Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

A little while back I read Fight Club. It was a good book. It was a bit hard to read despite being only 200 pages. The first time I got to page 80 then left it. It was a bit strange and painful experiences. Later I got it again at the library on my son's recommendation and finished it.

It's a book about men. A book for men. There are hardly any female characters and they are generally viewed as objects. It's a book about identity and the modern man. The book is told from the perspective of a nameless narrator. That's a running theme, the contemporary man is nobody with no identity. Later in project mayhem again the men are parts who have to do something special to get a name, an identity.

In the book the nameless narrator is a corporate wonk living alone in a condo with Ikea furniture and an Audi. He meets up with Tyler Durden. Tyler has a name, Tyler gets the girl Marla, Tyler is dynamic, a doer, a winner, a somebody, Tyler leads the Fight Club.

This book was in some ways ahead of its time. Reading the book I sometimes thought of occupy wall street. Tyler is subversive, despising and attacking corporate greed, shallow individual materialism and the wealthy. Tyler dreams of stalking elk from the ruins of the Rockefeller center and drying out fish on the abandoned 8 lane loop highway around Chicago. Alas OWS hadn't a shadow of Tyler's character.

It was a good book. A book that makes you think. I believe Fight Club would be a good book to use in high school or undergrad university English as there is a fair bit in there to think and write about.

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