Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Fight Club #1

Fight Club

Rate this book
It follows the experiences of an unnamed protagonist struggling with insomnia. Inspired by his doctor's exasperated remark that insomnia is not suffering, the protagonist finds relief by impersonating a seriously ill person in several support groups. Then he meets a mysterious man named Tyler Durden and establishes an underground fighting club as radical psychotherapy.

218 pages, Paperback

First published August 1, 1996

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Chuck Palahniuk

250 books128k followers
Written in stolen moments under truck chassis and on park benches to a soundtrack of The Downward Spiral and Pablo Honey, Fight Club came into existence. The adaptation of Fight Club was a flop at the box office, but achieved cult status on DVD. The film’s popularity drove sales of the novel. Chuck put out two novels in 1999, Survivor and Invisible Monsters. Choke, published in 2001, became Chuck’s first New York Times bestseller. Chuck’s work has always been infused with personal experience, and his next novel, Lullaby, was no exception. Chuck credits writing Lullaby with helping him cope with the tragic death of his father. Diary and the non-fiction guide to Portland, Fugitives and Refugees, were released in 2003. While on the road in support of Diary, Chuck began reading a short story entitled 'Guts,' which would eventually become part of the novel Haunted.

In the years that followed, he continued to write, publishing the bestselling Rant, Snuff, Pygmy, Tell-All, a 'remix' of Invisible Monsters, Damned, and most recently, Doomed.

Chuck also enjoys giving back to his fans, and teaching the art of storytelling has been an important part of that. In 2004, Chuck began submitting essays to ChuckPalahniuk.net on the craft of writing. These were 'How To' pieces, straight out of Chuck's personal bag of tricks, based on the tenants of minimalism he learned from Tom Spanbauer. Every month, a “Homework Assignment” would accompany the lesson, so Workshop members could apply what they had learned. (all 36 of these essays can currently be found on The Cult's sister-site, LitReactor.com).

Then, in 2009, Chuck increased his involvement by committing to read and review a selection of fan-written stories each month. The best stories are currently set to be published in Burnt Tongues, a forthcoming anthology, with an introduction written by Chuck himself.

His next novel, Beautiful You, is due out in October 2014.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
254,349 (44%)
4 stars
205,937 (35%)
3 stars
86,185 (15%)
2 stars
19,373 (3%)
1 star
7,247 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 20,199 reviews
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.5k followers
February 21, 2019
the first rule of reading fight club is: you do not talk about reading fight club.

which is a good thing because i honestly have no idea what i read.
man, this book is W I L D.
Profile Image for ruzmarì.
153 reviews65 followers
May 10, 2007
Mary Ann Evans, in the 1850s, spoke out against the notion that "lady novelists" were capable of producing only "silly novels" - precious, sentimental, illogical and improbable claptrap - while men produced high literature. She changed her name to George Eliot and wrote as a "gender neutral" narrator, highly educated and worldly, and mostly transparent (i.e., not silly).

The 1990s finds us again at a crossroads where literature is concerned, with the rise of Oprah's book club and the whole genre of "chick lit" on the one hand (in many cases just "silly novels by lady novelists" revivified), and a sort of phallic-anxiety heavy-on-the-masculine literature on the other. This second group, I like to call "guy crap." It's not a bad label ; there's some good stuff in guy crap, just like there is on Oprah's book list. Guy crap includes genre fiction (Dennis Lehane, Jonathan Lethem), as well as insistent intellectualism (David Foster Wallace, Martin Amis, Paul Auster) ... and, of course, the violent, psych-you-out, latter-day-Robbe-Grillet disturbances of Bret Easton Ellis and Chuck Palahniuk. Some of these are done well, and some of them are just as silly as the lady novelists' claptrap.

Fight Club is one of those novels where the unrelenting GUY-ness of narrator and storyline begins as an intriguing challenge and ends up fatiguing and gimmicky. In case there's anyone out here who hasn't either read the book or seen the movie, I won't spoil anything, I promise. It's a book about a bunch of young men, frustrated in their low-on-the-ladder white-collar day jobs and the emptiness of modern society, who meet routinely to pound each other close to death and plot destruction on a less personal scale. The novel is Palahniuk's testament to the counter-culture of yuppiedom, a world in which squalor and presentability, upward mobility and civil disobedience, live side by side and take each other's measure daily. Palahniuk asks pointed questions about the world we live in, and his prose is the strength of this novel - he keeps you interested, even when you realize how much you hate what he's saying.

And you should hate what Palahniuk is saying. Because at the heart of the novel sits a troubled foundation. It's not the acts of (juvenile, for the most part) sociopathy, or even the ultimate real pathology the characters fall into. What you should hate as (or after) you read is the book's central three-part idea, that (a) the disaffected youth of the video-game generation really do hold the truth about society ; (b) society in turn is nothing but a reflection of the video-game generation's disaffected world-view ; and (c) once a disaffected youth of the video-game generation, always a disaffected youth of the video-game generation - there is no improvement, there is no connection, there is no healing, there is no "out," because boys never grow up. Even the support-group conceit that could represent the narrator's redemptive attempt at relation turns out to be just a device, as egotistical for the character as it is ultimately for the storyline. Relation between people doesn't exist, not really : you don't talk about fight club. We're all just wandering bruised through the wasted LCD landscape, staking out our independence like rebel teenagers, promising to blow up whatever we disagree with.

Palahniuk has said he wrote this book as a kind of provocation, to get back at a publisher for turning down his earlier manuscript. I wonder if he peed in the publisher's soup, too : it wouldn't altogether surprise me.
Profile Image for anarki.
79 reviews146 followers
December 28, 2015
You do not talk about Fight Club, but...

Upon winning the Oregon Book Award for best novel and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award, Chuck Palahniuk’s visionary debut novel, Fight Club, was shot to the veins of mainstream fiction. Following the success of its 1999 film adaptation directed by David Fincher, Fight Club gained cult classic status and has become a disturbingly accurate interpretation of our modern world.

The unnamed male narrator, suffering from a long streak of insomnia, finds cure by attending cancer support groups. But when Marla Singer—a sallow, heavy-smoking nihilist—enters the evening meetings and mirrors his own fraud, his insomnia returns, so he confronts Singer to split schedules with him.

On the night when his condominium mysteriously blows up, he calls Tyler Durden, whom he had previously met—under strange circumstances—on a beach. They agree to meet at a bar, where, after drinking, Durden asks him a favor, “I want you to hit me as hard as you can.”

The narrator swings the punch that cradled Fight Club into the world. Shortly, a multitude of men with white-collar jobs join them. Every weekend, in the parking lots and basements of bars, they hold these late-hour no-holds-barred-and-barefisted fights that “go on as long as they have to.”

These one-on-one melees curiously evoke psychotherapeutic effects—resembling that of enlightenment—within the men: they are reborn from their entombed lives.

Fight Club soon evolves into Project Mayhem, an anarchic army led by Durden, who seeks to fulfill his visions of global enlightenment through organized chaos, public unrest, and demolition.

Fight Club is a social satire on the dehumanizing effects of consumerism: alienation brought by chronic materialism, illusory comforts, overindulgence, and career and lifestyle obsessions fueled by advertising. “The modern world is for business—not for the people,” as what the great psychoanalyst Carl Jung said.

“It’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything.” Skillfully fusing Zen elements with Durden’s extremist ideologies, Palahniuk has written a provocative expression of metaphysical rebellion. The collective revolt against the existential vacuum is Durden’s nucleus and what draws men toward him.

Fight Club’s noir ambience and the solid economy of its prose are reminiscent of Albert Camus’s The Stranger, but with the sharp nonlinear narration executing its plot; inheriting Kurt Vonnegut’s dark humor, Chuck Palahniuk is among today’s distinct and intriguing voices.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews41 followers
July 29, 2021
Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk

Fight Club is a 1996 novel by Chuck Palahniuk.

