Kari J.'s Reviews > Fight Club

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
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Mar 21, 2010

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Read in March, 2010

** spoiler alert ** After reading and reviewing “Shutter Island” by Dennis Lehane, I was looking for yet another quick suspenseful read and “Fight Club” had been on top of my list for a while. My biggest problem is I have seen the movie too many times to let the book stand on its own in my mind.

This isn’t the first book I’ve read by Palahniuk (I read “Lullaby” when it first came out) and not, it’s not going to be the last. But I have to admit–I just wasn’t as impressed with this book as I thought I would be. Maybe part of the reason is that Edward Norton wouldn’t leave my head as the narrator and Tyler Durden will forever by Brad Pitt

I’ve seen “Fight Club” the movie enough times to feel like I know all the scenes by heart–all the characters on a first name basis–and I know the anarchist undercurrent of the story that swells up to reveal itself as the movie continues. I may not agree with Palahniuk’s anarchist philosophy, but in the movie (and the novel), it works and works very well. Part of me cheers when the bombs explode at the end of the movie–and that’s the same part of me that doesn’t question the philosophy expounded in both works.

The movie is fairly true to the gritty feel of the book itself. There are several scenes in the novel that were taken out of the screenplay–but that’s ok. Jack and Tyler don’t meet on an airplane–they meet on a beach. Marla seems to accept Jack and Tyler’s split personality much better than she does in the movie–the movie makes her appear more confused. The catch phrases always start with “I am Jack’s…”–in the book, it’s “I am Joe’s…”

The ending is somewhat different, but that’s ok–it’s hard to end a movie with the main character the audience is invested in, dying. At least, it’s a bit more realistic than the movie ending where Jack shoots himself point blank and survives, you know?

Eh, with the exception of enjoying Palahniuk’s writing style–he tends to have a uniqueness about him I enjoy–I’m not sure that I would really recommend this book to someone who has already seen the movie. It’s kinda like reading the screenplay–you know the story, you know how it develops, you know how it ends.

3.5 out of 5 stars
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