Saturday, February 21, 2009

Book Review: Fight Club

I finished Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk last week. talk about a break from seminary! This book, reportedly written on post-it notes, is fast, disjointed, and frenetic. Fight Club is a damning indictment of modern masculinity, i.e. neutered, materialistic, and tame. There is alot wrong with the thinking of this book, but the reader is left with the feeling he has just had a conversation with a slightly crazed prophet. I think of Fight Club as a parable of the modern (Gen X) man. A generation of males raised, for the most part, without fathers in a post-feminist society. Now, you can see how much is wrong with that statement right there, not every one lost their father and it was the feminist movement in many ways opened the doors for fathers to claim their caring role.

There is a recurring theme of abandonment also, the author is well aware of this issue and says so explicitly. Palahniuk makes the point that our fathers=God, "if our fathers abandoned us, what does that mean about God, in fact God may not even like us, which is better than being ignored! We are God's misbehaving children, getting attention for being bad." Well, I could really lay into that quote, but for now let is suffice that we need to hold on to our images of God, but lightly. Hold onto them, because we are image animals, that's how we think. Hold those images lightly, because we are also rational animals: It just makes sense that God is beyond our reasonings (see St. Paul for more on this).

The crux of the book lies in the wonderful twist that sets all the wild adventures and opinions in stark relief whereby one is forced to at least reconsider all that was said and done. The book is brutal, quick, and inspiring at times (made me want to get off my duff and get something done). Here is a scence from the movie, which is almost word for word, from the book. This is a very representative scene: violent, vulgar (F-bomb), gritty (in tone with the book, and scene framing and focus with the movie), and a call to action.


1 comment:

paco said...

this is my personal review of the book:

In the world of Fight Club, our world, some young people full of health attend centers for terminally ill because these place are the only one where they can find understanding and pity.
It's a world where men gather in the undergrounds for fight with bare hands.
Above all is a world where no one cares if you live or die.
Tyler Durden is the nihilist messiah who invented Fight Club thanks to him thousand of young men attend to their workplaces with broken noses, fallen teeth and swollen faces.
The mysterious purpose of Tyler Durden is to push is generation toward the extreme sense of hopelessness and desperation and flows them into a state of total anarchy.Generational clash, children who kill parents.
Expression of realism, prophetic and provocative romance considered since 1996 one of the most important work of the nineties. From this book the director David Fincher has extrapolated a cult film with Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter.