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 Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

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RockRosen
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PostSubject: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk   Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:04 pm

Fight Club
by
Chuck Palahniuk





About the author:
Was born 1962 in Pasco, Washington.
Work as an author and freelance journalist.
Genres: satire, horror, transgressional fiction.
Awards won: Oregon Book Award, Bram Stoker award, Pacific Northwest bookseller association award.

Released: 1996.

Genre: Satirical novel.


Chuck Palahniuk is my favourite author, and this book is the one which introduced me to him.
I'd seen this white cover with the red writing on it lying at a table for discarded books at the library for a week or so. I could see the title from when I passed, Fight Club, and I recognised it although I didn't quite know what it was all about.

One day I finally picked it up, turned it over to read that summary on the backside; which went as follow:

Translated by me from the Swedish cover wrote:
Fight Club is one of the American 90's literature milestones, and has in a few years become a cult-classic. Here we meet a nameless narrator and his mental antipode Tyler Durden. Together they challenge the dead balancing act between IKEA-homes, business travels and soulless office jobs of modern society, by starting the organisation Fight Club where you literally beats yourself free with your fists. The book is an obligatory reading for everyone who has someone asked themselves the question: Wasn't it more than this?



So I opened the book to read the first page. The pages hardened as if they'd been once been wet - of all the sweaty hands who has desperately kept switching those pages, I imagined when touching it. And it captured me at first sight and now, years later, it still hasn't left me.

I was gonna explain that the story started right away with the expense, that there's a big twist, that there's not a dull moment. That the characters become more than characters. But I don't want to keep on talking about this book as if it's just another story, because it deserves more. It doesn't give a rats ass what you think about it, how you think things should be written, explained, done. Palahniuk just writes in such a liberating way, screaming out taboos in a way you've (well I've) longed for.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Fight Club is about a thirty-year-old boy, as he calls himself, this nameless narrator. He suffers from insomnia and try to escape his boring and structured life of office jobs and IKEA furniture. In order to feel more alive, he goes to a variety of auxiliary groups for diseases he doesn't have. Tuberculosis Division, Brain Parasite Group, Group of men without testicles, lung cancer, etc.. There he finds peace and can cry, and finally get to sleep when he gets home. But then a woman joins in and ruins everything for him. She is also a fake, and he's trapped in his insomnia again. Marla Singer is the woman's name and you get to follow her through the book as well.

One day explodes the narrator's apartment, and he makes contact with his savior, Tyler Durden. Tyler is everything the narrator isn't. He is outgoing, handsome and confident, and a charismatic soap salesman. Tyler has a special, slightly oblique driven philosophy. He argues that self-improvement is for the weak, and that self-destruction is the thing, in order to get rid of all the anger and all adrenaline, all the emotions that go and simmer within one of today's civilized and structured society. So he asks the narrator to hit him in the face, as hard as he can. And their fist-fight is the starting point for the club as the two soon form. The secret club that becomes immensely popular, with men going to fight each other, with no personal grudges or feelings. Just a cathartic fight where one breaks free from oneself. There are rules. Rule No. 1 is that you do not talk about FC. Rule No. 2 is that you do not talk about FC. Rule No. 3 two men fighting at a time. One fight at a time. You have to be shirtless and take off your shoes. When one says stop or become unconscious, the fight is over.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

-Chuck says of his debut novel that parts of it have always been true.

Palahniuk wrote:
It is less a novel than a collection of my friends' lives. I have insomnia and going without sleep for weeks. I know the angry waiter who tampers with the food. They shave their heads. My buddy Mike cut out the photos of family films at the cinema. My friend Alice make soap. Every guy I know has been let down by his father.


Fight Club can't really be explained. It must be experienced. So I'm not trying to explain Fight Club, I'm trying to explain why it must be experienced.

If you've seen the movie, you've seen a good interpretion of the book (and still nothing quite like it). But the ending is different.
I want you to go and get the sweatiest copy of the book you can find, and long to touch its filthy pages. I shouldn't be making life easy for you by linking you to a pdf version online, but there's a lot of things that should be reconsidered and I lack faith in the fact that you're actually gonna go to the library to get it, so if you're shameless, here ya go:
http://literatori.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/chuck-palahniuk_-_fight-club.pdf  




"On a large enough time line, the survival rate for everyone will drop to zero." - Chapter 2.


"This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time." - Chapter 3.


"And I wasn't the only slave to my nesting instinct. The people I know who used to sit in the bathroom with pornography, now they sit in the bathroom with their IKEA furniture catalogue." - Chapter 5.


"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 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." - Chapter 5.


"The gyms you go to are crowded with guys trying to look like men, as if being a man means looking the way a sculptor or an art director says." - Chapter 6.


"By this time next week, each guy on the Assault Committee has to pick a fight where he won't come out a hero. And not in fight club. This is harder than it sounds. A man on the street will do anything not to fight. The idea is to take some Joe on the street who's never been in a fight and recruit him. Let him experience winning for the first time in his life. Get him to explode. Give him permission to beat the crap out of you. You can take it. If you win, you screwed up. "What we have to do, people," Tyler told the committee, "is remind these guys what kind of power they still have."" - Chapter 16.


"For thousands of years, human beings had screwed up and trashed and crapped on this planet, and now history expected me to clean up after everyone. I have to wash out and flatten my soup cans. And account for every drop of used motor oil. And I have to foot the bill for nuclear waste and buried gasoline tanks and landfilled toxic sludge dumped a generation before I was born." - Chapter 16.


