Book Review: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Fight Club

By: Chuck Palahniuk

Pages: 218

ISBN: 9780393327342 (Paperback)

Genre: Fiction

Rating: 3.5/5


Goodreads Synopsis:

Chuck Palahniuk showed himself to be his generation’s most visionary satirist in this, his first book. 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 after-hours boxing matches in the basement of bars. There, two men fight “as long as they have to.” This is a gloriously original work that exposes the darkness at the core of our modern world.


Let me just go ahead and say that Palahniuk’s writing is not for me. I get that this was a lot of people’s favorite book, and don’t get me wrong the story was a great concept. Before I started Fight Club I started his newer book, Adjustment Day, and again I didn’t like it. I know that he is a very satirical writer and I thought that would help me enjoy it even more. I enjoyed George Orwell’s writing and Kurt Vonnegut’s. I haven’t read a lot of satirical pieces but I know when I do and do not like a book/an authors writing. I’m just going to discuss the book now, and what I did and did not like.

Overall I enjoyed what Palahniuk discussed in the novel. There were many themes throughout such as; Mortality, masculinity, society, and class. It no doubt packs a big punch. The humor in the book is a little dark, but that’s more so my sense of humor.

I didn’t like the short and choppy sentences and one liners. It just didn’t do anything for me. This book is memorable, but the short and choppy sentences are not what did it. It will be what he discussed in the novel and the types of unique characters he created. You really won’t read anything else like it.

Characters:

The narrator as we all know does not have a name. He’s an insomniac that goes to therapy groups for terminally ill people to help him sleep. He loves buying funky furniture (a yin yang coffee table). Then he realizes that he likes to fight. That takes us to:

Tyler Durden: Very intelligent, very crazy man. Meets the narrator on a plane. Starts up fight club and creates these rules that members have to follow. “The first rule about fight club is you don’t talk about fight club.” The famous line that everyone knows even if they haven’t read the book or watched the movie.

Marla Singer: A very odd character. The narrator and her meet in the therapy groups and it upsets him so much so that they have to split up who gets what group on what day. She smokes…A LOT. Tyler basically just uses her for sex and the narrator doesn’t know how to feel about it. She has a lot of thoughts about death and even attempted suicide at one point. She steals the pants from laundromats which I thought was hilarious. Quite a crazy character.

I don’t want to spoil anything that happens because you need to experience it. I haven’t really told you anything that doesn’t happen right away or anything that’s not in the synopsis. I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have hoped. I do believe it deserves a little bit of hype but not as much as it does. I’m going to recommend it just because it has characters that you should totally meet!

Quotes:

  • A good masculinity quote from the novel is when Tyler and Marla are in Marla’s room and he sees a dildo. “Don’t be afraid. It’s not a threat to you.”
  • “Being tired isn’t the same as being rich, but most times it’s close enough.” This was a quote from the afterword.
  • “For thousands of years, human beings had screwed up and trashed and crapped on this planet, and now history expected me to clean up after everyone. I have to wash out and flatten my soup cans. And account for every drop of motor oil.”
  • “Marla’s philosophy of life, she told me, is that she can die at any moment. The tragedy of her life is that she doesn’t.”
  • “If a new car built by my company leaves Chicago traveling west at 60 miles per hour, and the rear differential locks up, and the car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside, does my company initiate a recall?”

It took me awhile to write this and not spoil anything huge. This review is also all over the place and I apologize. Feel free to discuss the book down in the comments. I would love to know everyone’s thoughts and feelings. If you enjoyed this post then give it a like and follow me for future reviews. Be respectful and happy reading!

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