Fight Club

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Fight Club

Postby connorsname » Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:09 am UTC

I just started reading Fight Club the book, not the book based off the movie or anything like that, just the book.
It's really good so far. They really didn't miss much in the movie which you don't see much in book-movies.
Has anyone else read this book?


I also started Confederacy of Dunces which is okay.
Also has anyone read Tucker Max's book?

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Postby Narsil » Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:44 am UTC

Dude you're going to have to change your avatar.
Or else this is going to get very confusing, very fast.

On a side note: Fight Club was an excellent book. Makes me curious about the author's other novels. Haunted sounds good, but doesn't he have a new one out?
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Postby Victorkm » Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:19 am UTC

Both Choke and Survivor were amazing. I couldnt finish Haunted although the first story by St. Gut-Free was amazingly cringe inducing. Lullaby wasnt bad but it was a bit chilling.

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Postby thefiddler » Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:51 am UTC

Chuck Palahniuk is probably my favourite author in existence, tied with Alexandre Dumas.

His best novel, imo, is Invisible Monsters.
Followed by a tie of Fight Club and Choke.

Haunted is also pretty good, but a bit gruesome. "Guts" circulated for quite a while online before I ever read the book.

Diary was also fairly well written, though not one of my favourites.

And then we get into the other stuff.
I hated Lullaby and Survivor was only just better.

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Postby Belial » Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:53 am UTC

I've said it before, but Fight Club is honestly the only time I've ever liked the movie *more* than the book. It might just be because I saw the movie first, but David Fincher did some *great* things with that book, and I don't really feel like the book had any great advantages.
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Postby thefiddler » Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:55 am UTC

Right.

Even Palahniuk said he liked the ending of the movie more than the book and that he'd wished he'd come up with that.

And I'm sure we've had this entire discussion more than once. :/

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Postby Malice » Fri Sep 07, 2007 7:23 am UTC

Narsil wrote:On a side note: Fight Club was an excellent book. Makes me curious about the author's other novels. Haunted sounds good, but doesn't he have a new one out?


Quick rundown on Palahniuk.

Fight Club is excellent, one of the best books I've ever read. Somebody mentioned in the other thread about how terrible it is when English teachers take a classic book and give meaning to every damn word--well, with Fight Club you can actually do it. It's simply fantastic, and should be read by, well, everybody.
(Although the movie gets it mostly right, and adds a bit too.)

Survivor is also very, very, very, very good, although the ending is a bit confusing.

Invisible Monsters is probably his most technically advanced book (as it jumps around chronologically constantly, and to great effect) and probably his most human book, too. Lots of crazy revelations towards the end.

Choke is a great character in search of a storyline.

Lullaby is nearly the opposite--an interesting storyline (about SIDS and magic) with a very bland, nothing character. Also it cuts between two timelines, but in a way that mucks up the later one, so that it's all confusing and isn't fun.

Diary is good; it feels different because the prose is less staccatto than Chuck's usual, and it's still well-written. It's astoundingly depressing, though, and not in a good way.

Rant, judging by the one time I've read it so far, is one of his worst. The form is kinda cool--it's basically an oral history, so the whole book consists of stuff said by different characters in interviews about a character (Buster "Rant" Casey) who never really appears, being dead. But the story is very disjointed; partly, I think, because of the form, but partly because I think it's several ideas cobbled together with no real coherency. (There's one chapter, about a filmmaker, which I'm almost positive was just a short story before he slapped it into the book.)
The ideas in it refuse to cohere for most of the book, and when they finally do, it doesn't seem to mean enough at all.
What's worse, the essentially third-person narrative (since we're listening to people talk) eliminates both Chuck's usual excellent voice and his wonderful sense of image (since you're getting these scenes as stories, condensed and conveyed after the fact).

Also, it seemed to be too derivative of Chuck's other stuff, not to mention lacking the topicality of most of his other works.

I'm sure I missed one...

Oh, Haunted!

