Chuck Palahniuk’s “Fight Club”
“The first rule about fight club is you don’t talk about fight club.”
Of course you’ve watched the movie already, but you probably didn’t know that it’s based off of a book. This is the one exception where the movie is better than the book (Edward Norton, yum), and the endings are quite different.
For those who’ve seen the movie, the book contains the same unknown narrator speaking the sentences which were lifted verbatim and transposed into Ed Norton’s voice. “I am Joe’s Prostate.” “I am Joe’s Complete Lack of Surprise.” Short statements are peppered throughout “Fight Club” and as you read, they pile up in your mind, slowly pushing on the barriers society and yourself have built up.
The mysterious narrator’s life changes when he meets Tyler Durden, a charismatic madman who lives an anti-consumerist lifestyle, opposes capitalism, the social structure and pop culture. Together they form an underground fight club as a method of extreme therapy and other men begin to join them. Fight Club spreads and Tyler begins to use it to encourage acts of rebellion and destruction across the country. Eventually this grows into Project Mayhem–focusing on nothing less than the destruction of society itself.
Crazy thoughts slip in. “Why am I going to work at this dead-end job? Did our hunter-gather ancestors think we’d end up like this? Why not break society down?”
Basically, “Fight Club” will mess with your mind. For those who went Black Friday shopping, you will feel ashamed. The novel goes against everything our modern world lives on: consumerism.
“You buy furniture. You tell yourself this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple of years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug.
Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own; now they own you.”