Fight Club A book review

Rating 4.5/5

Product Details

Back in 1996 I was 14, back then the internet was mainly a pink and green slap in the face to good design. In fact if you wanted to use the internet you had to make a phone call. Mobile phones were the size of house bricks. Porn came in magazine form and late night TV on obscure Sky TV channels, grunge had come and was now dying. And if you was in the know you could find VHS tapes of obscure wrestling promotions not the WWE or WCW but crazy Japanese stuff where they used fire, water melons and a whole host of other objects that happened to be laying around. There was rumors of something called Cage fighting making it’s way around the playground.

“In UFC you can use a chain saw. My cousin has a video of it”

“In UFC it is so brutal that the ref has a gun and if you win your match you have to fight a polar bear” way back then who know what was going on in the promised land of the USA? And anyway my heart was still broken over Pamela Anderson marrying Tommy Lee the year before. But more importantly no one had heard the first rule of fight club.

Fight Club is not my first brush with Chuck Palahniuk, a couple of years ago I had read haunted and I can recall very little of it, someone cutting their hair off and an escapade with a doll. I had also made it halfway through the movie, fell asleep and didn’t bother finishing. I finished the book in two days.

The story of fight club is an echo of millions around the world an average Joe who hates their job who is looking to escape from both the 9-5 and insomnia. He meets Tyler Durdan who encourages our unarmed average Joe to emancipate him self from drudgery of work, find the little sparks in life, form fight club where other average Joe can meet and punch it out. Fight club grows. Stuff happens.

Chuck writes with pinpoint accuracy summing up his view on the 9-5, why we should leave it become the captain of our own ship. If you read past the story the book almost becomes one of the greatest self help books ever wrote, move aside How to win friends and influence people. Palahniuk has left an indelible stain on culture.

Every white collar chap, wanting to make Debbie from marketing laughs will use the famous line from the book but he wont use it verbatim no he will had his own twist “First rule of first quarter fiscal reporting club is, you don’t talk about…”

In Palahniuk’s 2005 afterword to the novel he has the line misquoted to him; to which he replies “I wrote that” to the stunned tour guide who uttered the line.

I am sure most who quote the work quote the film version, but they miss so much by not reading the book, it’s a great shame that people will quote the lines, change their names to Tyler but not engage with the source material.

Fight club hits the nail on the head, it has comedy , romance and horror that is never over stated it just works. The ultimate self help book for the down trodden.

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Flow mofo

“You need to find yourself young Mark”

A friend of mine said that to me the other day. I know where I am , but I am not sure where I am if that makes sense. Thinking about it and talking to another friend who has a certain neuroses  in social situations, I then figured it out.

You need to find an outlet. If you imagine your mind as a water tank ; if you don’t turn the tap on and let the water come out, the water inside that tank become stagnant and starts to grow parasites. You need to flow and create something.

If you stagnate that’s when life gets to you and you worry about everything. Stop thinking about going forward and go forward. You can sit in a car all day and think it to move but it wont unless you put it gear and that is the same with life.

Go forward find your self and don’t stagnate. How long have you got on this earth really? If you think about how far you need to go forward with out moving you are going no where. Think of every year a mile to travel if you start travelling at 30 and you are 35 now you only have travelled 5 miles. But if you started at 20 and you are now 35 you have gone 15 miles.

Move your self. Don’t get bogged down and move forward. After all the number 1 rule of life is : one day you are going to die and that’s when you stop moving permanently

Read these books

It’s strange how in the 21st century after countless years of civilization that people still can not read. I am not talking about countries where they are savages like France for example but developed western cultures the UK , USA , Spain and other parts where one would assume people would be able to read.

I find it a tragic loss to humanity that great books that could sculpt people and help them build better societies or to question and reason. Don’t get read because people lack the skills for this to happen.

So here are 3 books that I have found that influenced me :

Catch : 22

The lunacy of war all contained in the pages. If every politician and kid in school was made to read this and understand it then there would be no war. Anti war protesters shouldn’t be marching on government buildings to protest but they should leave copies of this out side recruiting offices up and down the country and around the world.

1984

Orwell’s vision of security cameras everywhere and a totalitarian government over seeing it all. Well George wasn’t wrong when he wrote this was he? Orwell teaches us that freedom and free speech aren’t a god given right but it is something we must fight for and make governments fear the people and not the other way around.

The Elephant and the twig

A strange book for people who don’t do self help books. Written by martial arts veteran Geoff Thompson the book is full of sound advice about ceasing the day , not allowing fear to grip you and giving you the hard reality that some day you will die so make the most of it.

If you haven’t read any of these books I suggest you do. They will open your mind to questioning and reasoning and allow you start looking at the world in a different light.