(Sorry this is a bit later than intended! Lost some blood. It’s replenished now, I assume.)
Anyway, I finally got around to reading ‘Fight Club’ last week, and it was wonderful. Even knowing the ending and the Big Twist, I couldn’t put it down. (Note to self, don’t start a book at 2 in the morning. Dawn is early these days. Also probably my mental image of Brad Pitt from the movie helped, but I digress.)
My favorite part about this book was, actually, the disillusionment. The narrator is very matter of fact about what’s going on, and even his speculations and feeble attempts to keep things from going completely batshit are interwoven with cynicism and the understanding that there’s only so much he can do to stop the inevitable. The narrator’s angry, frustrated, vicious, maybe even in love—but above all, more than anything else, he’s jaded. The modern lifestyle only goes so far. Modern society can only create certain kinds of people.
That was the voice I’d gone for a couple of years ago in a story I wrote about someone who is really angry about the way her life turned out, coincidentally after I graduated college and was like, wow this has not made anything better hello 2009 economy. Granted, reading this book first would have probably killed my desire to write anything along those lines, but I think the stories were different enough where finding ‘Fight Club’ sooner would’ve helped me figure out some important things. Above all, that anger doesn’t need a distinct reason but if it doesn’t go anywhere, you’re going to end up with a less than exciting loop.
The book itself—obviously, I’m a fan. It’s not for everyone, though. If you don’t think there are any problems with society, or if the problems you already see have you at a point where hearing about more just won’t help, or you’re a humorless person…. I mistrusted it on the grounds that I’m usually not a fan of short, direct sentences (à la Hemingway) but over time that’s changed a bit, and he uses them well. Nothing’s broken down into child-size bits, and when it is it’s because there’s a mindtrip just around the corner.