Fight Club

Fight Club

A Novel

Book - 1996
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Chuck Palahniuk's startling and outrageous debut novel, basis of the hit movie starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton.

THE FIRST RULE about fight club is you don't talk about fight club.

Every weekend, in the basements and parking lots of bars across the country, young men with whitecollar jobs and failed lives take off their shoes and shirts and fight each other barehanded just as long as they have to. Then they go back to those jobs with blackened eyes and loosened teeth and the sense that they can handle anything. Fight club is the invention of Tyler Durden, projectionist, waiter, and dark, anarchic genius, and it's only the beginning of his plans for violent revenge on an empty consumer-culture world.

Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton, [1996]
Copyright Date: ©1996
ISBN: 9780393039764
Branch Call Number: FIC Palah
Characteristics: 208 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

"The first rule of Fight Club is you do not about Fight Club!"

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jul 10, 2020

1996 - 4.19

Feb 23, 2020

Similar to Garrett, I feel this is a groundbreaking debut novel and difficult to categorize were genre is concerned. Engaging, evocative and revolutionary, Fight Club stands alone. Rule #1: you don't talk about fight club. Project Mayhem while anarchist in nature, has an undercurrent of dystopian society woven within it. This is one of those books that hits emotional buttons due to the questions raised; God, family, social interaction, disease, capitalism and life itself. An avid reader, this is without doubt THE most unique book I've read, hands down. As the story winds towards a close, narrative curve balls surface, the mark of a great storyteller. So extraordinary is the concept, writing a review is equally challenging. In a word, Magnificent!

Jan 07, 2020

Fight Club is quite possibly the greatest debut novel in the history of American fiction. It should be noted the bias with which I am writing this review, so for full disclosure, this book changed my life, inspired me to read and write more, inspired me to study English literature in college, inspired me to write my undergraduate thesis about Fight Club, and ultimately inspired me to earn my teaching credential and teach English in middle school and high school. The novel is profound, it is prophetic, and remains extremely poignant nearly two and a half decades after its publication. Fight Club details the perils of consumerism, capitalism, masculinity, parenting, friendship... I could continue, but the list would be too long. Fight Club is a novel about life, love, and the difficulty of navigating the treacherous landscape of humanity as people, sentient beings aware of their existence and eventual mortality, attempt to ascribe meaning to their meaningless lives.

Nov 14, 2019

A relatively short and quick read for me, was hesitant to pick it up because the movie was a twist, but this writing was clear.

Sep 01, 2019

Warning: Contains spoilers. As even Chuck Pahlaniuk said, the film is better than the novel, but the film could never have been made if Pahlaniuk’s dark comic genius had not created it. if you have already seen the film, as I had before I read “Fight Club”, the book is still well worth reading, as there are some parts of the novel that director David Fincher could not transfer to the screen.
The novel isn’t really the love story that the film is. The film ends with the narrator and Marla Silver holding hands together on the top floor of a skyscraper as they watch empty office towers explode around them. It’s a pity that the novel didn’t end the same way. Instead of this, there is a silly scene in the afterlife that was incongruous with what had gone before. In the novel Marla tells the narrator after they have had sex that she wants to get pregnant by him and have his abortion. I thought it was funny but I can understand why others wouldn’t, including, apparently, Fox executive Laura Ziskin. According to Fincher the line didn’t get used in the film only because the bedroom scene between them was shot, improbably enough, in the rectory of a church, and it seemed sacrilegious to do so. Maybe so, but it is a line that doesn’t work so well in a love story either. The line that replaced it,“I haven’t been f--ked like that since grade school,” apparently had Helena Bonham Carter in stitches.
Not that it matters but on p.218 there is a typo that really should have been corrected in this later edition of the novel. “Then, when they’re exhausted, the men and woman [should be “women”] go to church.”
The later edition, not the original, is the one to read, as Pahlaniuk has a fascinating afterword on what inspired his novel, and everything that has transpired since it was published.

May 15, 2019

For a debut, this novel is stunning. Palahniuk's narrative voice is confident and funny. The story starts strong but loses steam about 2/3 of the way through, mainly because the big "a-ha!" moment comes way too early and in a very predictable way. If the sheer amount of times the narrator says "I know this because Tyler knows this" isn't a spoiler, then I don't know what is. He bashes you over the head with that declaration dozens of times. But that narrative voice... WOW!

I preferred the movie (I hate to say that, book lovers). I felt the screenwriter, director, actors, and crew took Palahniuk's fantastic ideas and expanded upon them, creating a tighter story and a better ending. From what I've read, Palahniuk agreed at the time too.

Apr 21, 2019

The book is worth reading even if you dislike what it is saying! It is written in such a way where you never get bored and it always has some exciting new scenario it throws at you! I loved this book and it is one of my favorites! High recommend, even if you aren't a huge reader!

Apr 27, 2018

This is Palahniuk at his most accessible. Fight Club is a very straight-forward critique of capitalism. There should be no further spoilers.

If you have seen the movie, how most of us came to Palahniuk, there are little surprises, but more adept critiques of modern culture and consumerism.

If this is your first take on Palahniuk and you enjoyed it, you should read his other pieces. They are all weird, disturbing, and generally in line with challenging a moral order which is illegitimate.

He is one of the premier postmodern authors and you should really sink your teeth in.

Apr 24, 2018

I enjoyed the movie more. The book is a couple shades darker in violence and nihilism.

Aug 21, 2016


View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Jul 09, 2016

mikeehan thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Nov 08, 2013

stewartethan007 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jean-Pierre Lebel
Jan 20, 2012

Jean-Pierre Lebel thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Aug 05, 2008

amandanotmandy22 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


Add Notices
Aug 05, 2008

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

Aug 05, 2008

Violence: This title contains Violence.

Aug 05, 2008

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.


Add a Quote
Jun 08, 2015

"It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything."

Jun 11, 2013

his name was robert paulson


Add a Summary
Jun 08, 2015

A gritty mind bending story about a man on his journey to find true release and freedom from his insomnia and worldly possessions

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at VPL

To Top