Fight Club

Narrated by: Jim Colby
Length: 5 hrs and 34 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8,118 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Internationally best-selling author Chuck Palahniuk's uproarious and irreverent debut novel Fight Club was transformed into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Edward Norton and Brad Pitt.

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

What listeners say about Fight Club

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The first rule about Fight Club is...

"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.

64 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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This narrator has nothing on Edward Norton

As much as I hate to say it, but the movie was better. I just couldn't get Edward Norton's narrative voice out of my head.

9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not bad...

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.

47 people found this helpful

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Reads Like You're Watching the Movie

I usually hate comparing books to their visual counterparts. Mostly because the latter are so disappointing. However, in this case and select other books, the movies were so well done; in very few cases are the movies better than the book. I'm definitely not saying that is the case with this one, but I did see the movie first and then I read the physical book about 13 years ago and absolutely loved it.

Seriously, reading/listening to this book flows just as well as watching the movie and the movie is as authentic to the book as it could be. You'd think that Amazon's whisper sync was involved as you could probably switch between the two seamlessly.

I thoroughly enjoyed the performance by Jim Colby. I listen at 3x speed and had no difficulty in this book.

There's not much more to say about how fantastic this book and mind of Chuck Palahniuk is.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Punch in the guts

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.

23 people found this helpful

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A different kind of story

What made the experience of listening to Fight Club the most enjoyable?

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.

Any additional comments?

At times it's an uncomfortable story - this is not a story for the faint of heart - but a very thought provoking one.

12 people found this helpful

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Great story...meh narrator

I love fight club. I loved the movie, really liked the book. This is one of a few books I can go back and read over again. I decided to try the audio book. To be 100% honest, the narrator was not a good fit for this story, and actually took the enjoyment out of it for me. Wish they chose someone else for this one.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I am Jack's complete satisfaction

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!

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I am Joe's immense feeling of enlightenment

Reading Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk is an interesting endeavor in 2018. It has almost been 20 years since Edward Norton and Brad Pitt immortalized the story on the big screen and it has since become a cult hit and classic. Canvass any male college dorm asking for their favorite movie and a large percentage of the population will inevitably name the David Fincher helmed film.

What is interesting is that most people that either like or dislike the movie, and subsequently the book, feel that way because of the “male centric” nature of the actions of the main characters. Creating a fight club that evolves into a sort of domestic terror group with a purpose is a dream for many young men and a nightmare for pretty much everyone else. A story resonates with a person because of their background and their natures and most adolescent-to-college-aged men feel oppressed by society, follow the conventions of macho-man fighting, and are constantly short of money and debt riddled as a result of student loans. They love the story because in their mind, it would be the height of cool to create a fight club and just bare-knuckle box the night away and prove to themselves and their friends that they are tough.

Most other people find this to be abhorrent because violence is unappealing when it is done for the sake of violence, and when Tyler Durden mutates fight club into project mayhem they see the terrorism for what it is and at the end of the day the idea of their security being threatened by anything anarchistic or destabilizing is much more uncomfortable than pure violence.

Anyone walking away from the book with those thoughts is missing the main, overarching theme of the book. In fact, Palahniuk even expresses as much by having the main character internally muse that the fights were not to exert dominance or show off for your peers, it was more done as a way of personal enlightenment, personal stress relief. Every action taken by Tyler Durden and forced upon the main character is done so in order to free his mind. More specifically, to separate him from the confines of consumerism and material attachment and to realize that this is our only life to live, so why would we live it any way except for blissfully? It’s really a self-improvement book in novel form.

“… you’re not how much money you’ve got in the bank. You’re not your job. You’re not your family, and you’re not who you tell yourself… you’re not your name… You’re not your problems… You’re not your age… You are not your hopes.”

“Advertising has [us] chasing cars and clothes [we] don’t need, generations have been working at jobs they hate, just so they can buy what they don’t really need.”

There are a few of the quotes that most elegantly illustrate what Palahniuk is trying to tell the reader. They tell us to cut our ties from consumerism, the things we own end up owning us and making us a slave to our jobs and to our possessions. We are not important and we are not special. Accepting mortality. These motifs are played out and even sometimes outright spoken by characters in the book and fight club and project mayhem are just outlets for these concepts to be quite literally beaten into characters. There’s also something to be said about the human nature for conformity, even if conforming means doing so in a non-conforming nature.

Palahniuk has his fingers on the pulse of human nature. The themes he explores in this book are more prescient and relevant today with the advent of the internet and social media and it is even more important for us to be on our guard and try to extricate ourselves from the culture of consumerism that pervades our lives. Fight Club is a classic and amazing story into the human psyche and is not about fighting and blowing things up… well, not ONLY about those things at least.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

This is Not the Movie

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.

33 people found this helpful