Friday, November 27, 2009

Book Review: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

"The first rule about Fight Club is you don't talk about Fight Club."

I was really excited in starting to read 'Fight Club' because it was the first book read in my English A2 class. My english teacher is really interesting person. He is not like the other teachers and he told us that Fight Club is one of his favorite books so I was really interested to know will I like it too. And I must say that I was positively suprised.

The narrator of the book (his name is not mentioned) is depressed and he has insomnia. He attends several support groups and fakes different diseases to get some comfort. That way he can sleep. One day Marla attends one of the support groups. The narrator notices that Marla is also there as a faker. They have to make a deal and the narrator is not able to attend all the groups anymore. His insomnia comes back. One day in a bar he meets Tyler. Suddenly Tyler asks the narrator to hit him hard and sooner or later Tyler and narrator are fighting on the bar parking lot. After the fight the narrator notices that fighting gives him relief and pleasure.

The narrator moves to Paper Street with Tyler. Tyler is a total opposite of the narrator and the reader really sees that while reading the book. They form a fight club and meeting after meeting the group gets bigger and bigger. Men come to Fight Clubs to get rid of their stress and show their masculinity. After a while Fight Clubs are not enough and Tyler invents Project Mayhem. It's goal is to destroy the history. But in the end everything gets out of the hands and the narrator understands that Fight Clubs and Project Mayhem must be cancelled. But there is problem... Tyler thinks that it is not necessary and Tyler has become extremely close to the narrator.

Fight Club harshy critizices the modern day materialistic society. Before meeting Tyler the narrator is extremely materialistic. There is one extremely funny part when the narrator is listing all of his IKEA furniture from his apartment which blew up in an explosition. Tyler on the other hand lives in a house which is falling apart. For him it is not about the material, it is about the substance in life.

The book has many motifs, for example listing, soap and materialism. The book is otherwise pretty chaotic but by listing the narrator gets some order to his life. Soap represents something materialistic; we use it once and then wash it off. The effect of soap does not last, it is only temporary. Materialism and its criticizims is one of the main motifs of the book.

It is interesting to examine the difference between the narrator and Tyler. In the text the narrator does not have quotation marks. Everything he says is just written normally. That means that the narrator does not really have an identity, he does not have a voice. The narrator is really a human wreck before the fight club. Tyler has quotation marks and it means that he really is a person with a voice. At the last chapter of the book the narrator for the first time gets quotation marks to his words.

There is so much stuff I could write about because we basicly went through the whole book at my English class. But I just decided to write about these main points. I must say that Fight Club is one of the best books I've ever read because it's so different and it has a deeper meaning. There is a lot under the surface and while reading it you really has to think about what is happening.

Have you read the Fight Club? Have you seen the movie based on the book?

1 comment:

  1. The movie "Fight Club" is one of my boys' favorite movies; they both love it! But...they've never read the book. I think I need to add this to the Christmas gifts for one of them.


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