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Fight Club (1996)

by Chuck Palahniuk

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Fight Club (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
19,460325244 (4.07)1 / 228
Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. HTML:

The first rule about fight club is you don't talk about fight club.

Chuck Palahniuk showed himself to be his generation's most visionary satirist in this, his first book. Fight Club's estranged narrator leaves his lackluster job when he comes under the thrall of Tyler Durden, an enigmatic young man who holds secret after-hours boxing matches in the basements of bars. There, two men fight "as long as they have to." This is a gloriously original work that exposes the darkness at the core of our modern world.

.… (more)
Recently added byNerena, mice_elf, socrastez, FenrirJH, DCPlibrarian, private library, paupeekoeo, Xiibalba, Brosalyn
  1. 71
    American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (sacredheartofthescen)
    sacredheartofthescen: Both about bored men in American society that found odd ways to fill their time and become what they want to be.
  2. 41
    Choke by Chuck Palahniuk (Ti99er)
  3. 30
    Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: Fight Club could be read as an updated rewriting of Steppenwolf, with Hermine replaced by Tyler Durden, and the dance hall transformed to the fight club. Maria becomes Marla, and the Magic Theater becomes Operation Mayhem.
  4. 20
    The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks (arthurfrayn)
  5. 10
    The Seven Madmen by Roberto Arlt (CarlosMcRey)
    CarlosMcRey: Like Palahniuk's Joe, Arlt's Remo Erdosain seeks salvation through depravity and self-destruction in the midst of an urban wasteland.
  6. 10
    Mr. Overby Is Falling by Nathan Tyree (catdog2)
    catdog2: similar themes
  7. 21
    Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (Sylak)
    Sylak: A man unwittingly becomes involved in a surreal underworld parallel to his own.
  8. 00
    Ghosted by Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall (Liffey)
  9. 00
    The Nightly News by Jonathan Hickman (FFortuna)
  10. 02
    A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen (Anonymous user)
  11. 59
    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (keristars)
    keristars: Palahniuk says in an afterword that Fight Club was intended to be similar to the Great Gatsby. In a way, it really is - there's a similar mood and sort of feeling of despair at modern society, though the Great Gatsby was written and occurs seventy years before Fight Club. The relationships between the primary three characters in each novel are also similar.… (more)

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 1001 Books to read before you die: Fight Club6 unread / 6Booksloth, June 2008

» See also 228 mentions

English (311)  Italian (7)  French (3)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (326)
Showing 1-5 of 311 (next | show all)
This is probably the only book out there to which I prefer the movie. ( )
  BB_Soto | Jul 12, 2024 |
I am not fan of nihilism of any form. Turning towards self destruction, even with taking whole world in flames with oneself is idiotic move that does not solve anything. It is equivalent of childs tantrum.

But as author shows when people are pushed to the edge they will follow those that give them meaning. And in more cases than not, this ends up in disaster.

And story of our antihero begins. From the very beginning pushed toward people whose misery will make him feel better (another so common streak of human character) he will become a cornerstone of new movement, so called Fight Club. Hand to hand, bare knuckle, combat between two men, often to the very brink of death, is a leveling field between members of the club. They might be coming from various spheres of society but in combat they are equal, members of secret brotherhood. Here they can be unburdened by ever suffocating society, can relax and be themselves.

This might have been weird in 1990s but today with more than visible division encouraged even by political powers, with quite an economical pressure, and unhealthy society bent on eating its own and constant pressure to keep ones thoughts to oneself (once thought to be trademark of Eastern block but today very present all over the world coupled with even society encouraged snitching and finger pointing with serious repercussions) more and more people are pushed to breaking point, without means of venting out their anxiety and frustration.

As a result societies like one in the novel, anarchistic in nature, bent only on violence and destruction, will pop up in entire political spectrum. Lots of people are feeling trapped and are seeking people with same ideas and principles. If one thinks this is just fiction I would refer to Europe post WW1 and arious armed gangs (again from all parts of political life) that roamed their nations and fought for political dominance.

Problem is that once out, genie cannot be put back into the bottle, as rather comic attempts of our antihero show.

This is rather gory novel with some very disturbing, and lets be honest, disgusting elements to it, that are so interesting to young rebels that need those few years of rebellion before ending up as cogs in the machine (like it happened to all those hippies in 60's) but also that one, with age, understand they play no role, except for tantrum acts. All characters are very vivid and dialogues are very interesting, expecially the way our antihero tells the story, one can actually feel the pressure he is under.