It follows the experiences of an unnamed protagonist struggling with insomnia. Inspired by his doctor's exasperated remark that insomnia is not suffering, the protagonist finds relief by impersonating a seriously ill person in several support groups. Then he meets a mysterious man named Tyler Durden and establishes an underground fighting club as radical psychotherapy.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و ششم ماه می سال 2011 میلادی

عنوان: باشگاه مشت زنی (باشگاه مبارزه)؛ نویسنده: چاک پالانیک؛ مترجم: پیمان خاکسار؛ تهران، نشر چشمه، 1390، در 230ص، شابک9789643627379؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 20م

داستان با این واژه ها آغاز می‌شود: («تایلر» یک شغل پیشخدمتی برایم پیدا می‌کند، و بعد تفنگی در دهانم می‌چپاند، و می‌گوید که اولین قدم برای رسیدن به جاودانگی مردن است؛ با اینکه من و «تایلر» از مدت‌ها پیش بهترین دوست هم بودیم، باز هم مردمان، همیشه از من می‌پرسیدند که اسم «تایلر دردن» به گوشم خورده یا نه؛ لوله‌ ی تفنگ به ته گلویم فشار می‌آورد؛ «تایلر» می‌گوید: ما واقعا نمی‌میریم؛ با زبانم شیارهای صدا خفه‌ کن لوله‌ ی تفنگ را، که خودمان مته‌ شان کرده‌ ایم، حس می‌کنم؛ بیشتر صداییکه شلیک گلوله ایجاد می‌کند، در اثر انبساط گازهاست؛ گلوله صدای زیر قابل شنیدنی هم تولید می‌کند، که به خاطر حرکت بسیار سریعش است؛ برای خفه کردن صدا، تنها باید تعداد زیادی سوراخ، داخل لوله‌ ی تفنگ ایجاد کرد؛ اینکار به گازها اجازه‌ ی خروج می‌دهد؛ و این‌طوری سرعت گلوله، به کمتر از سرعت صوت می‌رسد؛ اگر سوراخ‌ها را، درست مته نکنی تفنگ در دستت منفجر می‌شود) پایان نقل از متن

باشگاه مبارزه؛ روایت تجربیات شخصیت اصلی بی‌نام رمان است، که از بی‌خوابی و اختلال هویت، رنج می‌برد؛ او پس از اینکه در گروه‌های گوناگون روان‌ درمانی گروهی، نقش فردی بسیار بیمار را، بازی می‌کند، آرامش می‌یابد، و از بی‌خوابی نجات پیدا می‌کند؛ اما پس از آشنایی با دختری به نام «مارلا سینگر»، مجدداً به بی‌خوابی دچار می‌شود؛ تا زمانیکه با شخصی به نام «تایلر دردن» آشنا می‌شود؛ آن‌ها با یاری همدیگر باشگاه زیرزمینی مبارزه‌ ای برپا می‌کنند، که اعضای آن در مبارزه با یکدیگر، عقده‌ های خود را خالی، و به نوعی، روان‌ ��ویش را درمان میکنند

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 24/05/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 06/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,118 reviews44.8k followers
November 24, 2019
“You are not special. You're not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We're all part of the same compost heap. We're all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”

Fight Club is absolutely tragic in its reflection of the real world. I get angry when I read it and annoyed at a world that could cause such a situation. This may be fiction, but it’s full of truth.

The modern world is unfulfilling and depressing. People spend their lives working in call centres or sat behind desks slowly getting more miserable until they become depressed and want to kill themselves. The modern world drives people crazy with its insufferable and suffocating ways. It’s a concrete jungle and not all of us can find happiness amongst the endless grey days of mundanity.

And in a way, Fight Club is a reaction against that. Fighting bare knuckle in the streets is a way of feeling alive in a dead and detached world. It might be painful, but it is something. It’s a feeling, no matter how bad it may be. It’s better than the nothingness that faces these men as they wonder amongst the stones and lights of an insomnia driven emptiness because it is a feeling, a reminder that they are in fact alive. If you’ve ever worked a dead end nine to five job, then you may be able to relate. It can be soul destroying.

“I let go. Lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete. I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom.”

This is not a happy book. It possesses no bright spark and like American Psycho it left me feeling thoroughly defeated after reading, and that’s because there is so much truth in these pages. Hard truths. Gut-wrenchingly agonising truths. Truths that might make you question your own existence because they are just so cynical in their viewpoint. It’s all a bit of a mind fuck. And if we’re to talk about the power of words, about how words can affect you and make you perceive something new, then these words certainly are powerful in their terribleness.

You should go read them.

If you dare.
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,882 reviews16.6k followers
April 15, 2017
I believe in love at first sight, and I’m talking about books.

A few pages into The Dispossessed by Ursula K. LeGuin and I knew that this was the book I had been looking for my whole life. The same for Robert A. Heinlein’s brilliant The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. These books are speaking to me, the author and I are sharing a conversation and I am hearing what I want to hear but the writer, through the osmosis of shared visions, is saying for me what I want to say. I had nebulous thoughts and that writer succinctly stated, set down in black and white, what for me was pre-language thought only.

Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club is another, and Palahniuk speaks for a generation; he boils down and dilutes what we all want to say but felt only. The primal fears and drives that we know deep down but before this book could give no voice; Palahniuk has found a pigment to paint on our collective cave wall. What Palahniuk illustrates in words is Edvard Munch’s The Scream amplified and multiplied by ten million.

“I am Joe’s fear of death”.

He is talking about repressed anger spread out over an actuarial table of life expectancy. Stripped down to fighting weight and stepping into the ring with borrowed gloves, this book is a gritty explanation of the dark side of Generation X men.

“What you see at Fight Club is a generation of men raised by women”. This quote is the hard nucleus around which the novel forms, growing fruitlike around a solid core.

The next great, definitive quote is “The first rule about Fight Club is that you don’t talk about fight Club.” This is a charismatic catch phrase, to be sure, but it is more than this. Palahniuk goes to great length, albeit subtle, to reveal that much of what is felt and experienced in Fight Club is either beyond or beneath language, inexpressible. Palahniuk is grasping at deep roots. One of the foundations of feminist thought is communication, the need for women to relate to one another and to talk about feelings. Men are encouraged to express themselves as well and Palahniuk takes time, the same as Hemingway in The Sun Also Rises, to draw a misdirected connection to the narrator’s affinity for self help groups and his need to cry. I can hear the echoes of Jake Barnes crying by himself and of Romero’s desperate but heroic fist fighting accomplishments. Palahniuk resurrects the strong, quiet type and raises him, dead from the grave, in a post-modern zombie-like caricature; Fight Club’s protagonists are still “30 year old boys” trying to be what they were never raised to be.

I cannot help but compare this book with Bernard Malamud’s The Natural. I saw both film before reading the book, and both film adaptations have significant variances from the original literature.

Fight Club was brilliant and disturbing all at the same time.

Profile Image for Sarah.
11 reviews20 followers
June 5, 2008
Dear Chuck,

I have tried to like you. Really, I honestly have. I tried to read Rant, I tried to read Choke and then I attempted this book. Rare is the moment where I realize I enjoyed the movie much MUCH more then then the novel it is based on. I simply do not like your style of writing, and I have been ridiculed by fanboys who will defend your honor to the grave. Your style comes off as unique, but I can feel the pretentiousness like a piece of meat stuck in between my teeth. You know full well that a vast majority of your audience shops at Hot Topic, and you lead them by the fishnets to your thin plot lines, monotone voice and the "gritty" and "edgy" characters that seem to recycle themselves with your stories. (You wake up in Miami. You wake up in Des Moines. You wake up in Botswana...straitlaced man meets crazy man: life changes. Rinse. Repeat.)

I have been told that I do not "get" you. That I do not understand the basics of a male love story, a male writer who understands the male psyche and who can convey what it really feels like to be, a male. Perhaps this is the core of my issue, being a hapless female who fails at trends. Either way, I have friends that adore you and for that reason only I will not completely denounce you on the internets. Keep appealing to your trendy fan base and keep raking in the dough. Maybe someday I will swallow my pride and appeal to the masses just like you. And James Patterson.

Best wishes

Profile Image for Bill Kerwin.
Author 1 book81.9k followers
March 13, 2019

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.
Profile Image for Jen CAN.
505 reviews1,478 followers
September 22, 2017
This is satirical, cynical, Darkly intense. A mind f**k.

What person in their right mind goes to support groups for cancer patients in order to get perspective on their own life and cure their insomnia? That's what kind of story this is. This is how it begins. An Obsession with death.

Then the fight club is born. Blue collar to white collar. There are 6 rules in the fight club. First rule: you don't talk about the fight club. Second rule: you don't talk about the fight club. Third rule: two men per fight. Fourth rule: one fight at a time. Fifth rule: no shoes, no shirts in the fight club. The sixth rule: the fight goes on as long as they have to.

This is their way of turning down the volume in the real world. These guys are on a mission to self destruct although they would describe it as "enlightenment". A subculture of violence trying to correct all the wrongs in the world with the most primitive emotion and passion that exists: hate.

