Bill Kerwin's Reviews > Fight Club

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
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Nov 09, 14

Read in April, 2008


I wondered whether this book would seem self-absorbed and shallow in our post-9/11 world, but instead I found it prophetic. Throughout the materialism and political correctness of the 1990's and Tyler Durden's response to it, you can sense how all that repressed mama's boy machismo is just hoping and praying for something big and fiery and nasty that would blow our little precious world apart. Well, with 9/11 and the Iraq war, we sure got it. So . . . are all you boys satisfied now?

Sure, this book has its flaws. The rhetorical use of repetition, although effective at first, eventually becomes little more than a stylistic tic. Also, for such a hard-edged book, it gets surprisingly (and disappointingly) sentimental at the end.

Still . . . "Fight Club" is wickedly funny, memorably aphoristic and prophetic. And it holds up well after fifteen years.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Hmm, since I only know the film, I might pick up the book one day. Although I don't know if you have to read the book after watching the movie at all.


Mark There is a great commentary track on the Fight Club DVD with both Palahniuk and the scriptwriter, Jim Uhls. Palahniuk pays him the ultimate complement, by saying that the script improved on the book. I would have to agree with that.


Zardoz "Fight Club" is one of those rare instances where the movie was better than the book!


Bill  Kerwin Zardoz wrote: ""Fight Club" is one of those rare instances where the movie was better than the book!"

Not to take anything away from Uhls, but Fincher deserves the lion's share of credit. Nobody knows how to mix satire on media and commercialism with noir atmosphere and bind it all together with the subtlest irony.

I saw "Gone Girl" and loved it. Now that I've watched Fincher's version, I feel I don't even have to read the book.


Eduardo Corona Bill I thought your review of Fight Club was pretty black and white. While you do mention “Throughout the materialism and political correctness of the 1990's and Tyler Durden's response to it, you can sense how all that repressed mama's boy machismo is just hoping and praying for something big and fiery and nasty that would blow our little precious world apart.” I don’t see how you make the connection between Tyler Durden trying to act out and show an act of violence because he is a momma’s boy. I thought that Tyler Durden was a persona of the main character in the book that did basically everything that the main character could not do.


message 6: by Bill (last edited Feb 23, 2015 07:00AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bill  Kerwin I think you misunderstood me. The repressed mama's boy machismo I referred to was American society's. not Durden's, and my point was the Durden persona embodies the repressed, frustrated energy of a materialist society just waiting to break forth in some great act of violence, such as our invasion of Iraq, and that Fight Club was prophetic in the way it expressed this. Durden is an embodiment of such energy.


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