When a listless office employee (the narrator) meets Tyler Durden, his life begins to take on a strange new dimension. Together they form Fight Club - a secretive underground group sponsoring bloody bare-knuckle boxing matches staged in seedy alleys, vacant warehouses, and dive-bar basements. Fight Club lets ordinary men vent their suppressed rage, and it quickly develops a fanatical following. Before long it takes on all the trappings of a quasi-religious cult, replete with a devastating ideological mission to accomplish.
A masterpiece of raw violence and black humor, this exciting novel challenges listeners to see the world through a new - and quite possibly deranged - set of eyes. Acclaimed narrator Jim Colby brings out the dark satire in this tale of modern alienation.
©1996 Chuck Palahniuk; (P)2008 Recorded Books, LLC
Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!
"You buy furniture, you tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. buy the sofa, then for a couple of years you're satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you've got your sofa issue handled, then the right set of dishes, then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you're trapped in your lovely nest, and the things that you used to own, now they own you."
"You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everyone else, and we are all a part of the same compost pile."
"The first rule about fight club is you don't talk about fight club. The second rule about fight club is you don't talk about fight club."
Our narrator hasn't slept in weeks. He hates his job, and feels trapped by his possessions after years of religiously studying the IKEA catalogue. Then he meets Tyler Durden and his life is transformed. Tyler doesn't believe in society. In fact, he has plans to destroy society. First by getting men to conquer their fears, then by raising an army of followers who are trained never to ask questions. A fascinating look at what can lurk between the cracks of a man's well-ordered life. Whether it's a paean to, or a criticism of nihilism is left to the reader to decide. Not for the faint of heart; it's a very bleak story but the catharsis sought by the Fight Club members can also infect the reader, as it did yours truly.
Palahniuk is a literary sadist. This novel hit me square in the solar plexus. Personally thought it was better, deeper and more graphic than the film. I enjoyed this book immensely. I love that a lot of the tone of the book is set based on the idea that current society is run by a group of men who were raised by women with few male role models. I also suggest "Haunted" to anyone who enjoyed this. "Haunted" is twice as graphic and brings to surface many unpleasant truths about "our" society and its general (mal)function.
Chuck Palahniuk will take you on a wild trip in "Fight Club." I am not one for fiction as a rule, but this was a great surprise. You'll want to read more of his work. On the side, I might suggest that listeners try Palahniuk's collection of nonfiction writing, "Stranger than Fiction" before venturing to Fight Club. The is one wild tale, but listeners will gain insight into how the author works and thinks which - for me - made the book even better. After encountering this book you'll never view soap making, support-group meetings, love triangles (of sorts), motivation, mayhem, and consumer culture in general in quite the same way. If you have not read after Palahniuk, this might be the place to start.
As someone who had seen the movie, I knew a bit of what to expect, but not how it would unfold in the original book. The narrator did a great job of conveying the emotion of each moment, and really drawing me in. Even though I knew (probably) what was going to happen, I never felt like it was just the same story I already knew. The first person narrative really makes it. It's a pretty quick read, but I didn't feel you were short changed for it - it was just the right length for the story.
At times it's an uncomfortable story - this is not a story for the faint of heart - but a very thought provoking one.
Love my family....along with guitars, cameras, and a good book!
First of all, I am a little nervous writing this review, because of the first rule of Fight Club, but I will proceed nonetheless. Having seen the movie prior to reading this book, I admit that I came into this a little jaded. I loved the movie, and had made up my mind that the book would be the same, with the same emotion and focus, as the movie. It is not. The book focuses more on the internal struggles of the lead character, and MUCH less on the fighting and external storyline. Not that that is a bad thing, it just made for a much different experience than watching the movie.
I tend to really separate movies from books, and approach them as if they are 2 different entities (and 2 different stories, for that matter). But this book just had such a different emotional play on me than the movie did, that I found myself feeling let down. Probably not a fair analysis, but that is how I felt.
