Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
One wouldn't think that Fight Club would be an overly literary book, but it is. Palahniuk uses the strange, dark world of Fight Club to comment on society.
The narrator can't sleep. He works as a car recall inspector and is faced with gruesome death everyday. He is the one who inspects vehicles and decides whether to prompt a recall on the cars or not. He has a very scientific approach to this--a mathematical formula to decide when to pull the trigger. Because of this torture, the narrator develops insomnia. He begins going to support groups for the human contact. He doesn't have any of the diseases that they rest of the group does, but he pretends. When he cries in the arms of another person he then is able to sleep. Eventually, the narrator meets Tyler Durden, who is everything that he isn't. Tyler is smooth and manly and aggressive and rebellious. Through this interaction with Tyler the narrator helps to create Fight Club which becomes a new way of life for Tyler, the narrator, and a whole generation of men.
I really do not want to spoil anything, but this book is excellent. I have a colleague who says that Fight Club should be required reading for every teenage male, and I tend to agree with him. This book is more about what it means to be a man than anything else. How society has bastardized that idea and modern men stray far away from their primal roots.
I enjoyed Palahniuk's writing style. He uses repetition and short, crisp sentences. After the big reveal you can even go back and see how the surprise is hinted at all the way through the book because of the writing style. Now that takes skill and a really good editor to accomplish.
I don't know if I will read anymore books from Palahniuk. I have heard that this is pretty much his pinnacle and wonder if they would really be worth my time. But maybe. This book certainly was fueled many blog posts for me.
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