Way more repulsive than the movie

Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk

I saw the movie several years ago.  I am going to assume most people have seen the movie, and know what the deal is, and I'm going to write this review with that assumption, so here is your chance to stop reading.  


I was not expecting a nice story.  I was expecting something that messes with one's head.  There were things going on that made my jaw drop, that absolutely didn't happen in the movie.  Subtle is not a word one would ever associate with this book.


Knowing what I did about the movie, I saw lots of foreshadowing in the repetitive phrase, "I know this because Tyler knows this."  There are other clues, and they're blatant enough that I imagine most people would figure things out pretty early on, even if they've lived under a rock and never saw the movie.  I was amused by the foreshadowing and the little clues.  I enjoy that sort of thing.  


Marla was the only character I found at all sympathetic.  There is much less divide between the main character and the sociopathic Tyler Durden than there was in the movie.  It was clear in the book that Tyler was really the main character's imaginary enabler for urges that were really quite conscious.  I had difficulty suspending my disbelief when seeing the way the other characters responded to the main character, to his vulgar behavior and threats, and to his physical appearance.  For the vast majority of the book, he literally has a hole in his cheek, that he mentions needing to cover with his fingers so he can drink liquids without them leaking out.  He goes to work this way, in an actual office.  I have difficulty buying this.


I did enjoy some of the criticism the book made of our society and people's roles within it.  I found myself agreeing with Tyler Durden on much of that, while still deploring his methods.  Really, I think a lot of people will enjoy this book.  Unfortunately, I was not one of them, and mostly I feel a little bit sick.