Path to madness and views of absolute nihilism and (self)destruction might be very tempting at times, but once taken it can bring only insanity, not just to the person suffering but to everyone around.

Excellent novel, keeps reader glued to the pages 'til the very end. ( )
  Zare | Jan 23, 2024 |
Story: 8 / 10
Characters: 8
Setting: 7
Prose: 3

Since it was such a short book, it is probably a much better read if you haven't seen the movie (as I had). Nevertheless, I was able to enjoy the differences in the final 3rd of the book. ( )
  MXMLLN | Jan 12, 2024 |
I know this novel gets compared to The Graduate a great deal. But to me it is closer to Being There. Something that I can't tell if it is a satire or a work that you have to laugh at more than with.

The big problem I have with it is that it is for Gen X what the Okay Boomer meme is for a different generation. The entire work is a rant against the world that the character inherited. But I think the conflicts aren't really a problem. He's really just grappling with the problem of modernity, and not realizing that the hand he was dealt forces him to come up with solutions on his own. And at the end of the day, he has being White, male, privileged, and able-bodied to fall back on. I didn't understand what the problem was.

Lastly, the ending was improved greatly int he film. The story here doesn't resolve itself as much as it merely stops. Which is always a problem for me.

Still, the writer uses a compact prose, has some interesting ideas, and a few of the recurring jokes are okay. It gets a marginal recommendation for the time capsule that it is. ( )
  JuntaKinte1968 | Dec 6, 2023 |
Surprisingly weak for being his big hit. Choke was better and much funnier. American Psycho, the main dicklit rival, is a lot more transgressive and funnier as well. Fight Club captures a hole in the modern male psyche but doesn't really do a lot with it other than point to it being there. ( )
  A.Godhelm | Oct 20, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 311 (next | show all)
A volatile, brilliantly creepy satire filled with esoteric tips for causing destruction, Fight Club marks Chuck Palahniuk's debut as a novelist. Ever wonder how to pollute a plumbing system with red dye, or inject an ATM machine with axle grease or vanilla pudding? Along with instructions for executing such quirky acts of urban terrorism, Fight Club offers diabolically sharp and funny writing.
This brilliant bit of nihilism succeeds where so many self-described transgressive novels do not: It's dangerous because it's so compelling.
added by Shortride | editKirkus Reviews
Every generation frightens and unnerves its parents, and Palahniuk's first novel is gen X's most articulate assault yet on baby-boomer sensibilities. This is a dark and disturbing book that dials directly into youthful angst and will likely horrify the parents of teens and twentysomethings. It's also a powerful, and possibly brilliant, first novel.
added by Shortride | editBooklist, Thomas Gaughan
Caustic, outrageous, bleakly funny, violent and always unsettling, Palahniuk's utterly original creation will make even the most jaded reader sit up and take notice.
added by Shortride | editPublishers Weekly

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chuck Palahniukprimary authorall editionscalculated
Boomsma, GraaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Colby, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kinzel, FredTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
For Carol Meader, who puts up with all my bad behavior.
First words
Tyler gets me a job as a waiter, after that Tyler's pushing a gun in my mouth and saying, the first step to eternal life is you have to die.
1. You don't talk about fight club.

2. You don't talk about fight club.

3. When someone says stop, or goes limp, even if he's just faking it, the fight is over.

4. Only two guys to a fight.

5. One fight at a time.

6. They fight without shirts or shoes.

7. The fights go on as long as they have to.

8. If this is your first night at fight club, you have to fight.
It was that morning that Tyler Durden invented Project Mayhem.
Don't think of it as extinction. Think of it as downsizing.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the novel, not the film or screenplay.
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. HTML:

The first rule about fight club is you don't talk about fight club.

Chuck Palahniuk showed himself to be his generation's most visionary satirist in this, his first book. Fight Club's estranged narrator leaves his lackluster job when he comes under the thrall of Tyler Durden, an enigmatic young man who holds secret after-hours boxing matches in the basements of bars. There, two men fight "as long as they have to." This is a gloriously original work that exposes the darkness at the core of our modern world.


No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
Many fight club rules.
Do not talk about fight club.
Wait... who is Tyler?
Where's Tyler Durden?
Every time I turn around
Seems he has just left.

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