tyler durden’s almost here

this feels a bit like showing up late for Fight Club and missing the part where the rules are read out, going home and blogging about how great it is.

maybe some of you don’t know, but Fight Club the film as you may know it is a novel, and quintessential reading of american writer, chuck palahniuk. whichever is your preferred ingestion of this author’s work you’ll either way be giddy to hear Fight Club 2 is out at the end of may. this time it’s a graphic novel so you’ll be able to mainline the words on the page of the novel with a high ball blending of the visuals you got from the screen – that, or there’ll be too few of the author’s words on each page whilst the other half wonder where brad pitt is.

so what do we know about it? fight club 2 will be published by Dark Horse in 10 parts. in the author’s own words:

“The sequel will be told from the – at first – submerged perspective of Tyler Durden as he observes the day-to-day tedium of the narrator’s life.  Because 20th Century-Fox created the convention of calling the protagonist Jack, I’m calling him Cornelius.  He’s living a compromised life with a failing marriage, unsure about his passion for his wife.  The typical midlife bullshit.  Likewise, Marla is unsatisfied and dreams of accessing the wild man she’d once fallen in love with.  She tampers with the small pharmacy of drugs that her husband needs to suppress Tyler, and – go figure – Tyler reemerges to terrorize their lives.”

but if this is news to you, or you’re not familiar with the author’s work, you should probably re-trace his steps a bit.

palahniuk was here in manchester a year or two ago in his pyjamas, inviting his fans to come watch in their pyjamas, while he read from his new book at the time, Doomed. i was sorry to miss it, having no pyjamas.

if you’ve heard about him, or want to hear a bit more, i figure chuck palahniuk is one of those authors a reader has a personal relationship with. we all share in the vision of the films made about his books but, as with any book, you as the reader take from it what’s yours.

so, in finding my feet with blogging/ telling you why a person would like anything, i suppose really i’ll be writing a wee list of the meaning i put into such things, and you… well you can just make a note of his book titles if you like and go find out what you want from them yourself.

fight clubtyler

this is where i started, and perhaps many others did too. but it’s with good reason. it is difficult to speak of Fight Club without referencing the hugely successful film. putting the film aside, suffice it to say palahniuk’s characters and dialogue are perfectly portrayed on the screen. so if you like the twisted characters and humour of the film, their essence lies in the book. i defy anyone who trains as a boxer or martial artist to read this and tell me it’s not precisely how it feels, leaving work and all that’s familiar and placed before you, disaffected, to find the freedom and natural high of sparring before the day’s done. you’re not your job; you’re not how much money you make. readers will have tyler burden’s words coming out of their mouth every other day since their last reading.

choke

written with a similar narrative voice as Fight Club, and also made into a film, the disillusioned, disconnected will find a sort of similar home in Choke. this time, in place of the primitive, innocent freedom in violence, we follow a sex addict, discovering truths about his mother who now suffers dementia. as word perfect as Fight Club, you’ll read it in one sitting and see it in pained social situations.

snuff

here’s where i left off until the author’s latest releases. Snuff is the story of a porn star as she crowns her famed career by breaking the serial fornication world record. carried by the first person narratives of numbers in the line on their way to help make history, for me, palahnuik’s voice was already embedded as an old friend, now saying things in the bar you’re pretty sure he said when you first met. perhaps it was the world waiting for the next shocking thing from the author, to which he responded by writing without the inhibitions of hemingway’s bullshit filter. i’d give a nut to have read this before being familiar with the narratives of Fight Club and Choke. so maybe go try that and report back

damned

following this dead emo around hell was new in many ways from the author, though not as absorbing as the first 2 on this here list. at times it tried too hard, written like an advanced creative writing student given the book’s synopsis along with the spec to write something audacious. i’m being a prick, mind, as i still say this in the context that it’s one you should go out and read. as a writer, the novel is entirely inspiring. think the wonder of The Divine Comedy with a fat emo as your guide. Doomed is the sequel; i’m saving it for later so may come back and rewrite this snide appraisal when i’m proven wrong…

guts

let’s end with the promise if you go and look one up right now, it’s Guts from palahniuk’s short story collection, Haunted. there’s not a plot-spoiling sentence i could use here that wouldn’t make you clench a little. succinct and eloquent in its prolapsed arse-out telling, Guts is the grotesque at its most golden. like eating the most delectably sculpted plate of someone else’s intestines. go look it up, and then come back and say i told you so.

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