Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Although Fight Club is both a popular movie and novel, I didn't know what it was about until roughly a week and a half ago, when I searched it up on Wikipedia after a friend of mine had recommended it to me. At the time I was quite intrigued by the psychological element of the book, and— fueled by my friend's recommendation—decided to borrow and read it.

Judging by the fact that I have actually finished the book already, you can guess that it isn't a bad book; normally it takes months for me to actually get to and finish a book on my book list. Indeed, I thought the book was interesting and reasonably fast-paced, and had a very good twist.  However, I can't say that I liked it very much, either.

For some reason, I felt a bit empty after finish reading the book. I didn't feel particularly excited after reading the book, and nor did I have any other emotion. I simply finished it. I'm not very sure why, but I think it's because I didn't connect with any character or anything in the book. For example, I would never want to participate in Project Mayhem, and the main character was just different from me in countless ways.

I guess it's also because the whole story was exaggerated and unreal. For example, obviously in the real world fight club and Project Mayhem wouldn't spread as fast as they did in the book— in the book they spread like wildfire! Also, the whole split personality element simply didn't make that much sense. For example, the narrator has to be sleeping at some time, right? And is it possible at all for two split personalities to interact with each other?  I usually don't like unrealistic psychological stuff unless it is in a fantasy or science fiction novel.

Also, I thought the writing was quite messy, with the narrator's thoughts being everywhere. At the beginning it was especially hard for me to get used to it, and for a while I thought the narrator was in a dream when the "I woke up at ___" line showed up every few paragraphs. Perhaps this was used to illustrate the narrator's unstable mental state, but I found it very distracting.

Overall, the novel clearly wasn't bad because I never dropped it once I started reading it (except when I had to go to sleep). It was quite engaging and intriguing. However, I just didn't feel connected to anything in the novel, and I found it to be quite unbelievable. If I get a chance, I might watch the movie to see if it's better than the novel, but I probably wouldn't want to read another book by Palahniuk, at least not until I have finished the books on my current book list.