Monday, June 30, 2008

Book 8 – Fight Club

By Chuck Palahniuk

From the refreshingly feminist romance of My Brilliant Career to the male-driven mental maelstrom that is Fight Club, there is no pattern to my pursuit of leisurely reading!

I’m sure all you 50-bookers are already well acquainted as to what Fight Club is all about, mostly likely thanks to David Fincher’s ambitious 1999 movie adaptation (which I saw when it first debuted). I see now how faithfully Fincher captured the voice of this wacky cult writer, and then some. Like the flick, the book crackles and pops with Palahniuk’s brand of nihilistic humour and seethes with a tightly wound masculine energy.

Palahniuk’s sordid world of basement support groups and clandestine fight clubs; his endearingly deranged protagonists caught up in familiar themes of male identity crisis and individual worth in society; the twisted use of plot devices, such as a schizophrenic love triangle, provide the perfect boxing ring for Palahniuk to make his irreverent jabs and punches at the big C’s: Consumerism, Conformism and Corporations.

The fight clubs of men beating up men somehow evolve into an underground society of brotherly militants conspiring to wreak pure, unadulterated mischief upon society, and then of course, this becomes a global network of terrorist cells to bring down civilization as we know it!

Despite the constant lust for mayhem and anarchy, I still appreciated the post 9/11 relevance of Fight Club. You know that Palahniuk wrote it all in good clean fun. Though his voice calls for chaos, the writing itself is tight and spare, and the style articulate, distinct and most of all, not too self-consciously clever. All in all, an entertainingly excellent read!


Jarrett said...

great frickin review! I like your writing style/voice.

I haven't read the book but i have seen the movie - great thing for n english teacher to say. a kid at my old school recommended one of his other books, and so with your reviews i'm drifitng closer to reading something by CP.

beemused said...

gee thanks!
between me n' Olman I guess we've read a few of CP's books. I'm not exactly a fan but I do find him an interesting writer. I liked Diary, but don't know if I'd read Haunted (which Olman read and reviewed).

Olman Feelyus said...

Chuck is really a talented writer with a lot of interesting things to say. I'd recommend him for sure. But he has a very distinctive voice and strong things to say and sometimes those things overshadow the narrative. This depends on the book. Of the 4 I've read, I think my favorite is Diary because it is ultimately a straightforward horror story with a well-constructed narrative. He is good, though, and the things he does have to say need to said a lot more than they are today.

Back to your review, Meezly:
"Despite the constant lust for mayhem and anarchy"

Don't you mean because of! :)

Buzby said...

Great review, I echo Jarrett's praise for your writing style. I have never read any of Chuck's (since Olman has decided that it is appropriate to call him by his first name, so will I) work but this review makes me want to pick it up.

Olman Feelyus said...

Well it's appropriate for me since I've read 3, if not 4, of his books. We're almost like buddies at this point (though he calls me "Freak" usually when I phone him or see him on his front porch, but Chuck's just like that).