September Read-a-Thon: Fight Club

There’s been little to no update on book blogging since I wrote my first book review. What with following treesofreverie and getting updates on the September Read-a-thon, I am more than a little embarrassed. I have been reading though so even though September is about to end, here is my review on Fight Club.

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk:

Rating: ★★★★

Fight Club really needs no introduction as it’s practically a household name. I came across it some number of years ago when it was introduced to me as a friend’s favourite movie of all time. I too have seen the movie and I think it is very good except current Sam is a bit annoyed at past Sam for ruining the book for her. Without going into too much detail, the book/movie’s pivotal element is a plot twist regarding the protagonist. Having already seen the movie is kind of like knowing exactly when the book wants to jump out from behind the door and ‘Boo’ you so it is a little disappointing. I’ll go into movie watching/book reading dynamics in another post.

That aside, I found the book really exciting and quite a page turner despite already knowing what was about to happen next. A lot of the language and powerful phrases were not incorporated into the movie (or maybe they were and I’ve forgotten) and I found every excuse to utilise the highlight function on my Kindle to capture some of my favourite quotes.

“The club is too loud to talk, so after a couple of drinks, everyone feels like the centre of attention but completely cut off from participating with anyone else. You’re the corpse in an English murder mystery.”

Another thing I stumbled across when doing a bit of research on the book is the number of people who compared Palahniuk’s style of writing to Murakami. At the beginning I didn’t see many similarities, if anything they felt like polar opposites. To me Murakami’s writing is clarity. Think of the clearest, most transparent piece of glass you can find and that is all his books. Even his characters that have no idea what they are doing seem to have some kind of higher level understanding of the world which makes them and to some extent the reader, really, really zen. Palahniuk’s Tyler Durden is like a bucket of mud. Which is brilliant, it’s exactly like how you’d expect a guy who is 110% sleep deprived for almost the entirety of the book, to be like. It was at this point that I realised even though their characters are completely different, maybe it was in their way of writing, that the style is able to mimic and project the characters so perfectly. I guess I can’t comment too much on Palahniuk as this is the first and only book by him I’ve read so far but I am very eager to read more of his work.

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed Fight Club. It gets a bit confusing and messy at some points but I think that really adds to tone of urgency in the novel, the fast paced city life that we all lead and helps to emphasise the questions of nihilism against purpose.

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