“Fight Club” by Chuck Palahniuk | Book Review

Book Review | Rating – 2/5 | Genre – Thriller

Honestly, I was given this book as a present from a friend of mine many years ago and for some reason I just never got round to reading it. Thats a lie, it stemmed from knowing about the movie and really just not enjoying the parts of the movie that I did see. However, I couldn’t just leave this book unread on my shelves for the rest of time, so, I gathered myself together and finally picked this book up to read.


Every weekend, in basements and parking lots across the country, young men with good white-collar jobs and absent fathers take off their shoes and shirts and fight each other barehanded for as long as they have to. Then they go back to those jobs with blackened eyes and loosened teeth and the sense that they can handle anything. Fight Club is the invention of Tyler Durden, projectionist, waiter and dark, anarchic genius. And it’s only the beginning of his plans for revenge on a world where cancer support groups have the corner on human warmth. (Check it out here)


What did I think?

I think its easy to see from the fairly low rating, one of the lowest I’ve given for a while, that I didn’t really enjoy this book. I’ll also be entirely honest and confess that I didn’t even finish reading this book. So, before I get into my actual thoughts its worth saying that even though I didn’t finish the book, I couldn’t bring myself to rating this any lower than 2. There was a video I watched recently where the person talked about changing how they review books and products for a number of reasons, my reason is – I’m hoping to become an author myself, and through this process I know how much time and effort goes into writing a book. As someone who hasn’t even published a book yet, who am I to say a book isn’t good. Therefore, I’ll mark no book lower that 2/5 moving forward.

Onto what I thought… this book just didn’t blend with me at all. There wasn’t anything that made me like any of the characters in the book, even wondering if I was actually meant to care about them at all. Especially the main character; never have I seen a protagonist that I’ve cared so little about, to the point where anything that happened to him made me roll my eyes.

I was quite annoyed that I didn’t enjoy this book, as it had all the makings of a book that I’d find interesting and enjoyable. This was based mainly on the writing style. As a theatre geek I’m always a fan of post-modern writing, something that breaks the boundaries a little, and thats exactly what Chuck Palahniuk did, it just didn’t help me understand what on earth was going on half the time.

Reasons to read Fight Club

A quick note; I’ve scrolled through a few positive comments from GoodReads for this section…

  • Interesting writing style: Like I’ve said above, there are elements of more theatrical writing styles, with words repeated in parts and some of Tyler’s thoughts coming across more poetically. This is what initially drove me to reading the book to begin with, and has even made up the main reason people rated the book so highly.
  • Reflections on the real-world: Having Googled the book after giving up, and reading 5 star reviews; what makes Fight Club great for people to read, is it’s commentary on society and the effects created by mass consumerism.

Overall…

I’m not going to dwell to much on the negatives of this book. No, I didn’t enjoy reading this, much to the point of giving up before the end. However, as i’ve put above, there are people who do really enjoy this book (it wouldn’t be a modern classic without some sort of following). A lot of the draw comes from its unfiltered commentary on society and consumerism, showcasing the effects this has on people, specifically men.

What I will say for myself; I currently have another of Palahniuk’s books left on my shelf to read. I’m slightly put off after attempting to read Fight Club, yet I’ll at some point this year persevere and pick up the next of his books.

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