night, paging through catalogs of furniture, lamps and wall accents for his small apartment when he can't sleep. In the pursuit of a solution, fate sends him to various support group meetings for terminally ill and those in sickness recovery. It is here he meets Marla Singer, another 'tourist and faker' who like him, pretends to be sick or dying at the support meetings.
On a beach, he runs into curious man who has a very free and liberating disposition. His name is Tyler Durden.
With Tyler Durden and Marla Singer in his life, our character's life begins to twist and turn into an unrecognizable mess of beauty and brutality, truth and deception, death and rebirth.
Fast paced, and refreshingly original, this is a great piece that won't make you feel cheated when you burn through it so quickly. Like the movie, read the book, then you will love both.