What a trip Palahniuk takes the reader on. What one may interpret as a mind blowing, head shaking, wtf is going on: let the fights begin! Another may interpret it as a state of mental illness and the effects of it not being treated. A fascinating analysis of the human psyche.

Enough said. 4.5⭐️
Profile Image for Kay.
65 reviews19 followers
August 9, 2007
I read this book as a self-absorbed 18-year old and never looked back. Brilliant modern critique of western consumerism and masculinity, told through the story of an underground club of men who beat the hell out of each other as a way of working through their disillusionments.

Each sentence of each chapter is quotable, things like :
'You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everyone else, and we are all part of the same compost pile.'
'We don't have a great war in our generation, or a great depression, but we do, we have a great war of the spirit. We have a great revolution against the culture. The great depression is our lives. We have a spiritual depression.'

(As a trivial aside, you can hear a selection of them in the Dust Brother's song 'This is Your Life' featuring Brad Pitt, who incidentally does a pretty good job as the aforementioned anti-hero in the movie.)

What is most poignant however, is the lingering effects of the narrator's troubled relationship with his father throughout his adult life. The quote I remembered most explicity, even years after reading Fight Club is this one:

"What you have to understand, is your father was your model for God. If you're male and you're Christian and living in America, your father is your model for God. And if you never know your father, if your father bails out and dies or is never at home, what do you believe about God?"

I'm waiting for another book to come along that will speak as loudly to me about modern day malaise.

Profile Image for Chris.
341 reviews973 followers
May 26, 2009
Well, now I reckon y'all have seen the movie, so there's probably not a whole lot that you need to know about this book.

You know Tyler Durden.

He's the Id, the unchained spirit that wants what he wants and he wants it now. He's the voice in your head that tells you that everything is worthless, that chaos, death and the end of civilization would be better than anything our so-called "society" could ever create. He's the one standing over your left shoulder, whispering "Burn it all down. It'll be fun." He acts in secret, he has an army of minions, and he has a plan.

Oh yes, you know Tyler Durden.

The narrator of this dark and strange cautionary tale knows Tyler all too well, and tells us of how he and Tyler tried to change the world. It all started very simply - with basement fight clubs where men could let out their rage and frustration on each other. There were very few rules to fight club, but that was okay. Rules were, in fact, the problem. The regimented society in which we live imposes constant rules on us - social rules, cultural rules, corporate rules - that tell us who to be and what to think. The rules of our society have sapped us of our strength and purpose, making us soft. Pliable. Weak.

But Tyler's plan doesn't end there - the fight clubs morph into Project Mayhem, a well-oiled anarchist movement, determined to bring down the very fundamentals of our society. With an army at his beck and call, Tyler is sure that his plan will succeed.

It's a book with a couple of very powerful messages, one overt and incorrect, the other subtle and accurate. The overt message is Tyler's message - we are a generation with no cause, no purpose. Our lives are governed by what we buy and what we wear, and none of us will die having done anything with our lives. In order to be Real Men, we need to strip away the veneer of civilization - our Ikea furniture, our make-work jobs and our cornflower blue neckties - and rediscover the inner core of ourselves. The brutal, unafraid, unapologetic beast that is Man.

This, to no one's surprise, appealed to a lot of people when the film came out because it's a very believable world view. Those of Gen X and beyond are reminded over and over again that the generations before us were the ones who actually did things. The Baby Boomers got herded into the slaughterhouse that was Vietnam, toppled a President, faced down the chaos of the Sixties and fought to change the world. Their parents, of course, were the Greatest Generation - a label that I have come to despise - who fought Hitler and freed Europe. Their parents struggled through the Depression, and their parents fought in the trenches of World War One.

What have we done? Until the beginning of the 21st Century, how had we suffered? What had we sacrificed? Not a whole lot, and I think a lot of us secretly believe that we're not only not pulling our weight in the world, but that since we have not suffered, we're not really adult. Our miseries have not been those born of chaos, war and destruction. Ours have been tiny, personal tragedies that are, in their way, insignificant.

I can see where Tyler Durden is coming from on this point - I do sometimes look around me and ask, "Where are our great challenges, our Normandy or our moon landing?" And I fear that without these milestones, my generation will never really be taken seriously.

Unfortunately, this is about where most folks stopped thinking and decided, "Shit, man, he's right! I wanna start a fight club!" And short-lived fight clubs sprang up all over the country, lasting about as long as it took for people to realize that while Brad Pitt on the movie screen can get beaten within an inch of his life and still look cool, a normal human cannot. They missed the subtle message because it wasn't one that they really wanted to hear.

The book is not about the triumph of nihilism over a consumer-driven culture. It's not about being a Real Man. It's not about being a unique snowflake or a space monkey.

It's about overcoming both the desire to destroy society and the desire to be completely subsumed by it. It's about the need for purpose, and the need for connection with other people, and what can happen when one is deprived of those things. Tyler doesn't show up because the narrator is rootless or bored - Tyler shows up because the narrator has forsaken people for things. He has replaced personal achievement with material gain, and that's not a very fulfilling way to live.

It is a cautionary tale for our generation - you are not your tragedies. You are not the club you belong to. You are not your scars. You are neither worthless nor undeserving.

You are what you make yourself to be, no matter what Tyler Durden wants.
Profile Image for Leonard Gaya.
Author 1 book933 followers
March 14, 2021
Fight Club is Chuck Palahniuk’s first prominent literary success. He wrote this novella in the mid-1990s, as the United States had become an unrivalled superpower. In a way, the future looked bright for the American white male. Nevertheless, what Palahniuk expresses here is a deep disgust and struggle, intense angst, a rumbling rage against a society that can only offer endless consumerism, a sluggish form of happiness, around-the-clock slavery to an unsatisfying job that ends up getting you to buy IKEA crap, and to sum it up, a life devoid of meaning. This feeling of discontent and radical thinking (a sort of late absurdism) has since been creeping over large parts of public opinion.

The “Fight Club”, depicted in the book, is like an inverted Dead Poets Society, where depressed, disaffected Gen-X men meet in secret to beat the shit out of each other. It is both a potent stimulant and a way for these middle-class working men to let off steam, to feel alive. It’s brutal, it’s ugly, it’s self-destructive, suicidal even, but in a way, it’s fortifying and liberating. The next step in the story, of course, beyond the fight club, is “Project Mayhem”: to blow everything up, terrorise everybody, unleash civil war, end civilisation as we know it. A diehard version of The Man Who Was Thursday, with a distinct and slightly unpleasant whiff of fascism.

Palahniuk has a rough, tough sort of style, almost a form of dark but invigorating poetry. In a way, he writes like a fighter, with short catchphrases, punchlines, kertwangs, quick jabs with line breaks, combinations (alternation of 1st and 2nd person), enumerations, repetitions and countdowns (the famous rules of fight club, among other things), strong blows and head-butts and uppercuts in the reader’s chin, that leave him/her mindblown or in stitches.

The storytelling is somewhat messy, though, and feels a bit made up as we go along, possibly because this is an extended version of an original couple-of-pages story. And so it is as if it has been growing like some vine, with a few weaker bits here and there: the food-tampering sections, for instance, come across as a schoolboy prank; the soap made of boiled liposuctioned human fat is a tad gratuitously offensive as well; the schizophrenic twist towards the end is undoubtedly a funny wink to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but feels like a slightly evasive way to conclude the book.

There is, in a way, a sort of brotherly relationship between this short novel and David Foster Wallace’s sprawling masterpiece, Infinite Jest. Both books were written around the same time by men of around the same age. Both have extensive scenes of group therapy and more generally disconcerting stuff. Both reveal a rebel and loud attitude towards literature. Both are full of dark humour. Both are fierce satires of contemporary American culture. But where DWF spreads his expansive vision all over the place, Palahniuk is an extremely stocky straight shooter. His novella also harks back to a French tradition of unbowed, transgressional writers, that goes at least from Louis-Ferdinand Céline to Michel Houellebecq.

Edit: David Fincher’s movie, adapted from Palahniuk’s novel, is lively, funny, gritty, visually stunning, and the Norton / Pitt / Bonham Carter trio is absolutely amazing. One of these instances where the film is actually more compelling than the book — it has, in fact, become a sort of cult movie over the years.
Profile Image for Lou.
879 reviews864 followers
February 17, 2013
1st rule about Fight Club is read the novel first! Well thats my rule, i watched the movie, when it came out years ago (most the population) and only now discovered the real Fight club.
The narrator is a traveling automobile company employee who suffers from insomnia. On advice from his doctor attends support groups and pretends to be a victim. He gains some emotional release here and feels part of a people and becomes addicted to attending these support groups as an imposter. He's not the only one who's a trickster and important character pops up at the meetings Marla and they both find they have an emptiness to fill and befriend each other.

