Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Reveiwed by: Charlie Davis (Year 12)

The first rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club, the second rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club. Well here go the first two rules!  Fight Club is the first novel by Chuck Palahniuk and he definitely started his career in a magnificent fashion with this deeply relevant and thought provoking book.
The story follows the life of a 30 year old unnamed protagonist who suffers from severe insomnia. After his doctor suggests he goes to a support group for men with testicular cancer to see ‘real suffering’ he finds that losing all hope in life allows him to feel free and sleep. He became addicted, attending a support group every night for a year.
When the narrator realises another ‘tourist’ attending his support groups the spell is broken and his insomnia returns, enter Marla Singer. Her lie makes him realise his own lie and he begins to hate Marla and when he confronts her they strike a truce and attend different groups.
Whilst on a nude beach on a business trip the narrator meets Tyler Durden, a confident, charismatic man with strong beliefs in initially mysterious things. When the narrator returns home he finds his apartment and all his precious possessions destroyed in an explosion. He contacts Tyler and in exchange for a room at Tyler’s rented house on Paper Street the narrator is asked one question, ‘I want you to hit me as hard as you can.’  With that question the narrator is thrown head on into a world of violence, love, hate, sex, mischief, mayhem and soap, with eye opening experiences and deadly consequences.

I found this novel incredibly enlightening and changed my perception on things, Palahniuk’s brutal honesty in this book terrifying at first but then liberating. This book is definitely not for someone who just wants a simple story and a happy ending, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to think, and have their pre-decided ideals questioned and changed. If you’ve ever wondered, ‘is there anything wrong with the society in which we live?’ Then this is the book for you. This book tackles ideas such as anti consumerism, anti capitalism, non conformism, masculinity, hopelessness, salvation and the ability to change the world. This book dares to challenge things and bring forward the possibility of something different.

Palahniuk uses a minimalist approach with this novel, keeping characters, places and description to a minimum. This allows the reader to concentrate more on the story and the ideas behind it. This also allows for a fairly short book coming in at only 218 pages.

I call this my favourite book, because no book has affected me as much as this one and I consider it an inspiration. I think anyone and everyone should read this book as it is simply incredible.

‘Generations have been working in jobs they hate, just so they can buy s--- they don’t really need.’      Tyler Durden

Rating: Five stars our of five  (I give the movie five out of five as well!)


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