Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Title/Author: Fight Club/Chuck Palahniuk
Publisher: Vintage
No. of pages: 352
ISBN 13: 9780099552154
Price: RM29.90

In a nutshell
I’ve seen Fight Club. I loved it. I’ve also just read the book. Loved it too. Even dreamt about being in Fight Club with Pitt and Norton last night! Haha yes, for real, ok 😛 So. Everyone knows about fight club and the story.

What I liked about it
It’s fast paced, very graphic and oh yes, very bloody too but bearable, unlike the movie (the sound effects kinda made it more brutal and intense). The story is also quite dark and a little twisted.

The frequent change of scenes lent the story a pace that kept me on my toes – with my hands flipping the pages, and my mind jumping from scene to scene almost every second, there was no way my mind could wander even for a second! And to already know that the narrator and Tyler are the same person made the story even more fascinating. (Should’ve read the book first before the movie. Wonder how I’d have reacted to find out only later that they’re of the same person. WICKEDDD!!!)

I loved the words that came out of “Tyler’s” mouth. I have many, many favourite quotes in Fight Club. Let me share some of them (which are quite ‘Zen’ I think):
“It’s only after you’ve lost everything,” Tyler says, “that you’re free to do anything.”
“If you don’t know what you want,” the doorman said, “you end up with a lot you don’t.” ~Chapter 5
This was freedom. Losing all hope was freedom. ~Chapter 2

I think Fight Club is more than just a bunch of men fighting each other. It’s about self worthiness. (“Maybe self-improvement isn’t the answer…. Maybe self-destruction is the answer.”) These men, who come from all walks of life, gather and fight at a basement, to feel their existence in life. Fight Club makes them feel ‘alive’. (Pain is pleasure?)

“You aren’t alive anywhere like you’re alive at fight club….Fight club isn’t about winning or losing fights. Fight club isn’t about words. You see a guy come to fight club for the first time, and his ass is a loaf of white bread. You see this same guy here six months later, and he looks carved out of wood. This guy trusts himself to handle anything. There’s grunting and noise at fight club like at the gym, but fight club isn’t about looking good. There’s hysterical shouting in tongues like at church, and when you wake up Sunday afternoon you feel saved.” ~Chapter 6

As Fight Club members increased, Tyler created Project Mayhem, which by the way, according to the author, “is based on the Portland Cacophony Society, which I used to do more of. They get together and pull these enormous pranks. They’re international now, almost every major city has a cacophony society and they pull huge pranks and jokes and stunts.”

Maybe this is some sort of a ‘masculine’ outlet for men to release their stress, like women and retail therapy…hmmm hey should we have like a Cat Fight Club? haha

Book Bite
According to the author, Fight Club started off as a 7-pager and a first real story he ever sold; because Palahniuk was told b y his writing teacher that a short story is about 7 pages. This section is in Chapter 6. To make the short story into a book, he added stories from his friends.

And what inspired Fight Club? In an interview Palahniuk said this, “Fight Club had its genesis while I was working at Freightliner. I had been on vacation and I had gotten into a really terrible fight. When I came back on Monday from vacation, I was just so wiped out. Nobody would acknowledge just how terrible I looked, because it seemed nobody wanted to know what I did in my spare time. I thought that if you looked bad enough, you could do anything because nobody will ever call you on it. It was that day I started writing the Fight Club.”

At the same time, he’d also seen a TV programme about how street gangs were really young men raised without fathers, trying to help one another become men. These men gave orders and challenges, and imposed rules and discipline.

My verdict? 4/5

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