On a flight he befriended a key character of the story, Durden a soap salesman, they arrange to meet at a bar and the rest is history as they say. They set up a fight club the rules are.
1.You don't talk about fight club.

2.You don't talk about fight club.

3.When someone says stop, or goes limp, the fight is over.

4.Only two guys to a fight.

5.One fight at a time.

6.They fight without shirts or shoes.

7.The fights go on as long as they have to.

8.If this is your first night at fight club, you have to fight.

They are "a generation of men raised by women," being without a male example in their lives to help shape their masculinity. The fight club is not really about physical combat, money, skill or winning but instead a way for participants to experience feeling in a society where they are otherwise numb. The fighting forms a resistance to the impulse to be "cocooned" in society. The fighting between the men stripped away the "fear of pain" and "the reliance on material signifiers of their self-worth", leaving them to experience something valuable.

As the fight club's membership grows Tyler begins to use it to spread his anti-consumerist ideas and recruits fight club's members to participate in increasingly elaborate pranks on corporate America. This was originally the narrator's idea, but Tyler takes control from him. Tyler eventually gathers the most devoted fight club members (referred to as "space monkeys") and forms "Project Mayhem," a cult-like organization that trains itself as an army to bring down modern civilization. This Organization, like fight club, is controlled by a set of rules:

1.You don't ask questions.

2.You don't ask questions.

3.No excuses.

4.No lies.

5.You have to trust Tyler.

The narrator becomes unhappy with Tyler's extremities and a battle for power and control ignites literally. The narrator and Tyler can no longer accommodate the same space one has to give in on power and control!

I can not comment anymore on the story as i don't want to spoil the story any further.

This was a thought provoking read and written in a wacky style.

Think of the Psycho movie and that Jack Nicholson character from One Flew over the cuckoos nest playing Mr Bates and you might have something close to the protagonist in this story.

"But I'm Tyler Durden. I invented fight club. Fight club is mine. I wrote those rules. None of you would be here if it wasn't for me. And I say it stops here!"

"I love everything about Tyler Durden, his courage and his smarts. His nerve. Tyler is funny and charming and forceful and independent, and men look up to him and expect him to change their world. Tyler is capable and free, and I am not. I'm not Tyler Durden."

"This was the goal of Project Mayhem, Tyler said, the complete and right-away destruction of civilization. What comes next in Project Mayhem, nobody except Tyler knows. The second rule is you don't ask questions."

"It's Project Mayhem that's going to save the world. A cultural ice age. A prematurely induced dark age. Project Mayhem will force humanity to go dormant or into remission long enough for the Earth to recover."






Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,093 reviews17.7k followers
April 2, 2019
I did not dislike this book because I did not understand this book. I disliked this book because I have fundamental ideological disagreements with this book.

I'm sure we all know this quote:
You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying, organic matter as everyone else, and we are all part of the same compost pile.

...I think this is just a really dumb way of looking at the world. The complaints about consumerism are one thing, even though they all sound like this SNL skit. But here’s the thing: this book is woefully and irredeemably nihilistic and I am emphatically not a nihilist.

I’m aware this sounds like an obvious statement, but the narrator of this book needs to get a fucking hobby. No, really. Fight Club is that one weird nihilistic asshole who thinks the apocalypse is coming because consumerism, or political correctness, or something, he’s not quite sure what, and also he makes fun of everyone for having joy in their life.

Here's why this bothers me: I’m sure you’re all aware that’s a terrible way of looking at life, but I think we do, genuinely, as a society, romanticize an idea of giving up and no longer caring. I don’t hold with that. Yes, we all have dumb corporate jobs and no meaning in our lives. If you don’t have meaning in your life, go out and fucking find some. Love, or family, or a damn puppy, as the narrator so sarcastically intones:
My tiny life. My little shit job. My Swedish furniture. I never, no, never told anyone this, but before I met Tyler, I was planning to buy a dog and name it “Entourage.”
This is how bad your life can get.

Like… he’s getting a dog and naming it a dumb name, like you do with a dog because it’s a goddamn dog and it makes you happy. Why is that so stupid?

I think the reason this bothers me is I know why buying a dog to be happy is stupid, and I choose to ignore it. Looking at the world through a nihilistic eye will never make the world better.

There’s another dynamic at play here - the new commonality of this language. nihilist language is the only rhetoric we hear about millenials right now? I mean, I’m sure this was a revolutionary idea twenty years ago, that none of us are special and consumerism is killing America so therefore, posessions are bad, and our current generation is awful for blah blah blah reasons. That is currently the belief of about 80% of older Americans about our generation. This book made widespread the use of term “special snowflakes” as a derogatory term (look it up - it’s true.) The idea that it is weak to care about things, weak to care about other people, or even weak to love your dog - it’s widespread. It’s not a weird deviation from social norms. Constant nihilism is a social norm; this book is thus not particularly transgressive.

I liked what user Ruzmari said here:
The 1990s finds us again at a crossroads where literature is concerned, with the rise of Oprah's book club and the whole genre of "chick lit" on the one hand (in many cases just "silly novels by lady novelists" revivified), and a sort of phallic-anxiety heavy-on-the-masculine literature on the other. This second group, I like to call "guy crap."

The thesis being “life is meaningless” does not make this any deeper or any less cliche and done-before.

(Oh, and since I’ve brought up the whole snowflake thing - weirdly enough, this book has absolutely nothing to do with political correctness, but it does talk about how the generation before my own was raised to believe they’d be everything. It’s so funny to me that this led to the entire criticism of “millenial snowflake” culture. People who were adults in ‘96? Isn’t that ten years off?)

And listen, to the inevitable person who is going to say I just didn't get it: I really love unreliable and biased narrators. I am also not convinced this narrator, though certainly unreliable, is meant to be disagreed with. I mean, seriously, after all of that people-are-trash, our-generation-is-terrible bs for 200 pages, this is the payoff we get:
“We are not special. We are not crap or trash, either. We just are. We just are, and what happens just happens.”

...this is still nihilistic? Actually, on that topic, here is a compilation of fake-deep, not-that-funny, ideologically-shitty quotes from this book:
“Our culture has made us all the same. No one is truly white or black or rich, anymore. We all want the same. Individually, we are nothing.”
“Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything. Nothing is static, everything is evolving, everything is falling apart.”

Yeah, whatever.

I mean, I think the best things I got out of this book was a greater appreciation for the possibility of movie superiority over books and for how fucking annoying 2000s nihilism was. And from the movie, I got 1) new pop culture references that I actually understand now, 2) an interesting critique of toxic masculinity, rather than whatever this was, and 3) good acting performances. I'll just end with this quote:
I have been told that I do not "get" you. That I do not understand the basics of a male love story, a male writer who understands the male psyche and who can convey what it really feels like to be, a male. Perhaps this is the core of my issue, being a hapless female who fails at trends. Either way, I have friends that adore you and for that reason only I will not completely denounce you on the internets. Keep appealing to your trendy fan base and keep raking in the dough. Maybe someday I will swallow my pride and appeal to the masses just like you. And James Patterson.-Source

Bye, Chuck.

Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
Profile Image for Nataliya Yaneva.
165 reviews330 followers
August 17, 2019
Bulgarian review below/Ревюто на български е по-долу
Since I began marching in step with the people who (try to) earn their daily bread (and fruits and vegetables too), I take the subject of the forsaken rank-and-file employee in a crappy office to heart and it’s a sticky subject to me. Is there anyone who haven’t made the discovery that nothing makes you go off your wits as surely as a job that suffocates you? We all dwell in the miniature boxes of our lives and offices so we can successfully squeeze in the petty hole which our dear consumerist society has left for us. Yes, that’s right – in order to buy stuff we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.

Too many human beings live their lives as in a dream. They eat, speak, and do whatever they do with the sluggish mechanical movements which suggest a lack of a more significant thought process. Same shit, different day, some would say. We are all Pavlov’s dogs and we just wait for the respective cues to do the next thing for the day.
‘This is how it is with insomnia. Everything is so far away, a copy of a copy of a copy. The insomnia distance of everything, you can't touch anything and nothing can touch you.’

