Book Review: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Fight Club is one of those famous books I hadn’t yet read but felt immense pressure to read due to its seemingly universal presence in pop culture.

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Fight Club is one of those famous books I hadn’t yet read but felt immense pressure to read due to its seemingly universal presence in pop culture.

About the Book

Title: Fight Club

Author: Chuck Palahnuik

Published: 1996

Genre: fiction, contemporary, thriller

My Rating: 3/5 stars


The Premise

Synopsis (from Goodreads) (truncated):

“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 after-hours boxing matches in the basement of bars. There, two men fight ‘as long as they have to.’ This is a gloriously original work that exposes the darkness at the core of our modern world.”


My Thoughts

You used to labor under the delusion that your lives was special and had a purpose, and you were destined for greatness, but now you know the truth, reader! WELCOME TO MODERNITY

Fight Club is one of those famous books I hadn’t yet read, and I decided to bump it up on my list because a) I had a general idea of the themes, which are themes I write about myself sometimes and b) Mr. Robot is my favorite TV show, and I heard it was highly inspired by this book. (Of course, knowing this, I deduced the Big Twist from page one)

The book is gross, nasty, dark, and very very depressing. It is basically about this guy who ends up entangled in this weird cult-like organization (Fight Club) led by somebody named Tyler Durden, where basically, all of these men who hate their jobs and are disaffected with life, gather together to beat the shit out of each other every week to feel meaningful– because… because Masculinity.

“I see in the fight club the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived. I see all this potential and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables, slaves with white collars, advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of the history man, no purpose or place, we have no Great war, no Great depression, our great war is a spiritual war, our great depression is our lives, we’ve been all raised by television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars, but we won’t and we’re slowly learning that fact. and we’re very very pissed off.”

(Lol. You know how there is that arbitrary category of fiction called “women’s fiction” or chick-lit? We need to even the playing field and start labeling certain books as “men’s fiction”)

I resonated with this part of the book the most, probably; sometimes I slip into moods where I’m super nihilistic and disillusioned with everything, because I just feel like nothing I ever hoped to do will come to fruition, and I miss when I was a kid and thought everything was great and my future was not yet as written as it is. Like every year that goes by, you have closed more doors that you could have opened to go down the path of your life. There are certain paths that you ended up not taking. Idk.

Materialism: one of the main themes of the book is that materialism cannot make you happy, and only leads to more emptiness.

Destructiveness: Tyler Durden represents the urge to lash out at the world and it doesn’t turn out that well for him. The relentless nihilism kind of lets up at the end when this lesson is revealed

“I’ve met God across his long walnut desk with his diplomas hanging on the wall behind him, and God asks me, “Why?”
Why did I cause so much pain?
Didn’t I realize that each of us is a sacred, unique snowflake of special unique specialness?
Can’t I see how we’re all manifestations of love?
I look at God behind his desk, taking notes on a pad, but God’s got this all wrong.
We are not special.
We are not crap or trash, either.
We just are.
We just are, and what happens just happens.
And God says, “No, that’s not right.”
Yeah. Well. Whatever. You can’t teach God anything.”

One thing I didn’t like much about this book was the writing style. It was confusing, abstract, and hard to tell what was going on. Overall, not my favorite book of all time, but a unique reading experience.


Have you read Fight Club by hHuck Palahniuk? What did you think of it? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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