Saturday, December 13, 2008

You should read it: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Like most people, I watched the movie Fight Club long before I read the book. As it is one of my all time favourite movies, I was really curious to find out about the book by Chuck Palahniuk that it is based on.

The biggest difference between the book and the movie is that in the movie the story is that things are not what they at first glance seem to be. You think it is just about these guys being bored with life and not caring about all the superficial stuff in today’s world. Then during the course of the movie you find out the story being told is really a different one.

In contrast, in the book you are told what is what right from the beginning. This both makes the story better and worse. Worse because there is no longer a surprising twist in the story, but better because you can understand what is going on right away and on a level that was impossible in the movie.

It is simply easier to describe what is going on in someone’s brain in written form than it is to do so on a big screen.

In case you are not familiar with the story of Fight Club and you are wondering what I am going on about, let me just summarize it for you. It is the story about a nameless narrator who is an automobile company employee with a bad case of insomnia.

To pass the time at night, he starts visiting support groups, which help him with his sleeping problems, until a woman named Marla shows up.

During a flight for a business trip, the narrator meets Tyler Durden. The narrator arrives home to find his apartment has been destroyed by an explosion. He calls Tyler and moves in with him.

Tyler lives in an unbelievably dirty and broken down apartment, which apparently suits him just fine. While they are having a fight in the parking lot, they attract quite a crowd, and decide to establish a fight club in a bar’s basement.

Under Tyler's leadership, the fight club becomes Project Mayhem, which commits increasingly destructive acts of anti-capitalist vandalism in the city. The whole thing becomes bigger and bigger and is about to get seriously out of control.

This book is a great read, both for those who have seen the movie and for those who have not. It shows you an interesting look into the messed up brain of a random average individual. At least, that is how the main character appears to everyone else. However, this story shows that one person can really have a big impact both bad and good on the world. I loved this book and I definitely recommend it.

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