I did enjoy the narrator. I felt like he completely "got it" with what the author was trying to convey, and hit the nail on the head in terms of his voicing and characterization choices. This is a good listen, but I will more than likely not listen again.
I love this audiobook and highly recommend listeners ad this one to their collection. The narration is wonderful and the story is bizarre and delightful. Thank you for this fine work, Chuck!
I'm a web developer based out of Sacramento, I listen to books while I work, and love audible.
How could something so disturbing be so good?
I first saw Fight Club in the theater in 1998, I think it was. I went with a friend, we were both 18. After the movie ended, he asked me, "What did you think of the move?", And I said, "I don't know." And asked him and he said, "I don't know."
Well for the next few days the gross out factor was fading, but other parts of the movie kept coming back to me, and I started to realize just how brilliant the movie was. And since that time both my friend and I consider it to be one of the best movies ever made.
This book is even more disturbing than the movie, but just as good. The movie fairly faithful to be book, but of course there are differences.
Avid listener of Scifi and Fantasy. I've found so many great books with the help of member reviews. Hopefully I can return the favor.
I was somewhat disapointed. I read Survivor and Diary by Chuck Palahniuk and liked them more than Fight Club. Normally I vastly prefer books to movies, but not in this case. I related to the main character(s) more in the movie for some reason. Although the movie follows the book farily closely, they just seem more whiney and naive in the original format. Afterall anarchy is well, anarchy you know, not the utopian ideal that is glorified in the book.
It's still is a wild ride that will keep you entertained, but after reading a few of his books it seems like the author is more interested in coming up with strange, flawed characters than anyone you could really get attached to. Each book has a different premise, but always contains protagonists who dance wildly on the fine line dividing deranged and genius. It was edgy and refreshing the first time I encountered the style but the charm wears off faster than expected.
Anyway I would still say it's worth the download, provided you don't mind the thought of rendering human fat to manufacture soap or other equally plesant topics.
When all is said and done, I think most adventurious listeners should try Chuck Palahniuk at least once. He really is an incomparable writer.
This book is great. I enjoyed the story, and it was great to hear more the movie allowed. This ending is better then the movie. It is different but simular to the other Palahniuk books. Still a great read.
"From this, he took a lesson: value the original, fragile, and rough. That's the art." Holland Carter on the art of Henri Mattisse
A skillfully turbulent novel that wields a wallop in relatively short order (less than 5 1/2 hours). Chuck P wrote this as a male counter to the plethora of novels on best seller shelves in the early 1990s in which women get together for a social gathering such as The Joy Luck Club, The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and How to Make an American Quilt.
The first person narrator is struggling with insomnia and finds relief in impersonating a patient or survivor of a terminal illness and attending several support groups. He then meets Tyler Durden, a cinema projectionist, waiter and anarchist, who the narrator describes as "funny and forceful and independent, and men look up to him and expect him to change their world." He moves in with Tyler after an explosive device destroys his apartment.
Together, they start a Fight Club where white collar guys get together on the weekend to pummel one another then show up at work on Mondays with the black and blues with a few teeth loose. The basic idea is:
"I see in the fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived... and I see squandering... an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables, slaves with white collars, advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy [crap] we don't need. We're the middle children of the history man, no purpose or place, we have no Great war, no Great depression, our great war is a spiritual war, our great depression is our lives, we've been all raised by television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars, but we won't and we're slowly learning that fact, and we're very very pi$ $ed off.”
But underlying this rage against the Man, is a concept familiar in 12-step circles:
“Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything. ...” "The lower you fall, the higher you fly." And, "only through destroying myself can I discover the greater power of my spirit."
Things quickly evolve (or devolve) into a more exclusive club of the most loyal Fight Club members in Tyler Durden's anarchic "Project Mayhem." I won't spoil the rest if you are like me when buying this book, and have not read the book or seen the movie.
A remarkable rambunctious romp.
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