Chuck Palahniuk constructs surrealistic metaphors. His sarcasm’s whip stings you harshly and it smarts. Is this who I am? Boring life, empty like a shell, meaningless, I get out of bed, I’m not quite awake all day long, I go to bed, I hoard, and hoard, and hoard. Wherefore? And when you push someone up against the wall so tight they can barely hold it together, they just give you the finger and lash against you. This is when Tyler appears. And Tyler is not like you. Tyler pisses over the established order (literally) and knows what he wants – and especially how to get it.

‘Fight Club’ leaves you raw as the knuckles of a hand which has hit something. It is the cold shower of the future. Of that future when even the sleeping cocoons have realized that something has to change.
‘We are the middle children of history, raised by television to believe that someday we'll be millionaires and movie stars and rock stars, but we won't. And we're just learning this fact,’ Tyler said. ‘So don't fuck with us.’

Our great depression is our life. In a world where communication is everything, people have forgotten to talk to each other. We’ve forgotten to be people. We’ve forgotten to treat each other as human beings. We’ve forgotten to do humane things. Sometimes though there are some who venture to lift the lid of their reason and check if Schrödinger’s cat is still alive in there. In some cases it is. And its name is Tyler.


Откакто и аз се влях в редиците на хората, които сами (се опитват да) си припечелват хляба (и плодовете, и зеленчуците), темата за низвергнатия редови служител в смотан офис ми е доста близка и болезнена. Кой ли не е правил в живота си откритието, че почти нищо друго не те чалва така, както работа, от която се задушаваш? А всички обитаваме малките кутийки на живота и офиса си, за да можем успешно да се натъпчем в дребната ниша, която ни е оставило милото ни консуматорско общество. Да, точно така – за да си купим неща, които не ни трябват, с пари, които нямаме, така че да можем да впечатлим хора, които не харесваме.

Твърде много човешки същества живеят живота си като насън. Хранят се, говорят, правят, каквото правят, с онези лениви механични движения, които подсказват липса на протичащ по-съществен мисловен процес. Same shit, different day, биха казали някои. Всички сме кучета на Павлов и просто чакаме съответните сигнали, за да извършим следващото действие за деня.
‘This is how it is with insomnia. Everything is so far away, a copy of a copy of a copy. The insomnia distance of everything, you can't touch anything and nothing can touch you.’

Чък Паланюк гради сюрреалистични метафори. Камшикът на сарказма му рязко те парва и ти засмъдява. И аз ли съм това? Отегчен, черупково празен живот, безсмислен, ставам, не съм особено буден цял ден, лягам си, трупам, трупам, трупам. За къде? И когато натегнете пружината докрай и ви се струва, че няма накъде повече, тя просто ви тегли една и изскача рязко нагоре. И се появява Тайлър. А Тайлър не е като вас. Тайлър пикае (буквално) на установения ред и знае какво иска – и най-вече как да го постигне.

„Боен клуб“ оставя ожулено като по кокалчетата на ръката, когато удариш. Той е студеният душ на бъдещето. На онова бъдеще, в което дори заспалите пашкули са осъзнали, че трябва нещо да се промени.
‘We are the middle children of history, raised by television to believe that someday we'll be millionaires and movie stars and rock stars, but we won't. And we're just learning this fact,’ Tyler said. ‘So don't fuck with us.’

Нашата велика депресия е нашият живот. В свят, в който комуникациите са всичко, хората са забравили да общуват. Забравили са да са хора. Забравили са да се отнасят един към друг като с хора. Забравили са да правят човешки неща. Понякога обаче има такива, които се осмеляват да повдигнат капака на разума си и да проверят дали котката на Шрьодингер, която се намира вътре, е все още жива. В някои случаи е жива. И се казва Тайлър.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,616 reviews984 followers
September 10, 2021
The insomniac (and slightly unhinged?) narrator meets Marla in Support Groups (plural), and he meets Tyler Durden by way of a fight in a car park; his world remains forever changed when Tyler brings him into the urban underbelly that is the Fight Club, and he drags Marla into this sub-world too. He loves Marla, Marla loves Tyler, Tyler loves him, but most of all... Tyler loves Fight Club and the changes to the status quo it can bring.

A classic debut novel by agent provocateur Chuck Palahniuk. Surely this is the type of debut we'd all love to write? Groundbreaking, innovative, unforgettable, and overall a compulsive read! Palahniuk's Generation X rooted, satirical and darkly comedic attack on the norms set by previous generations, is both scary and almost majestic in its implementation. A gorgeous read that most certainly should be devoured, before the very good movie version. 9 out of 12.
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,320 reviews2,141 followers
March 14, 2018
Well I never saw the movie because I have zero interest in watching people hit people. And I never thought I would read the book, but I needed to read this author for a challenge and decided to make it his most famous book. Justifiably famous because it was really good!

The writing is excellent and action packed. There are no spare words or wasted pages, just a very cleverly spun tale about some very mixed up people. Not having seen the movie I was also unprepared for the magnificent twist although I had started to get a bit suspicious that something odd was occurring.

The characters are all equally awful and there are some really gruesome scenes but it was all to the point and necessary for the book's objectives. I am amazed I am saying this about a book that is way out of my normal reading tastes but I really liked it!
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,301 reviews43.9k followers
November 8, 2021
On my flashback weekend reading time I’m looking for something edgier, harsher, more extreme! And here’s my choice which ticks all my dark and sarcastic reading boxes!

When Fight Club has been published in 1996, I was young, dumb, naive girl who still tries to improve her book taste besides her wardrobe choice after leaving teenage years behind.

This book was definition of mindblowing anarchism. It’s bleak, it’s wild, it’s graphic, it’s earth shattering, it’s surprising, a pure criticism of Generation X’s life decisions and struggles!
My dumb-self didn’t give enough praise to the pure anger, sarcasm oozing between the lines but my older-self with better shoes achieved to catch most of the metaphors which was a great progression for me!

I’m not gonna talk about the jaw dropping final revelations which is the proof of losing yourself in insomnia. But in 1999, one of the greatest minds of this century- semi-assholish but brilliant David Fincher’s final scene adaptation to the end of the book is breathtaking ( if you don’t still watch the movie please watch the final scene clip on YouTube) : where Tyler holds Marla’s hand, watching buildings collapse, telling her they met “very strange time” in his life accompanied by explosion sounds and Pixies’ “where’s my mind” blasts out.
I highly recommend to read the book and watch the brain cell destroyer, super exciting movie adaptation!

Here are my all time favorite quotes from the book;
“It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.”

“I don't want to die without any scars.”

“You are not your job, you're not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”

“You know how they say you only hurt the ones you love? Well, it works both ways. “

“The things you used to own, now they own you.”

“At the time, my life just seemed too complete, and maybe we have to break everything to make something better out of ourselves”

“Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything. Nothing is static, everything is evolving, everything is falling apart.”

“I let go. Lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete. I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom.”

“If I could wake up in a different place, at a different time, could I wake up as a different person?”
Profile Image for Maede.
286 reviews413 followers
October 28, 2021
برای اون لحظه‌ای که برای بار صدم تایپ کردم ریاست محترم کوفت آقای زهرماری
برای اون لحظه‌هایی که به خونه‌ام نگاه کردم و نمی‌دونستم زندانمه یا جای امنم
برای اون لحظه‌ای که دلم می‌خواست ماشینم رو بکوبم به در سازمان
برای اون لحظه‌ای که پای تلفن به عربده‌های سوپروایزر عوضیم گوش می‌دادم
برای اون لحظه‌هایی که درد ده ساعت سگ‌کاری رو با خرید آشغال فقط برای یک لحظه کم کردم
برای اون لحظه‌ای که یهو حس کردم وسایلام من رو صاحب شدند
برای اون لحظه‌هایی وسط درس دادن کاندیشنال سوم حس کردم که بودن و نبودنم ذره‌ای فرق نداره
برای اون لحظه‌ای که اون نامه‌ رو روی میزم دیدم و می‌خواستم تو صورت تک‌تکشون تف کنم که من رو به بازی گرفتند
برای اون لحظه‌ای که توی هواپیما در راه سفری که ماه‌ها منتظرش بودم فکر کردم شاید هواپیما بیوفته و نترسیدم

فایت کلاب کتاب این لحظه‌هاست
کتابِ این بخش از وجودمه
فایت کلاب حس تهوع از زندگی مدرنه
و برای همین بی‌نظیره ولی برای هر کسی نیست

کتاب یا فیلم؟

فکر می‌کنم دیدن فیلم قبل از خواندن کتاب لذتش رو برام دو چندان کرد. هم خوب می‌فهمیدمش و از اینکه رازش رو می‌دونستم راضی بودم، هم تصویرهای ذهنی حاضر و آماده‌ای داشتم که فقط پر و بالش دادم. البته که این فقط تجربه‌ی منه

M's Books : کتاب رو اینجا گذاشتم

Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 3 books5,630 followers
September 23, 2020
The book that inspired the iconic Brad Pitt/Edward Norton film from 1999 is a wild ride every bit as gritty and crazy as the movie. I think the reveal comes a bit early in the book and that the movie actually did a better job of covering up the real identity of Tyler Durden. However, if you want to get down in all that liposuctioned fat and squirm around, this is the book for you. I thought the writing was OK, it did not inspire me to read any other Palahniuk books. Perhaps in the comments, folks could let me know if any are truly worth it or if this was his greatest book.