Haunted is absolutely fantastic, one of his best, and certainly the best "novel of stories" I've ever read. It's violent and funny and baroque and informative and fascinating and meaningful and amazingly well-written.

His non-fiction ("Stranger than Fiction", which is a collection of essays, and a travel guide to Portland, Oregon) aren't really worth reading unless you're a fan. They're interesting but in a very different way from his other stuff, and they're much more involved with his life.

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Postby davis » Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:41 am UTC

The book does things that a book can do, but a movie can't, like the writing style that gives the story so much personality and communicates everything beyond the physical events so effectively. And, the movie does things that only a movie can do, like the Ikea catalogue. And, the movie keeps true to the book when it is awesome to do so, and deviates in awesome ways when appropriate. It is basically sex.

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Postby Pebbles » Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:58 am UTC

I prefered the ending in the book.. the idea of being in a hopeless situation he had created for himself. Its not as happy.. but I liked it. It fitted well with the rest of the book in that he had no control over the events in his life even when he was aware of why. And so even when Tylers gone.. he is still a part of the world that he created. The ending of the movie looked great! I really liked the final scene. But I prefered the books ending.
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Postby Narsil » Sat Sep 08, 2007 2:02 pm UTC

The book's ending was very cool. He could be in a hospital, while people wish him to get well soon, or he could be perfectly fine, while people talk to them and hope they're reaching Tyler.

Then again, he could also be dead. It's really just how you want to look at it.
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Postby apricity » Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:14 pm UTC

The only one I've read so far is Diary, which I really didn't like, so I haven't been in much of a hurry to read the others. My sister's obsessed though, so eventually I'll just borrow them all from her.
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Postby Malice » Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:01 pm UTC

The ending-ending of the book, in the hospital, is great.

The ending of the movie, in the high-rise, is also great.

But the corresponding scene in the book, in the high-rise, isn't as good as the book.

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Postby McLurker » Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:01 pm UTC

I preferred the film. Its one of three books that makes me say that (the others being he Lion, the witch and the Wardrobe- not a bad book, just some objectionable ideas in it. And The Godfather. One of the best films ever made- what a shit book).

I feel a "films that were better than the book" thread coming on.

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Postby semicolon » Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:01 pm UTC

I doubt it'd last very long. Maybe if a 2001: A Space Odyssey movie vs. book argument started (movie, duh). Without that, there's not much to talk about.

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Postby Victorkm » Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:00 am UTC

I liked 2001: The book better, so there. I also liked 2010 better! EAT THAT.

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Postby Narsil » Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:54 pm UTC

Back on the subject of Palanhiuk, the next book on my reading list is Haunted. Any other opinions on that?
I know what I'm getting into, having already read "Guts". I assume it gets worse than that, however.
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Postby Malice » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:47 pm UTC

It doesn't necessarily get "worse" than Guts, if by "worse" you mean "more disgusting".

But there are plenty of moments at or around that level of vileness.

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Postby Handsome » Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:32 am UTC

semicolon wrote:I doubt it'd last very long. Maybe if a 2001: A Space Odyssey movie vs. book argument started (movie, duh). Without that, there's not much to talk about.
The movie, although it was incredible, was ambiguous on several points. The book explained everything much better.
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Postby thefiddler » Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:47 am UTC

Narsil wrote:Back on the subject of Palanhiuk, the next book on my reading list is Haunted. Any other opinions on that?
I know what I'm getting into, having already read "Guts". I assume it gets worse than that, however.

No, not really.
It's all pretty even.
But really quite well written.
And thus why Palahniuk, despite his slightly disturbing writing tendencies, remains one of my favourite authors. :)

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Postby Khonsu » Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:48 am UTC

Palahniuk (even his lukewarm novels that are disjointed and weird and not palpable to most people) really intrigues me, as an amateur author. I love those books because it shows me what went wrong and what went right during the writing process and I really learn a lot. Palahniuk is one of those writers whose style is so visceral, you can feel when certain passages have the polish of a writer who thinks "God, that's a great paragraph. Why can't the whole book be this section 100,000 times?" and in other passage, you distinctly feel he was holding his head going "Oooh, fffff-uck. Why can't I get around this clusterfuck of words? It doesn't make sense! I have a deadline!" You can feel, unlike a lot of authors, when he struggles and when he doesn't.

