If you’ve never watched this movie, I feel sorry for you.
I know I keep saying this about a lot of books I review, but this is genuinely one of my favourites I’ve ever read. I think I have a thing for characters who are insane.
From its opening line, the book sells you into the story. Our nameless narrator – let’s call him Jack – is an insomniac who can only sleep if he tires himself out at support meetings for illnesses or problems that he doesn’t have. Eventually, he meets Tyler, a man who is everything Jack wants to be and more. Together, the two come up with the idea of a Fight Club – a place where young men who suppress their emotions can let it all out in fist fights with each other in the basements of dingy bars. It soon becomes a national phenomenon, and Tyler soon starts using the Clubs for purposes other than physical therapy. I’m not going to reveal too much more about the book or the film, just go out and get your hands on a copy of each and talk to me when you’re done.
But if you’re still reading…
What I like about the book is that it goes beyond just being about consumerism and how it’s ruining society. Palahniuk also goes into how men have changed in this consumerist society. Men are no longer the strong hunters of the past, but they’ve become just as obsessed with consumer culture as women (a nice call back to Patrick Bateman, in fact). Men have been taught to suppress their emotions, most growing up in environments devoid of strong father figures, and so they don’t know how to be men. And Tyler and Jack give them this opportunity on a silver platter – the chance to exercise their male personalities, the Alpha Male within them. It’s no wonder men gobble it up. It also goes to show you how quickly and forcefully people deteriorate into violent creatures if you give them the right outlet to.
Sidenote: I wrote a paper about this shit for University and got an A. If anyone wants to read it, let me know and I’ll send it on. I go into way more detail in that.
Interestingly enough, the book and the film have a completely different ending. I’m not sure which I prefer, but Palahniuk has gone on record to say that he prefers the film’s ending to the one he wrote himself. Go figure.
Final rating: 5/5. This is a book you have to read for yourselves. I can’t tell you more than I already have. Just go out there and do it.
Oh and, the first rule of Fight Club is to never talk about Fight Club.
Quotes I Liked: