Book Review – Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk

“I want you to hit me as hard as you can”

By writing this review, I’m breaking the first, and simplest, of all the rules: You don’t talk about Fight Club.

However, I’m making an exception, because this book was sensational. Like, honestly, mind-blowingly brilliant.

I watched the film before reading the book, which some people would say was the wrong way round to do things, but I found it interesting to read the book after seeing the film, seeing where the inspiration came from, what the kept from the book, what they changed.

Also, when the *ultimate* twist happens in the film, it’s a shock. You see it happening in front of you; they can show you visually what is happening. It was less of a ‘shock’ moment in the book, but is still done really well. I knew it was coming, of course, and therefore every little bit of foreshadowing and references earlier in the book had me like “Ahhhh, very clever”. In fact, this is a reaction you have on almost every page in this book, as Palahniuk has written an absolute masterpiece in Fight Club.

Fight Club is altogether funny, brutal, disturbing and educational. The wonderful twisted, messed up head of the narrator tells us the story through witty one-liners, jumping back and forth over a crazy timeline of batshit mentalness, meaning you’re propelled all over the place; it’s quite literally a rollercoaster of a read.

Above everything else, Fight Club is incredibly dark. Pornography, murder, senseless crime: Fight Club revels in it. At times it is shocking, you will find yourself amazed at just how much Palahniuk doesn’t hold back. But this brings a raw intensity to the novel; he hasn’t censored it, he hasn’t dumbed it down to make it politically correct or to suit a certain audience. He has written a book which will stun, surprise, terrify you, and leave you thinking about it long after you finish the final page.

You will spend a long time after reading this book pondering over unanswered questions (there’s a lot), as well as absolutely reeling from the twist. It’s the sort of twist you wish you could forget so you can experience it all over again.

I recommend this book to anyone with a strong stomach, and a wild imagination. If you can embrace the darkness of the book – and I mean pitch-black dark – you are going to absolutely love it. If you’ve seen the film, also definitely give the book a try; see the inspiration for the incredible film in all its macabre, creative glory.

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