The first rule about fight club is you don’t talk about fight club.
In his debut novel, Chuck Palahniuk showed himself to be his generation’s most visionary satirist. Fight Club’s estranged narrator leaves his lackluster job when he comes under the thrall of Tyler Durden, an enigmatic young man who holds secret boxing matches in the basement of bars. There two men fight “as long as they have to.” A gloriously original work that exposes what is at the core of our modern world.
I expected a lot from this book, so I ended up a bit disappointed. When I first heard about this book from Catriona (Little Book Owl on Youtube), it sounded like an interesting read so I decided to give it a try. When I read the first chapter I was really intrigued and I was sure that this book was going to be fantastic. But then, a second chapter came and I didn’t like it. The same happened with next chapters. It all just became weird (I usually like weird, but this was too much for me) and I didn’t enjoy it at all. The idea itself was very good and I understand the message this book is sending, but I don’t think the book was done very well.
There was no some particular plot, just a bunch of random descriptions of situations that had nothing to do with each other. Yeah, I understand that it was because the narrator has mental illness so he’s not very reliable, but again, it didn’t work. (For example, in The Shock of the Fall, the narrator also has mental illness and the plot was confusing as well, but there it was done properly and it all worked in the end.) There were, however, some interesting parts which kept my attention, especially at the end when we find out that huge plot twist (which I knew from the beginning because I was accidentally spoiled). It feels like Chuch Palahniuk knew that he wants this big plot twist at the end, but he didn’t knew how to make a story about it. Because twist itself was fantastic and it would also be mind blowing if it was done a bit better.
I didn’t like any of the characters in this book, either. Except for Marla, maybe. The narrator, whose name we don’t know, but at the back of the book (on my copy) the author says that main character’s name is Jack, is so annoying and I couldn’t connect with him at all. Tyler was a bit more interesting, but I still didn’t like him. I didn’t like how the narrator (Jack) was basically opsessed with Tyler (there is a reason for it, though, but still…) and how weird their relationship was. Yeah, it was interesting on some level, but only at times. Marla Singer was an interesting character, and probably the most likeable one, but I still can’t say that I really liked her. One thing I don’t get about her is why she stayed with Jack/Tyler the whole time. I mean, the romance was so not there and it was all just unbelieveable to me.
As you probably noticed by now, I’m not a big fan of Chuch Palahniuk‘s writing style. I find it really confusing and weird, but interesting at times. The message of this book is clear and that’s the main reason why this book got three stars and not less. I can see what the author was trying to do with this book, but I don’t think he succeeded. I don’t think I’ll be picking up another of his books in near future, but never say never.
Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend this book to you, but since there are a lot of people out there who love Chuck Palahniuk and this book, I’m not saying you shouldn’t read this book. Definitely give it a try, you may even like. Just because I didn’t enjoy it, it doesn’t mean someone else won’t. We all have different tastes.
There is also a movie Fight Club with Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter, and everyone (even the author) agrees that the movie is much better than the book. I’m looking forward to watch it.