Home » Book Review » Book Review: Chuck Palahniuk – Fight Club

Book Review: Chuck Palahniuk – Fight Club

Fight Club

The first rule of fight club is, aw hell, you know what it is.

Fight Club is a movie from 1999 starring Edward Norton, Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter. It was pretty unsuccessful at the cinema before becoming a cult classic on DVD and subsequently working its way into popular culture in a big way.

But before all that, it was a book.

First published in 1996, it tells the story of a man who is suffering from insomnia. He starts going to support groups for diseases he doesn’t has and meets Marla Singer. Eventually he meets a man named Tyler Durden and they start what becomes known as fight club. From there things escalate.

The writing is humorous and this book is eminently quotable. It tackles themes of isolation, existentialism, anti-consumerism and notions of masculinity.

The style is interesting, but can also be a bit distracting. It is somewhat rambling and disjointed with a fair bit of reputation of lines and deceptively little in the way of actual dialogue. In this manner it feels somewhat like reading the ramblings of a madman.

This is one of the reasons the film resonates more strongly than the book. In the film, all of that is stripped away to tell a much more focused story.

Whilst this is a book worth reading, it is the only book I can think of where it has been made essentially redundant by the film.


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