Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by thirdwind, May 1, 2011.
This month we'll be reading and discussing Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk.
Is anyone even participating this month?
Apologies, I've got my copy but not started reading. Will participate shortly. Might I suggest we defer next month's book by a month so we can catch up on this one?
I was actually going to suggest the same thing since I'm really busy for the next few weeks. So that means we'll have two months to read and discuss Fight Club, and I'll make a thread sometime in June for the July book club.
I read this book a while ago. I couldn't be arsed reading it again
I like this idea. I just started reading, too, but I've been so busy working on derby stuff and studying for the GRE, I haven't had much time...I like the book so far, though!
I am actually going to try and participate. Fight Club has been on my 'to read' list ever since I watched the film. I'll try and get a copy next week some time after I've finished with university assessments.
Okay so I've so started to read it. Initial thoughts: sharp, punchy, modern.
Immediately though two questions spring to mind. I don't think we're gonna get around this one without mentioning the film. So, with this in mind, what does the book offer us that the film doesn't?
Secondly, and I'm assuming almost all of us know this story fairly well, how effective is Palahniuk in setting up Tyler and the main character's special relationship? And, as an add-on to this, when the great revelation comes, do we fell cheated at all - is it not a clichéd denoument by a first-time author?
I can't get this one on my Kindle, otherwise I'd join you all.
I'll do the next book though. I've got two others to read at the moment so I'm a bit busy.
My answer to your two questions actually sort of tie into each other...As a disclaimer, I didn't see this movie until like eight years after it came out, and I've only seen it a couple times, so I'm not terribly familiar with all the subtleties included in it. However, as I've read the book, it seems like Palahniuk gives more clues (subtle clues, but still clues) than the movie has that Tyler and the MC share this special relationship. It seems like in the early chapters, there are very clear references to "I am doing this..." and then "Tyler does/Tyler says this..." but as you get further, that line gets more and more blurred and confused. This could, of course, stand out more because I already know the end of the story, but sadly, I have no way of erasing that knowledge from my brain and finding out.
Retrospectively, it's very easy to spot their special relationship - in the book. The film hides it more, though I'm reluctant to say better.
"I know this because Tyler knows this" is used in both. This is fairly innocuous, cleverly written so as to be so.
I'm now half way through and Tyler and Marla's interaction (or lack of) is interesting - again, quite cleverly though still quite obviously, it goes some way to foreshadowing the great revelation, masking slightly its intentions with its comparisons to a feuding couple.
How do we react to the fact that the MC remains nameless throughout? Is this a massive siren, or does it go unnoticed?
The MC being nameless was totally lost on me the first time I watched the movie...but after, of course, I felt foolish for not having caught it. I think it's a siren for those observant enough to pick up on it.
As for Tyler and Marla's interaction, that seems to be one of the things in the book that hints the most toward Tyler and the MC's relationship. But, of course, that's coming from someone who already knows. I should get one of my siblings to read the book and see what they say. None of them have seen the movie.
I think the MC isn't given a name because he serves as a prototype for your average man. I think the fact that he introduces himself to others under many different names only supports this. I watched the movie before I read the book, and the MC being nameless was much easier to spot in the book. It's funny how we interpret books and movies in very different ways.
Okay, let's kickstart these discussions afresh. On the back of my copy there is a quote from the Seattle Times that reads: "Fight Club is a dark, unsettling and nerve-chafing satire."
I'm wondering how effective a satire it is. Moments such as where Fight Club members are encouraged to pick a fight with someone in the street - and lose - are interesting as they seem to be anarchically altruistic in nature, freeing the people from society's clutches through violence.
What other examples work well, and are there any that don't?
As common readers we won't agree with all, if any, of Tyler's Anarchist rhetoric, but I'm curious to see it's impact all the same.
read this book less then a month ago. I think watching the movie too many times in the past warped my expectations for the book. Enjoyable to read it was but for the first time I think I have found a movie that was better than the book it was inspired from.
I think I'll be able to participate in July. Could you add Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell to the list? Thx.
Ooh, I just finished reading a scene that I thought worked really well...I don't have the book handy at the moment to look it up, but there were several lines within the part where one of the Project Mayhem guys picks him up in a stolen car and then starts swerving into oncoming traffic.
I'll look it up when I have the book with me, but I wanted to post this while I was thinking of it, so I wouldn't forget what I was thinking about.
I all but finished the book last night (circa ten pages left). I found the chapter just after the main revelation particularly good, the MC's fractures being ripped apart and the plot sewn together simultaneously. I do like it when a book comes together so well.
Final thoughts to follow soon ...
Final thoughts: should the book have finished one chapter earlier with "I pulled the trigger."?
I'm torn. I would like the finality, I would like the bravado it took in the author to stop writing there, and I'm not sure what the final chapter brings in terms of additional closure. Would it be overly cliché however to have just left it with "I pulled the trigger."? I'm torn.
^I'm still a few chapters away from the end, but I'll comment on that when I finish.
I had a professor once who told me that an author's intention when writing something doesn't matter. It's their idea, and they execute it, but in the end it's the people who take it, interpret it, and do things with it that have the real control. I think this book demonstrates that idea perfectly. The MC, as Tyler Durden, created this idea, but by the time he figures it out and tries to stop it, it has grown into something that he'll never be able to control...even though he's the one who made it.
That's probably not as profound as I'm making it, but it really stood out to me.
Ok, I finished. The only thing keeping me from saying that the book should have just ended with the "I pulled the trigger" part is that, like you said, that seems kind of cliche. Really, though, the stuff that followed did nothing for me. I wanted to like it...I wanted to think it was super insightful and added a lot to the story...but I didn't dig it.
I might be late here but this is my favorite movie ever and Im ashamed to say that I haven't read the book which is something I plan to do. I love the demonstration of what happens when a man is pushed too far by society and the extreme lengths one might go to to strike back. The ending of the movie left much to be desired, I mean what the heck happens after *SPOILER* the explosion? They say that the book has a different ending.
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