Fight Club is a 1996 novel by Chuck Palahniuk. It follows the experiences of an unnamed protagonist struggling with insomnia. The protagonist finds relief by impersonating a seriously ill person in several support groups, after his doctor remarks that insomnia is not “real suffering” and that he should find out what it is really like to suffer. The protagonist then meets a mysterious man named Tyler Durden and establishes an underground fighting club as radical psychotherapy.

Fight Club (novel) by Wikipedia

Imagine if Joseph Conrad’s Kurtz was your split personality? While instead of becoming the police after their time as ‘droogs’ as is the case with A Clockwork Orange the nihilists are the police. This is the world that Chuck Palahniuk brings us into. Just as we might say that everything, whether it be our jobs, IKEA furniture, cinema, colonisation of space, is *political* , the question I feel Fight Club grapples with is what is life beyond all this?


Chapter 1

We have sort of a triangle thing going here. I want Tyler. Tyler wants Marla. Marla wants me.

I don’t want Marla, and Tyler doesn’t want me around, not anymore. This isn’t about love as in caring. This is about property as in ownership.

Chapter 4

The people I know who used to sit in the bathroom with pornography, now they sit in the bathroom with their IKEA furniture catalogue.

Chapter 5

I just don’t want to die without a few scars, I say.

It used to be enough that when I came home angry and knowing that my life wasn’t toeing my fiveyear plan, I could clean my condominium or detail my car. Someday I’d be dead without a scar and there would be a really nice condo and car. Really, really nice, until the dust settled or the next owner. Nothing is static. Even the Mona Lira is falling apart. Since fight club, I can wiggle half the teeth in my jaw.

There’s grunting and noise at fight club like at the gym, but fight club isn’t about looking good. There’s hysterical shouting in tongues like at church, and when you wake up Sunday afternoon you feel saved.

Chapter 10

Me, when I go to the beach, I always sit with my right foot tucked under me. Australia and New Zealand, or I keep it buried in the sand. My fear is that people will see my foot and I’ll start to die in their minds. The cancer I don’t have is everywhere now. I don’t tell Marla that.

Chapter 11

I tell the detective, no, I did not leave the gas on and then leave town. I loved my life. I loved that condo. I loved every stick of furniture
That was my whole life. Everything, the lamps, the chairs, the rugs were me. The dishes in the cabinets were me. The plants were me. The television was me. It was me that blew up. Couldn’t he see that?

Chapter 13

For thousands of years, human beings had screwed up and trashed and crapped on this planet, and now history expected me to clean up after everyone. I have to wash out and flatten my soup cans. And account for every drop of used motor oil.
And I have to foot the bill for nuclear waste and buried gasoline tanks and landfilled toxic sludge dumped a generation before I was born.

“Recycling and speed limits are bullshit,” Tyler said. “They’re like someone who quits smoking on his deathbed.”

Chapter 15

The mechanic says, “If you’re male and you’re Christian and living in America, your father is your model for God. And if you never know your father, if your father bails out or dies oris never at home, what do you believe about God?”
This is all Tyler Durden dogma. Scrawled on bits of paper while I was asleep and given to me to type and photocopy at work. I’ve read it all. Even my boss has probably read it all.
“What you end up doing,” the mechanic says, “is you spend your life searching for a father and God.”
“What you have to consider,” he says, “is the possibility that God doesn’t like you. Could be, God hates us. This is not the worst thing that can happen.”
How Tyler saw it was that getting God’s attention for being bad was better than getting no attention at all. Maybe because God’s hate
better than His indifference.

My tiny life. My little shit job. My Swedish furniture. I never, no, never told anyone this, but before I met Tyler, I was planning to buy a dog and name it “Entourage.”

Chapter 18

If you can wake up in a different place. If you can wake up in a different time. Why can’t you wake up as a different person?

Chapter 19

You’ve got to find Tyler.
You’ve got to get some sleep.
Then you’re awake, and Tyler’s standing in the dark next to the bed.

“Every time you fall asleep,” Tyler says, “I run off and do something wild, something crazy, something completely out of my mind.”

We both use the same body, but at different times.

“Remember this,” Tyler said. “The people you’re trying to step on, we’re everyone you depend on. We’re the people who do your laundry and cook your food and serve your dinner. We make your bed. We guard you while you’re asleep. We drive the ambulances. We direct your call. We are cooks and taxi drivers and we know everything about you. We process your insurance claims and credit card charges. We control every part of your life.
“We are the middle children of history, raised by television to believe that someday we’ll be millionaires and movie stars and rock stars, but we won’t. And we’re just learning this fact,” Tyler said. “So don’t fuck with us.”

I was here first.
Tyler says, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, well let’s just see who’s here last.”
This isn’t real. This is a dream, and I’ll wake up.
“Then wake up.”
And then the telephone’s ringing, and Tyler’s gone.

Chapter 20

This way, when deepspace exploitation ramps up, it will probably be the megatonic corporations that discover all the new planets and map them.
The IBM Stellar Sphere.
The Philip Morris Galaxy.
Planet Denny’s.
Every planet will take on the corporate identity of whoever rapes it first.
Budweiser World.

Chapter 21

Only in death will we have our own names since only in death are we no longer part of the effort. In death we become heroes.
And the crowds yell, “Robert Paulson.”

Liked An Interview with Chuck Palahniuk – Believer Magazine (Believer Magazine)

CP: What always saves me is that someone will tell me a story, and I’ll spin this other story as a way of escaping that pain. No drug has ever got me as high as a good idea. You get that idea and, oh my gosh, you’ve got nothing else. You don’t need oxygen. That idea is meth. You don’t need sleep and you don’t need food. Because that idea is going to run you for a year. That little idea is your armor and it’s your savior.

BLVR: I get that. The little idea is better than drugs because it has an engine.