I think I attempted another book of Palahniuk and never finished it...I guess you'd call it post-modern, but I really prefer DFW and even more Thomas Pynchon to this. I guess his style is like a mashup of DFW on acid channeling Michel Houellebecq or something like that.

Perhaps someone reading this review can answer a question for me: is Bret Easton Ellis' writing style similar to that of Palahniuk? I get the impression that it sort of is and that I may not like American Psycho or his other books, but I have been putting them off for years.
Profile Image for Madeline.
781 reviews47.2k followers
June 5, 2007
Pretty graphic, but very well-written. Also, thanks to this book, I now know how to make a bomb out of orange juice and window cleaner. I also know that men are completely insane.
Profile Image for Perry.
632 reviews533 followers
July 6, 2019
7/6/19--Nearly 3 years on, I still pose the politi-cultural question:
Did this 1996 novel presage the election, two decades on, of a populist POTUS who could stir like a hornet's nest the white, middle class, male Gen X'ers--such as Fight Clubbers--out of their malaise to smack those they see as effete elitists and paternalistic bureaucrats?
Now, my original review:
Gen X Gladiators' Hunt for Identity and Meaning (12-Stepping Middle Class WM Melancholia?)

Violence is the quest for identity. When identity disappears with technological innovation, violence is the natural recourse. Marshall McLuhan

Until November 2015, I was apparently one of the few WASP men who had not either seen the Fight Club movie or read this skillfully turbulent novel which wields a wallop in relatively short order (224 pp.). In interviews I've read, Chuck P says he wrote this as a male counter to the plethora of best selling novels in the early 1990s in which women get together for a social gathering, such as The Joy Luck Club, The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and How to Make an American Quilt.

The narrator tells this story in the first person. He doesn't give his name. He's struggles with insomnia and finds relief in impersonating a cancer survivor at several support group meetings around town. He then somehow meets Tyler Durden, a cinema projectionist, waiter and anarchist, who he describes as "funny and forceful and independent, and men look up to him and expect him to change their world." He moves in with Tyler after an explosive device destroys his apartment.

Together they start a Fight Club where white collar guys get together on weekends to pummel one another then show up at work on Mondays covered in bruise with some teeth loose. The basic idea is:
I see in the fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived... and I see... an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables, slaves with white collars, advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of the history man, no purpose or place, ...no Great war, no Great depression, our great war is a spiritual war, our great depression is our lives, we've been all raised by television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars, but we won't and we're slowly learning that fact, and we're very very pissed off.”
But underlying this rage against the Man, is a concept familiar in 12-step circles:
“Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything. ...” "The lower you fall, the higher you fly." And, "only through destroying myself can I discover the greater power of my spirit."
Things quickly evolve (or devolve) into a more exclusive club of the most loyal Fight Club members: Tyler Durden's anarchic "Project Mayhem." I won't spoil the rest for those of you, who like me when considering this book, haven't seen the movie or read the book.

I'll add that this novel includes the most sinister and hilarious prank played on the host of a social party I've ever read of or heard. A maliciously merry amusement.

This novel is a remarkable, raucous romp with a twisted ending, that you can get through in a couple of days.

Profile Image for Steven Medina.
204 reviews935 followers
July 21, 2021
Cada quien es libre de pensar y actuar según su voluntad, pero debemos dejar de culpar a la sociedad por todos nuestros fracasos y frustraciones personales.

En realidad 3,2

Gracias a la ciencia, la tecnología y los descubrimientos de miles de seres que vivieron antes que nosotros, podemos disfrutar de una vida con muchas comodidades. No es una vida perfecta, claro está, pero debemos valorar lo que poseemos y lo que hemos logrado como especie, más allá de todos los errores que se han cometido como destruir la naturaleza, la extinción de muchas especies, etc. El problema del ser humano es que de la misma forma como es tan competente para crear herramientas tan útiles como la rueda, también lo es para causar destrucción por medio de armas, bombas, venenos, etc. Esto ocurre, simple y sencillamente, porque a pesar del progreso tecnológico y científico que hemos vivido como especie, no hemos aprendido a usar la herramienta que recibimos de nacimiento: El cerebro. Nuestro cerebro puede ser un gran aliado, pero también un arma terrorífica que nos puede impulsar a destruir nuestra vida y la de muchos seres más. De eso precisamente trata esta historia, de mostrarnos cómo se genera el caos y se crea una anarquía en una sociedad, a partir del inconformismo, infelicidad, y monotonía de quienes viven en ella.

Al inicio no sentí simpatía ni por la prosa, ni por el argumento, ni por los personajes. Esto, porque no me pareció un buen ejemplo que hombres que estaban desilusionados de la vida y que prácticamente querían morirse, se la pasaran golpeándose como animales los fines de semana para sentirse vivos, para sentirse «machos», y para desahogarse de toda la infelicidad con la que vivían diariamente. La sinopsis prometía eso, lo sé, pero quizás esperaba que esas peleas tuvieran un verdadero propósito, como por ejemplo que fueran apuestas, pelearan por algún poder, cargo, etc., pero al conocer en esas primeras páginas la simpleza de «pelear sin sentido» me empecé a preguntar seriamente: ¿Qué estoy leyendo? ¿Cuál es el objetivo de esta historia? Sin embargo, seguí leyendo con desinterés y sin expectativas, y fui entendiendo poco a poco, que estas reuniones solo eran una distracción del antagonista para ocultar sus verdaderos planes. Entonces, de allí en adelante y hasta la parte final, el argumento me pareció mucho más interesante, intrigante —pero sin exagerar—, y logré disfrutar de una historia de la que no esperaba hacerlo, teniendo en cuenta mis disgustos iniciales.

El club de la lucha es una historia que presenta en pocas páginas la suficiente violencia, crueldad, autodestrucción, desesperanza, depresión y anarquía, como para hacernos entender lo infelices que muchas personas se sienten viviendo en esta selva de asfalto y edificaciones. Un mundo donde nadie se compadece de nadie; un mundo donde es más importante el enriquecimiento que el dolor del prójimo; un mundo donde las personas desdichadas y fracasadas, necesitan visitar seres en peores situaciones para sentirse menos desventurados; un mundo donde la única solución parece ser la muerte; un mundo donde nadie es bueno porque la oscuridad los ha cegado por completo. Es un mundo que se asemeja mucho al real, pero en el cual solo se presenta lo negativo de la sociedad y no lo positivo. Por tanto, la ambientación ha sido excelente, no solo porque los hechos ocurran en sitios oscuros, viviendas pobres, sótanos, bares, etc., sino porque todas las personas sin importar su profesión, religión o riquezas, sufren de la misma enfermedad llamada infelicidad. La desdicha no es exclusiva de los que menos tienen, cualquier ser humano puede vivirla, sin importar su estrato, idioma o lugar de residencia. El autor necesitaba personajes hundidos en el vacío, y efectivamente ha logrado representarlos magistralmente. Por ello, es entendible el comportamiento de los personajes, así como sus ideas de extorsión y destrucción del prójimo. Solo son seres cansados de vivir con dolor y con problemas, es normal que no les importe nada. Naturalmente ese no es el camino que debemos tomar, pero eso es lo que el autor nos presenta y sobre ello es que debemos reflexionar. Claramente el libro puede tomarse como una seria crítica a la sociedad por no valorar a los individuos que pertenecen a ella, pero por otra parte cada quien es libre de pensar y sentir lo que quiere, por lo que es natural que en cualquier sociedad siempre exista la insatisfacción porque todos pensamos y sentimos diferente: De eso no tiene culpa la sociedad. El pesimismo y la desesperanza que presenta el autor se puede notar claramente en las siguientes líneas:

«Todo lo que alguna vez amaste te rechazará o morirá.
Todo lo que alguna vez creaste será desechado.
Todo aquello de lo que estás orgulloso terminará convertido en basura.»

