Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fight Club

Fight ClubFight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I haven't seen the movie. I read the book.

I don't understand all the hype.

This is two stories: one about a dysfunctional relationship between flat characters and another an intriguing history of a movement that starts out as a drunken fight between acquaintances and ends up as a highly-regimented, carefully controlled cult of anarchy.

I liked the second story. Hated the first.

I've heard that this novel was an expansion of an earlier short story. Frankly, I can tell. Chapter 1 is promising, but chapters 2-5 are tedious, a real slog. Chapter 6 is where the real story begins. There violence, anti-commercialism, philosophy, and psychology all meld into a mind-bending maelstrom. Good stuff, if you can stomach the gore.

Of course, having finished the novel, one realizes that the two stories are intertwined and interdependent. I get this. But do the "relationship" sections have to be so bloody boring? Really? It's analogous to filling half of a pleasure-cruise ship with lead. At best, it's going to slow things down a lot. And it might just sink the ship. I feel like Fight Club barely lurched into the harbor, though it could have been a hydrofoil.

Oh, and repeating the same thing several times doesn't make you a compelling author or avant-garde or anything but dull and repetitive.

Maybe it's time I saw the movie.

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