Maybe I'm a fangirl. Maybe I'm too far into my Writer Vision when I'm reading...but I love to pick apart prose and style and candence on a page and just lap it up, participle by participle. Is that...weird? :<

The inconsistencies, though sometimes jarring, and sometimes unpalpable, make me like him because not all his stuff is perfect. The fact that he's willing to play around really makes him a Great Author to me. Not every experiment is a success, but the fact that he experimented at all speaks volumes (hurr) about him. Whereas everything by King or Rice or Koontz or any number of prolific writers feels the same every time--same rhythm, same characterization style, same basic elements--Palahniuk is willing to fuck up. That makes him deliciously endearing to me.

Also, I loved Stranger than Fiction--but that's because I can take away something extra from the text because it's my new home.

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Postby Malice » Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:21 am UTC

Khonsu wrote:Whereas everything by King or Rice or Koontz or any number of prolific writers feels the same every time--same rhythm, same characterization style, same basic elements--Palahniuk is willing to fuck up. That makes him deliciously endearing to me.


Minor quibble, in the King reference. Can't speak for anyone else there, but King's stuff does change--just slowly. His writing is always going in one direction or another, over his entire career; and while it may seem similar from one book to the next, a comparison of some of his earlier work and his later work will show you how big the total change actually is. For a quick (okay, 7-book-long) glance, read The Dark Tower series (using the original version of the first book, if possible); they were plotted back when he was a teenager but took him about 30 years to write, so they showcase the changes in his prose and storytelling over that period fairly well.

It's also easier to compare his short stories to each other--aside from the quality, the collections Night Shift and Everything's Eventual could have been written by two different people.

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Postby Victorkm » Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:19 am UTC

Malice wrote:
Khonsu wrote: For a quick (okay, 7-book-long) glance, read The Dark Tower series (using the original version of the first book, if possible); they were plotted back when he was a teenager but took him about 30 years to write, so they showcase the changes in his prose and storytelling over that period fairly well.


Don't forget his fear of death after his close call with an SUV. The last 2 books he hurried out as fast as he could and also decided to center the plot pretty much around himself as a character, thereby immortalizing his own self in prose.

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Postby Malice » Fri Sep 14, 2007 10:54 pm UTC

Yeah, but he's done that before, although never quite as clearly as in TDT... I mean, probably half of everything he's written has a writer as a main character. King's postmodern, so stuff like that is par for the course.

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Postby rachel » Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:34 pm UTC

I think I love Fight Club the book and Fight Club the movie equally, which just does not ever really happen for me.


On the subject of Chuck Palahniuk, I think he's a good author, but he's really overrated. I've read all his works except maybe two (at most), and they're alright but there is just so much shock value shit that I find it hard to focus on the message itself. If he'd just lay off that a little, I think he has wonderful potential to be an amazing author who doesn't have to rely upon shocking his readers to get the desired effect.
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Postby Dostoevsky » Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:59 pm UTC

i also lied the movie better than the book. This is the only time that this has happened other than lord of the rings. F*** tom bombadil btw

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Postby mosc » Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:11 pm UTC

Dostoevsky wrote:i also lied the movie better than the book. This is the only time that this has happened other than lord of the rings. F*** tom bombadil btw


well he wasn't even IN the other 2 books and that entire chapter can be omitted. I was more pissed they left out the scene where the hobbits get their weapons than bombadil.