Ahora, si intento buscar una reflexión de esta obra algo más rebuscada, podría decir que esta historia es la demostración de que con pasión, disciplina y dedicación, podemos cambiar el mundo drásticamente. ¿Transformarlo para bien, o para mal? Esa sería la verdadera pregunta. Sin embargo, si cuidáramos un poquito más nuestra salud mental y combatiéramos con ferocidad nuestros demonios internos, quizás comprenderíamos que las razones para transformarlo positivamente son más valiosas que las negativas. Cuando las personas nos sentimos mal psicológicamente, olvidamos que nada es eterno y que si hoy nos sentimos como basura, puede que mañana nos sintamos felices por todo lo que tenemos a nuestro alrededor, pero a la vez esa felicidad también sufrirá una alteración cuando llegue el momento en que volvamos a sentirnos mal, luego se repetirá el ciclo, y así sucesivamente, eso es normal. Recordar que tenemos salud, que estamos vivos, que podemos cantar, reír, saltar, correr, observar un mágico amanecer... esas pequeñas acciones nos ayudan a sanarnos internamente y valorar este bonito regalo llamado vida. Si Tyler, el antagonista, un ser que «no servía para nada», fue capaz de transformar y pervertir tanto a los demás, ¿por qué nosotros con tantas habilidades, talentos y buenas intenciones no podemos transformar positivamente el mundo? Hay millones de Tyler’s en la vida real, con grandes capacidades para crear, servir e influenciar a muchísimas personas; es una lástima que aquellos Tyler’s usen mal sus habilidades, sería un mundo muy diferente si hicieran las cosas bien.

En cuanto a la prosa me ha parecido regular porque sentí que el argumento y las oraciones iban a velocidades diferentes. Es difícil de explicarlo, pero sentí que el argumento avanzaba a una velocidad normal, pero como las oraciones eran tan cortas la narración se sentía como una bitácora, muchas pausas y saltos de tiempo inesperados. Me hubiera gustado que en cada párrafo se expusieran los hechos sin tanto «afán» y sin tanta repetición. Específicamente cuando digo «sin tanta repetición» me refiero a las reglas de El club de la lucha; comprendo que eran importantes, pero citarlas cada rato es innecesario porque siento que con la primera mención queda muy claro todo para el lector. La prosa no llega a ser pésima, ni nada por el estilo, pero pudo ser mejor. No necesariamente todos los thrillers tienen que tener frases cortas y apresuradas, a veces hacen falta párrafos grandes para profundizar en los tópicos de una nóvela.

En resumen, El club de la lucha es una nóvela pesimista que me hizo recordar La metamorfosis de Franz Kafka, pero que tiene todos los tintes y ambientación de una novela policiaca, pero sin el rol de los policías. Sí, esperaba una novela diferente, pero encontrar una novela que critica a la sociedad porque no valora a los individuos que pertenecen a ella tampoco me ha molestado. ¿Me ha gustado? Sí, pero sin exagerar. La parte final estuvo genial y me encantó, y creo que por esas páginas y por ese «plot twist» es que vale la pena darle la oportunidad a esta obra, pero tampoco es que sea la «obra maestra». Es una obra para pasar el rato, para distraernos y quizás para cambiar nuestra monotonía. Le colocaría cuatro estrellas de calificación pero por su falta de desarrollo o reflexiones más profundas en algunas temáticas, no puedo colocarle una calificación mayor a tres estrellas.
Profile Image for Lazaros.
271 reviews525 followers
April 2, 2016
“It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.”

Can somebody slap me in the face? I've had this on my tbr list since I first set up a goodreads account and I read it now after almost 3 years. Why didn't anyone make me read this? It was freakish-ly amazing. I am at a loss for words..

I don't know how to talk about the book without giving away spoilers and breaking the first rule of Fight Club: "You do not talk about Fight Club.".. I can only say that the narrator is a troubled person with lots of stress and confussion and anger towards the world, so he copes with it in a very special manner.

Take me on my word and read this if you haven't already, you have no idea what you're missing out on.
Profile Image for Mohammad Hrabal.
294 reviews200 followers
April 3, 2023
اگر فیلم باشگاه م��ت زنی را دیده‌اید، کتاب آن را هم مطالعه کنید چرا که جذابیت‌های خاص خود را دارد. اگر نه فیلم را دیده‌اید و نه کتاب را خوانده‌اید به‌ نظر من ابتدا فیلم را ببینید و بعد کتاب را بخوانید. هر دو تجربه‌ای جالب و دوست‌داشتنی برای من بودند.
باشگاه مشت‌زنی را با تصادف بالارد مقایسه کرده‌اند. پالانیک و بالارد هر دو منتقد مصرف‌گرایی هستند. برعکس بالارد که نگاهش خشک و سبعانه است، پالانیک همه‌ چیز را به استهزا می‌گیرد. مقدمه مترجم- صفحه ۱۰ کتاب
پالانیک کتاب‌های خود را کمدی-رمانتیک توصیف می‌کند و در مصاحبه‌ای با خبرنگار گاردین می‌گوید: «همیشه سعی می‌کنم به یک هدف متعالی برسم، به عشق، ولی با روشی کاملاً غیر قراردادی. با نمایش یک دنیا زشتی و پلشتی برای رسیدن به قله‌ی عشق ماندگار باید از تمام این پلشتی‌ها گذشت.» مقدمه مترجم-صفحه ۱۰ کتاب
وقتی‌ که می‌فهمی تمام کسانی که دوستشان داری سر آخر یا طردت می‌کنند یا یک روز می‌میرند، گریه کردن برایت خیلی ساده می‌شود. صفحه ۱۹ کتاب
مبلمان می‌خری. به خودت می‌گویی این آخرین کاناپه‌ای است که تا آخر عمرم ممکن است لازم داشته باشم. مبل را می‌خری، چند سال کاملاً راضی هستی چون هر اتفاق بدی هم که بیفتد دیگر مطمئنی که مشکل مبلت حل شده. بعد یک دست ظرف عالی. بعد هم یک تخت‌خواب ایده‌آل، پرده. فرش. حالا در لانه‌ی خوشگلت گیر افتاده‌ای. چیزهایی که قبلاً صاحبشان بودی حالا صاحبت شده‌اند. صفحه‌ی ۴۹ کتاب
خیلی از جوون‌ها می‌خوان با یک عالم خرت‌ و پرت خریدن دنیا رو تحت تأثیر قرار بدن. صفحه‌ی ۵۱ کتاب
هزاران سال است که بشر این زمینی را که در آن زندگی می‌کند به گه کشیده و نابود کرده، حالا تاریخ از من انتظار دارد که گندکاری گذشتگان را پاک کنم. صفحه‌ی ۱۳۷ کتاب
حالا. معجزه‌ی شگفت‌آور مرگ. در یک لحظه راه می‌روی و حرف می‌زنی و ثانیه‌ای بعد تبدیل به یک شی می‌شوی. من هیچم. نه. حتی هیچ هم نیستم. صفحه‌ی ۱۶۴ کتاب
نسلی از زنان و مردان جوان و قوی دارید که دوست دارند جانشان را فدای چیزی کنند. تبلیغات رسانه‌ها باعث شده این آدم‌ها دائم دنبال اتومبیل و لباس‌هایی باشند که اصلا نیازی به آن‌ها ندارند. چند نسل است که آدم‌ها شغل‌هایی دارند که از آن متنفرند و تنها دلیلی که ول‌شان نمی‌کنند این است که بتوانند چیزهایی بخرند که به هیچ دردشان نمی‌خورد. در دوره‌ی نسل ما هیچ جنگ بزرگی اتفاق نیفتاده. هیچ رکود اقتصادی طولانی پیش نیامده. ولی ما یک جنگ بزرگ بر سر روح داشتیم. ما یک انقلاب بزرگ علیه فرهنگ داشتیم. رکود بزرگ، زندگی ماست. روحمان است که راکد شده. صفحه‌ی ۱۶۷ کتاب
ما بچه وسطی‌های تاریخیم. از بچگی تلویزیون به خورد ما داده که بالاخره یه روزی میلیونر و هنرپیشه و ستاره‌ی راک می‌شیم. ولی هیچ‌ وقت نمی‌شیم؛ و ما تازه داریم اینو می‌فهمیم. صفحه‌ی ۱۸۶ کتاب
Profile Image for Kayla Dawn.
291 reviews900 followers
October 13, 2018
I think it's more a 3,5*

I don't know what I expected but it sure wasn't what I got! (Yeah shame on me, I actually did not see the movie up until a day after finishing this book)

Tbh the big plot twist towards the end of the book wasn't that big of a twist to me. It was actually pretty obvious. But to be fair, I think back in the day when this was published, it probably was something new and shocking. Nowadays this is used so often as a plot that it just didn't surprise me anymore.

