Fight Club is a rare instance in which the distinctly faithful movie adaptation is superior to the original novel, but both are quite good. For a first novel, Fight Club is pretty awesome. It showcases a plot dynamic and an authorial voice that predominate throughout Palahniuk’s first handful of books. That voice includes what seems like an endless supply of sardonic wit.
Palahniuk’s implied critique of modern therapeutic culture is incisive, as is the proposed alternative of liberating destruction. Note too that the class analysis to which this book is subjected is often off-base. The protagonist is not a blue-collar proletarian. He is very much a white-collar bourgeois, initially trapped in his glossy catalog consumer milieu and his soul-draining actuarial work of determining allowable margins of death and harm from faulty products. But, by the author’s own admission, the kernel of the book is the problematics of gender, for which economic and psychotherapeutic dilemmas are a mere backdrop.
Occultist magicians may profit from considering the story to illustrate the protagonist’s progress from Dominus Liminis to and through the Adventure of the Abyss.
Edited to add: It has latterly occurred to me that this book might be an updated rewrite of Hesse’s Steppenwolf, with Hermine significantly re-gendered as Tyler Durden. [via]