Personally though, with the LOTR or books in general, it's just a totally different experience. I like them both. I like vanilla AND chocolate as well. Picking the better of the two is only possible when one of the other is exceptionally good or exceptionally bad. I think books generally win out because nobody publishes an exceptionally bad book but an exceptionally bad movie gets put out if it's budget was high enough (sooo many examples).

In the instance of Fight Club, I hated the movie and thus didn't even bother with the book. As I can see that as an unpopular opinion, I will briefly explain. Any movie that revolves around deceiving the audience pisses me off. The usual suspects is my counter example. The clues drip off of every inch of that movie and you are framed in the context of a narrative and not a third person omniscient so it is already suspect. Fight Club on the other hand was a trick of perspective which I found trite. I found Fight Club's plot twist more along the lines of some bad horror movie where the killer turns out to be the main character when the entire movie has been purposely shot in the traditional "main character as victim 3rd person omniscient" standard. It's not something you can see coming so the fact you missed it seems a given.
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Postby dumbclown » Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:16 am UTC

I still think choke was his best book. I have to go with the movie on fight club.

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Postby Malice » Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:17 am UTC

mosc wrote:Any movie that revolves around deceiving the audience pisses me off. The usual suspects is my counter example. The clues drip off of every inch of that movie and you are framed in the context of a narrative and not a third person omniscient so it is already suspect. Fight Club on the other hand was a trick of perspective which I found trite. I found Fight Club's plot twist more along the lines of some bad horror movie where the killer turns out to be the main character when the entire movie has been purposely shot in the traditional "main character as victim 3rd person omniscient" standard. It's not something you can see coming so the fact you missed it seems a given.


Except for the first/last scene (and in the entire book), Fight Club is a first-person narrative with the quintessential nameless, unreliable narrator. He's describing his perceptions of the events that went down ("Slide!") and those include his hallucinations.

There are clues in the movie--subliminal flashes of Tyler before they meet, little oddities Norton remarks on... "We have the same briefcase." "Tyler spoke for me." *when fighting himself:* "For some reason I remembered the first time I fought Tyler..." The parts where Tyler vanishes, the fact that we almost never see him talk directly to Marla, the odd way Marla acts around Norton, etc., etc., etc.

Or in the very beginning: "I know this because Tyler knows this."

On a separate of level... I think the opposite about the Usual Suspects versus Fight Club. Both of them jerk the audience around. When the twist in the Usual Suspects is revealed, it not only means nothing (in any larger sense) but it devalues almost everything else we've seen. We know basically nothing for a fact, and if nothing is real, how can I care about the story? How do I care about characters built entirely out of whole cloth? How do I care about situations which probably never happened?

On the other hand, Fight Club's twist doesn't devalue, it revalues; it redefines what we already know, and makes sense on a thematic level (even if, as you assert, it doesn't make sense on a plot level). It makes the whole story more interesting and meaningful, not less.

Also, try the book. The story is similar, but you can enjoy it just as much for the way it is written (an absolutely fantastic combination of minimalism and stream of consciousness).

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Re: Fight Club

Postby no-genius » Sat Sep 29, 2007 6:26 am UTC

I think the books slightly better than the film?

But the last scene with 'Where is my mind' is awesome. That song is so right.

(Tangent: I've been thinking that song might be about surfing/ surfers.)
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Postby Belial » Sun Sep 30, 2007 5:01 pm UTC

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Re: Fight Club

Postby no-genius » Thu Oct 04, 2007 7:37 pm UTC

on a related note, I got 'Trainspotting' by irvine welsh today.
I think of it as a similar sort of novel to fight club, so when I re-read later I can, y'know, do stuff?..
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Re: Fight Club

Postby Joshmonster » Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:11 pm UTC

I liked the perspective of the book a lot more than that of the movie. I think that being in his head as opposed to watching things happen third person changes the context in a favorable manner. It makes the reader more interested in the character instead of just wondering what Brad Pitt is up to.

