Review – Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk

Fight Club

Hello Internet. Welcome back for Review #31. Ahh, I finished this book and some form of weird, zen-like book trance hung over me for the better part of a week. And the book doesn’t lose a thing after re-reading. So now, for the book with nihilistic themes and homoerotic undertones, here’s Fight Club.

How does one begin to describe Fight Club? (Take a drink every time I say this title.) Ha. Trick question. Rule number one of Fight Club (drink) is you don’t talk about Fight Club (drink). So how does someone like me review a book about something you aren’t supposed to talk about? Like, it’s not as if I can go an entire review without mentioning Fight Club (drink). Rule number two is you don’t talk about Fight Club (drink). Bugger. Well, how about I just talk about the damn book anyway, hey? Keep this between us. Now where do I begin?

Fight Club (drink) is a book about death. Well, not really. It’s a book about dying. It’s a book about when you die, and how you start to live. And of course this isn’t making sense, so I’ll start from the beginning. Fight Club (drink) is a story concerning a young man who decides he hates his mediocre, middle-class white-collar job and meets a man who asks to be hit in the face. Then they fight. And pretty soon they figure out that fighting is one of the best ways to forget about the life you hate, and a way to cathartically live out their lives without going insane. [Of course, the protagonist goes insane anyway, so it doesn’t really change much]. And of course, everyone who works with them catches on to the shtick and then Fight Club (drink) sorta… happens.

So yeah, Fight Club (drink) is where people bash each other for as long as they need to until they stop. And since this is insanely popular because apparently every office worker has some hidden primal need to bash in somebody’s skull every once in a while the dynamic duo have to organise a lot more than just Fight Club (drink). Then [the narrator goes mad], and Tyler (the man he meets) starts going all Nietzsche until it all goes wrong and people start getting castrated and I’m not even kidding it’s one of the most tense scenes I’ve ever read. And the ending is just freaking amazing. But of course, even in square brackets I wouldn’t be enough of a dick to spoil that one. Blimey, you need to have seen it coming to not be amazed.

So that’s (roughly) it. And there are so many themes of so many different things. There’s even (plot critical) soap. Literally everything in this book has some batshit-insane meaning, yet that’s not something which I can exactly like. It’s not that I dislike meaning within works, but sometimes this thickens what would originally be an awesome plot into something ridiculously heavy. And because Fight Club (drink) has a style which is literally unrecognisable (i.e. there is no recognisable style) it’s bloody irritating attempting to understand whatever is going on in Palahniuk’s head and what he’s trying to reference at any given time, and this makes the entire thing drag. Don’t get me wrong, Fight Club (drink) is still amazing and influential and all that, but this is gonna have the same problem To Kill A Mockingbird has when people start using as the basis of book reports.

Fight Club was published in 1996 by W.W. Norton and can be found on Amazon here.

Yours: J.M. Pear

Review – Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk