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Fight Club: A Novel

A 1996 book by Chuck Palahniuk.

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Good book, great film.

  • Aug 4, 2010

Okay, so I’m going to break the first two rules of Fight Club…
Made famous by the film, Fight Club is about fighting. “No, really?” I hear you cry, and sure, what’s so interesting about two guys beating each other up? Except the novel isn’t really about fighting. It’s about themes as wide ranging as love, grief, illness, terrorism, capitalism and the intricate workings of Western society. Whoa, big stuff.
Quickly summarising, the narrator is a chronic insomniac who can only sleep after attending support groups. Two people change his life forever. One of these is a woman. At one of his groups, testicular cancer, he meets Marla Singer, a like-minded chain-smoking individual with whom he enters into a tempestuous relationship. If you can call it that. The other person is Tyler Durden. The kind of man who jerks off into soup when tending tables. Or splices porn films into family movies. Or makes soap out of liposuction fat. It’s because of Tyler that the fighting clubs really begin. But I won’t ruin it for you, no gratuitous spoilers here.
There are subtle differences between the novel and the film, and if anything this is one of those rare occasions where the movie is better than the book. Helena Bonham Carter’s Marla is a bit of a hero of mine, so Palahniuk’s version of her on the page fades a little in comparison, and his prose is a little grating at times. But on the whole, the characters are well developed and really quite intriguing; you do find yourself unable to put the book down because you want to know what crazy, messed-up thing the narrator and Tyler get involved in next. Definitely worth a read (or a watch, I recommend the film too.)
I should really stop talking now or Tyler’s space monkeys will be after me.

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August 04, 2010
Love the book and movie as well! And I hear ya, this is one of those rare occurrences where the book and the movie and actually match up and it's hard to decide which is better.  You can check out the movie reviews here -- most people raved about it!  Thanks for sharing, Illy :)
More Fight Club (book) reviews
Quick Tip by . September 24, 2010
Quintessential Palahniuk that presents a good balance between an untrustworthy narrative and pop literature...
Quick Tip by . July 22, 2010
the book is passable, but the film is amazing! the extra visuals really make a difference.
Quick Tip by . July 16, 2010
Palahniuk's irreverent critiques and parodies of society and consumerism make this an interesting and thoughtful work.
Quick Tip by . July 15, 2010
What if you had a crazy wake up call, and instead of preach peace you preach and spread the caos. Great story. Kind of weird end. What isn't weird in this book?!
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
a man with a split personality cannot cope with it and literally fights himself for control of his thought process. This is one of he silliest concepts ever to become a best seller!! and movie for gawd's sake !!
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
Here's a goodly number of hours of my life that I'll never get back. I honestly cannot understand the attraction to Palahniuk's writing; it is bland, nonsensical, irrelevant, confusing, and has an "Emperor's New Clothes" aspect to his fan-base and critical reviewers that makes me even more suspicious. I just can't get into it.
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
One of my favorite Paluhniuk books.
Quick Tip by . July 01, 2010
Another book made popular by the movie
Quick Tip by . June 30, 2010
hahahaha sexy but crazy story
Quick Tip by . June 26, 2010
Palahniuk's are always an OD on human dysfunction. Scary thing is there are worlds of truth in his dark comedies
About the reviewer
Illy ()
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Member Since: Aug 3, 2010
Last Login: Aug 11, 2010 06:31 PM UTC
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About this book


Fight Club is a 1996 novel by Chuck Palahniuk. The book chronicles the experiences of an anonymous protagonist who is struggling with a growing discomfort with consumerism as a way of life, and with changes in the state of masculinity in American culture. To overcome this, he establishes an underground fighting club as radical psychotherapy.
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ISBN-10: 0393327345
ISBN-13: 978-0393327342
Author: Chuck Palahniuk
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: W. W. Norton (October 3, 2005)
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