Fight Club (1996): Whoa

Note: This is a review on the book. I have not yet watched the movie. But I’m going to.

Whoa.

Like, just…whoa.

No, like, I’m going to go out and buy a copy of this so that I can read it again. And find out about the meaning of life probably.

I’ve been wanting to read Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk for a long time. Long before I read his short story “Guts” a couple of weeks ago (which was astonishingly amazing and disturbing–I would recommend this short story if you have a strong stomach and am not easily disturbed or like weird, disturbing, almost taboo stuff) and long before my friend told me that she really liked Chuck Palahniuk.

And finally, the chance arose when my friend let me borrow her copy of Fight Club.

Fight Club starts out with the Unnamed Narrator who doesn’t seem all that special. He has a job at this unnamed car company and he suffers from really bad insomnia. He meets Marla Singer at a cancer support group, even though neither of them actually have cancer. He also meets Tyler Durden, a charismatic, outoing extremist that starts a “fight club.”

And then there is that famous phrase: “The first rule of fight club is you don’t talk about the fight club.” Or something along those lines.

It is impossible to give a basic plot to this story because then I would have to give spoilers and I don’t want to do that because I want everyone to read this amazing book.

I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I really want to now.

What I enjoyed most about this book was the narration.

The book is basically entirely narration. Yes, I know that books are usually all narration regardless, but Palahniuk has this particular style that is so characteristic that it feels like the Unnamed Narrator is talking to you. That may also be because of the occasional second person thrown in there, but for me, it just adds to the effect of being told a story from someone’s inner most mind.

The Unnamed Narrator’s narration is strangely vague. Throughout three-fourths of the book, I was confused. I don’t think there was any particularly confusing jumps in time or plot, but the wording of everything is not entirely clear at first.

But, as I read on, it all made sense. I was confused, but it made sense.

Fight Club just left me in awe. I don’t even know how to write a review because I can’t gather my thoughts together coherently.

I just don’t know how I feel about it.

I mean, I liked it. A lot. A lot a lot a lot. But, really, I’m not sure how I feel about it. I have all these general feelings, but I don’t know how to type it out or to even put it in words in my head. There’s so much to discuss and so much to be able to debate over, I just don’t know where to start.

But, hey, I would love to discuss this with someone. Leave a message in the comments, or send me one on my About page. This is just a book that needs discussion. Deep, life-changing, philosophical discussion.

Conclusion: Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club captivates the audience with the strange insomniac who goes nameless throughout the book as he meets Tyler Durden, the soap-maker who founds the “fight club,” and guides the audience through the deep and dark mind of the narrator, leading them through an engaging plot as the fight club becomes more and more intense, all the while putting the reader (or maybe just me) in complete awe of his unique style and vague but clear narration. 10/10

(I know that in my Rating page, I said that nothing would ever top The Shawshank Redemption or Forrest Gump or Harry Potter, but this definitely makes it into my top favorites. It’s being added to the list of books/movies that nothing will ever top.)

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