On the subject of his other books, Invisible Monsters is one of the only books where the twist at the end came as a complete and utter surprise to me. I can honestly say I had no idea what was going on... But I dug it.
Haunted was... pretty insane. The most chilling story by far was the one about the girl decomposing as people looked for her. I believe that one was called 'Cassandra' but i could be wrong. I like telling my friends the 'guts' story and watching their faces drop as I get to the intestine part. It makes me chuckle.
I recently read Rant and was less than impressed. The end of the story came out of nowhere and didn't make much sense to me. I really liked the divided society idea and just the society in the book in general. That's a neat idea.

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Re: Fight Club

Postby Narsil » Fri Oct 19, 2007 2:23 am UTC

I'm reading Haunted right now. Dear lord. This is the hardest thing I have ever read in my life. Don't get me wrong, this one one of the most brilliant novels I have ever read, but absolutely devastating. I had to take a break for a while after the first 100 pages, and weeks later I come back to read the stories, "Post-Production" and "Exodus". Ow.

I may have to go back and re-read "Exodus", as I was still emotionally numb from "Post-Production". I think I sat staring at the word "Cassandra" for a few minutes, mouth agape. All I really know about "Exodus" is that something really terrible happened. Wait. I remember it now...yeah. God damn.

So yes, while this may be one of the greatest novels of our time, don't read it if you are not entirely emotionally stable. It'll fuck you up big time.
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Re: Fight Club

Postby ducknerd » Sat Oct 20, 2007 11:25 pm UTC

Yeah, I was browsing through the bookstore and opened to a random page in Haunted, wondering if I wanted to buy it. I landed on Guts.

I'm sorry, but I don't understand Palahniuk's style. Certainly he makes some interesting and valid points, but does he have to be so aggressive about it? It's like every sentence he's kicking you in the crotch, over and over, until by about page 30 or so I'm just bent over and wondering, Now why am I reading this? I understand that that kind of style can force you to look at his otherwise somewhat unsavory ideas, but IMO he lays it on about 8 inches too thick.
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Re: Fight Club

Postby Narsil » Sun Oct 21, 2007 1:39 am UTC

I just finished Haunted now, and I think I get it. His style, everything.

Yes, reading Haunted is like being kicked in the groin over and over again. It's worse than the sickest you've ever been in your life, worse than all those painful moments kneeling in front of the toilet, begging to be rid of every last impurity in your body. It's worse than the most horrible rainstorm you've ever seen.

But at the same time, those things clean you out. The pain, as Pahlaniuk says, is a fast-track to enlightenment. The day after, there's a bit less pain, a bit less nastiness. The rock tumbler's removed a few barbs, and you're better for it.

That's how I felt after finishing the book. Clean. Not dirty, as I expected after wallowing in 400 pages of pain and misery, but clean. Like the day after puking my guts out of when the sun starts to dry up the rain from the last night.
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Re: Fight Club

Postby semicolon » Sun Oct 21, 2007 8:32 pm UTC

Is the rest of Haunted as good as Guts was? Because I thought Guts was fucking hilarious.

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Re: Fight Club

Postby Malice » Sun Oct 21, 2007 8:54 pm UTC

Some stories are better than others, naturally, but they're all on a pretty high quality level.
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Re: Fight Club

Postby Narsil » Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:04 am UTC

Some will entertain, others will have you curled up in a corner with a bottle of whiskey and a razor (see: Exodus). They're all fantastic though.
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Re: Fight Club

Postby Malsies » Fri Oct 26, 2007 12:10 am UTC

I'm a Palahniuk addict. I've read everything by him except for Invisible Monsters and Lullaby, but I'm working on Lullaby now.

I hear they're making a Choke movie. I'm looking forward to it. I think that's my favorite book by him.
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Re: Fight Club

Postby Anarchy965 » Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:58 am UTC

Fight Club was definitely one of my favorite books. The movie is boring in comparison IMO. The writing style Palahniuk used in this book was brilliant. I started reading Survivor once, but got bored of it kind of quickly. I should give some of his other books a try.


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