||NOVEL: FIGHT CLUB
AUTHOR: Chuck Palahniuk
RATING: Five out of five Siggies
My beloved dog Mookie recently passed on, so I'm taking longer walks with our 10-year-old dog Emma. I read while I walk her , which gives me about an hour of reading time a day. I finally picked up FIGHT CLUB by Chuck Palahniuk. A couple of reviewers have compared my writing style to this guy, but I haven't read him before. I'm a huge fan of the Fight Club movie so I thought I'd check him out.
Normally when someone is a critical darling, winning all dem awards and sech, I find the book to be garbage. COLD MOUNTAIN is an example -- I couldn't make it through fifty pages of this self-absorbed work, which chooses to eliminate most punctuation that tells you who is talking, what characters are doing, etc. Apparently, if you throw grammar out the window (on purpose, not like my daily butchering of the language), then you are an artist and deserving of much praise.
So I had low expectations for FIGHT CLUB. Or to put it another way, I left my guard down, and Palahniuk kneed me in the balls and thumbed me in the eye. Holy shit. This book is an immediate entry into my Top Ten. Even though I'd seen and loved the movie, the book is even better. And even though he plays fast and loose with regular-person punctuation, and that takes some getting used to, it's a brilliant piece of work. I'd say if you like my stuff, you'd like FIGHT CLUB. If your male, you'll probably like it more. If you're male, ages 25 to 40 and you had a public school education, you will likely put it on a shelf surrounded by some little candles.
Quite honestly, I have never, ever, ever read a book that captures how I feel about my culture and my station in life with such brutal honesty and utter perfection. It's a rock-em-sock-em-robot of a story, but there's a lot of modern-day philosphy about what it's like to be a man stuck in a pacifist job when your primitive soul wants to go out and beat the shit out of something.
How much did I dig it? I want to run out and read the rest of his work, but I'm afraid his other books won't live up to the same level of fucking awesome, and that will somehow dull the fucking awesome of FIGHT CLUB. And I refuse to let anyone dull the fucking awesome of FIGHT CLUB, even if I have to knee them in the balls and thumb them in the eye.