"...you're not how much money you've got in the bank. You're not your job. You're not your family, and you're not who you tell yourself.... You're not your name.... You're not your problems.... You're not your age.... You are not your hopes."" - Chapter 18.


"All a gun does is focus an explosion in one direction. You have a class of young strong men and women, and they want to give their lives to something. Advertising has these people chasing cars and clothes they don't need. Generations have been working in jobs they hate, just so they can buy what they don't really need." - Chapter 19.


"We don't have a great war in our generation, or a great depression, but we do, we have a great war of the spirit. We have a great revolution against the culture. The great depression is our lives. We have a spiritual depression. " - Chapter 19.


"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." - Chapter 30.


"What's worse? Hell or nothing?"
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PostSubject: Re: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk   Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:31 pm

Brad Pitt isn't in the book, that's why i watched the movie instead. It's good but it's not quite Pulp Fiction.
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PostSubject: Re: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk   Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:06 pm

Uneducated Thug wrote:
Brad Pitt isn't in the book, that's why i watched the movie instead. It's good but it's not quite Pulp Fiction.

Brad Pitt can't compensate the greatness of the last two chapters in the book though.
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PostSubject: Re: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk   Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:44 am

Wait. There was a book ?


Apparently I had been missing something and that, maybe, I should have known that a long time ago. After all, this book has been out for almost two decades.

I am Joe's Ignorance.

I know of the movie, of its cult fascination, but I never saw it myself or knew about the premise or plot. I never understood why soap is featured on the front cover. So in a sense, Fight Club is brand new to me. And I'm introduced to it the way it was introduced to the world from the beginning; as a book.

I decided if I was going to know about it and take the time to read it, I might as well follow the reviewer, RockRosen's advice and have tangible, smelly papers to flip through in my hands.

So I did something maybe considered a little out there given modern day convenience; I walked into a library.
Gulp.
Shudder.
It's not as painful as it sounds.
Really...

At the library, it takes some time looking for it. Do I know if it's there? No.. Did I just decide to do this? Yes! I didn't plan anything. I'm looking for the experience.

I am Joe's Adventurous Spirit.

Well, I do eventually find the the book; a paperback plastered with the actors from the movie on it. The title of the book etched in a pink bar of soap at the bottom. It is the only copy there, so I'm not able to choose the filthiest, grimiest, sweat-dried edition. But it had to be good enough. Flipping through the pages, I noted coffee stains and places where a pencil had marked passages from the book.

I am Joe's Growing Anticipation.

Admittedly I did have some issues when I started reading. The structure of the book made the plot feel so jumpy, which was giving me the impression that I was getting dragged along through confusing events and there wasn't going to be a complete plot. It was bothering me at first, because just when I thought I understood what was going on, the flow would get disruptive again.

But as I kept turning pages, the book got easier and things started coming together. I got into the writing style and started to actually enjoy the mess--straight from the nameless narrator's mind. The book isn't meant to be neat and clean. It's messy and chaotic. It's unlike anything I've ever read.

You'll laugh.
You'll cringe.
You might even cry.

I'm glad to have read this book. Fight Club was indeed an experience. And an interesting one at that. Every time I went to read, I was engrossed. It commands your attention. And at the end I was like, "Okay..what did I just read?"

It is hard to describe what I read; the feeling, the idea, the entire experience. And I guess that's why the first (and second) rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club. If you try, you can't. You're led down a path that messes with your mind. It has a dark and brutal honesty that punches you in the face with these short, direct statements.

With that said, it's not something that will dramatically change your life and make you quit your day job and take a hard right (or left) in life, but it will open your eyes. It will make you think....And every time you look a bar of soap... well, let's just say you won't look at it the same way again.
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PostSubject: Re: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk   Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:10 pm

^[Woah, I think you edited this post. Or I was shamefully ignorant not to have read it before. When I read the book I didn't even connect it to a movie, I don't remember fully, but I don't think I even knew about the movie. So I didn't know what to expect when I found it, I just new I recognised the name of the title... And now I have over a handful of Chuck Palahnuik's books in my shelf (well under my coach really, but that's not the point here...).

I love your description of you getting that book and I'm genuinly happy you did.


... The next book I went to read was "Choke", same author *hint, hint*. That's my favourite of Chuck so far. It's not written in the same way as Fight Club btw.
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PostSubject: Re: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk   Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:52 am

Hah, you know, when I finished the book, I naturally or really just wanted to immediately check out his other books. Back at the library, they only had one other one by Palahniuk; Rant. So that is what I ended up getting and am currently reading. study

Safe to say though, Choke will be getting read real soon now. Thank you for the recommendation and discovery!
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PostSubject: Re: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk   Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:23 pm

oh, yeah. As I'm sure you've noticed, that ones a bit different as well. Invisible monsters, look that one up and you'll get a physical experience as well. But it's gotta be the remix version.

I've read rant, damned, haunted and start of invisible monsters so far...
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PostSubject: Re: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk   Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:24 am

Yes, I noticed. The difference is interesting to say the least.

Remix version. Got it. Again, I appreciate the suggestion! Sounds like there's plenty to read and (hopefully) enjoy. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk   Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:42 pm

this reminded me a bit of fight club.



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