But besides that it was so unique and intriguing, I enjoyed it a lot. It's not like anything else I've read in my life. It took some time to get used to the writing style but once I did it was quite genius.

Still, I can't give this more than 3,5*.
I really don't know what keeps me from giving it 4*, but something just didn't klick with me while reading, I guess.

PS: I watched the movie the day after I finished this and I can't really say what I enjoyed more.
Profile Image for Shovelmonkey1.
353 reviews886 followers
November 7, 2011
Hello Chuck,
It's me again.
Remember, I wrote to you about Choke? It wasn't long ago.
So I just read Fight Club.
Uh huh I know I was slow off the mark.
This book came out in 1997.
What have I been doing with my time?
Well this book came out when I was sixteen and at that time, I have to admit Chuck, I was mostly trying to disappear up my own ass by reading things like Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being and On the Road by Kerouac.
It's not easy to get angsty when you're...well... a bit middle class.
Maybe it's a good thing I didn't read this when I was sixteen.
There's a real danger that instead of vacuously pondering life as a beatnik and contemplating hopping on a rail road car, I'd have been off somewhere burning myself with lye and asking random strangers to punch me.
Sometimes random strangers punch me anyway, but I don't think it's because of your book.

Anyway I saw the film first and although some people might say that this detracts from their enjoyment it was OK cos I got to read and have a simultaneous scene by scene re-enactment by Ed Norton and Brad Pitt just for me inside my own little thinky thing. Like having a telly box where my brain should be.
That was pretty neat.

So, in my last letter I thought it would be cool if maybe you did something about books. After all none of your characters so far seem to have been overly literate. What d'y'reckon?

It could start like this:
The first rule of book club is that you don't write about book club... I think you see where I'm going with this.

You could combine two core elements and end up with old ladies bashing each other over the head with hardback copies of Barbara Taylor Bradford novels? I would definitely read this.

Anyway I liked Fight Club a lot. I liked all the home recipes tips for making your own soap and baking and gardening and nitroglycerine. You're kind of a Martha Stewart for the next generation Chuck. By the way, I'm sad that you never wrote me back. Will you write me back the next time? Although come to think of it, you and I are never in the same room together... does that strike you as weird Chuck?

Profile Image for AhmEd ElsayEd.
983 reviews1,348 followers
September 8, 2023

القاعدة الأولى لنادي القتال: لا تتحدث عن نادي القتال

نادي القتال عمل فلسفي في نقد أنماط الحضارة الغربية، الثقافة الاستهلاكية، التغريب، والتفكك الأسري التي يعيشها المجتمع الأمريكي. رواية البحث عن المعني المفقود في خلال أجواء مليئة بالعنف والغضب والتمرد والفوضوية. يهاجم الكاتب الملكية الفردية والثقافة الاستهلاكية التي جعلت هؤلاء القوم يطاردون السيارات والثياب التي لا يحتاجون إليها. هذه الثقافة جعلتهم يعملون في وظائف لا يحبونها لشراء أشياء لا يحتاجون إليها. حرب عظمي علي الروح والثقافة، ويكمن الحل من وجهة نظره بتعليم هؤلاء معني الحرية، ولا وسيلة لذلك إلا بإفزاعهم

في نادي القتال تشعر أن هناك من خفض صوت العالم الحقيقي

وعن أزمة التفكك الأسري والتي نخرت في المجتمع الأمريكي يري الراوي أن حالة التفكك الأسري قد هزت فكرة الدين والإيمان في المجتمع. الأمريكي. يقول الراوي علي لسان أحد أبطاله "ما تراه اليوم هو جيل كامل من الرجال ربته أمهات وحيدات" يري الرواي أن الأب هو النموذج الأول للإله، فكيف يكون إيمانه إذا لم يري الأب في حياته قط!

القاعدة الثانية لنادي القتال: لا تتحدث عن نادي القتال

تايلر لم يكن مجرد اضطراب أو هلوسة نفسية، حالة تايلر هي الصراع النفسي بداخلنا، الصوت الداخلي الغاضب والمتمرد علي النظام والفوضوي.

الرواية بترجمة الدكتور أحمد خالد توفيق، وهذا سبب إضافي للإعجاب بالعمل
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.5k followers
January 3, 2018
“I want you to do me a favor. I want you to hit me as hard as you can.”

I never had a particular urge to read Fight Club when it came out. As with things like the film Natural Born Killers, I thought I knew from the hype what it was about, and thought I knew it was an allegory about violence and American culture. I’ve lived and worked in Detroit, New York and Chicago. Violence is part of the places I have lived in. But I have in the past year been reading a lot of noir, and I had an audio version of the book for a family road trip (and ear buds so it was my own listen, not having to subject the family to the offenses) and I finally read it, and came to see what everyone loves about the book.

“You’re never as alive as you are at Fight Club.”

Chuck Palahniuk is like the love child of Jim Thompson (The Killer Inside Me) and Tom Robbins (Even Cowgirls Get the Blues), just as violent as Thompson and more darkly humorous than Robbins, in his scary rollercoaster allegory of American life in the late twentieth century. It has a bit of Kafka on speed in it, too. Tarantino territory, clearly. Black humor. Dark social satire, often hilarious, with surprisingly great writing in places. Jules Feiffer’s Little Murders (okay, kids, look that one up and see it!).

The tale is about an unnamed narrator, let’s call him X, who suffers from insomnia. A doctor suggests a unique treatment, so he could "see what real suffering is like," to go to support groups for those suffering from testicular cancer and so on.

X meets Tyler Durden, and the two of them invent the Fight Club as a kind of way to speak to the boredom and chaos of their lives, even inventing rules for the club:
1. You don't talk about fight club.
2. You don't talk about fight club.
3. When someone says stop, or goes limp, the fight is over.
4. Only two guys to a fight.
5. One fight at a time.
6. They fight without shirts or shoes.
7. The fights go on as long as they have to.
8. If this is your first night at fight club, you have to fight.

So, they do what people do, they invent a cultural group, and make rules for the group. But why the rage and revolt? X is living in an apartment filled with Ikea furniture, working a dead-end job, going nowhere. Some of Palahniuk’s/X’s insights are fairly mundane and unoriginal as a basis for the sort of punk Rage Against the Machine revolt here: “The things you own end up owning you.” These anti-consumerist ideas seem to be at the heart of all the rage.

As Fight Club grows, and proliferates, it isn’t enough for them. It’s clear it is a gateway activity for a greater social goal, Project Mayhem, which has has its eventual goal of the End of Civilization. Anarchism, Tyler talks about from time to time.

"Burn the Louvre, and wipe your ass with the Mona Lisa. This way at least, God would know our names. . . God's hate is better than His indifference.”

“I want to kill all the fish in the world I can’t afford to eat. I want the whole world to hit rock bottom. . . to blast the world free of history.”

Now, I’m going to put this out there delicately, but on the one hand I hear in these passages Steve Bannon’s conservative anarchism and on the other hand ISIS terrorism. Just blow stuff up. Some of it is class warfare, true.

Fight Club is about reinventing yourself, but it is also about something we have been witnessing every year escalating since this 1996 book came out, the cultural turn to violence. It might also be about insomnia-induced hallucination. Or maybe madness. Jekyll-Hyde? Multiple personalities?

Palahniuk once called his book a call for “A new social model for men to share their lives,” and he may have been serious, in showing that most men just get together to watch violent sports like football and hockey and boxing. His book almost predicts Shark Tank and Mixed Martial Arts.

I like it a lot, especially in the first third, which is almost exhilarating. I winced more than a few times. I admire some of the invention and language. I laughed aloud several times while listening to it, unable to share the basis of the joke with my family. A dark satire about the new and ever-expanding American Barbarianism. Oh, yes, I will finally see the movie, I will.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 20,199 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.