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You Do Not Talk About Fight Club: I Am Jack's Completely Unauthorized Essay Collection (Smart Pop) Paperback – 2 Oct 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: BEN BELLA (2 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933771526
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933771526
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 15 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 271,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. Holland on 15 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some of the essays here are insightful and well-written. Many are simply indulgent nonsense, written mostly because the editor seems to be friendly with them. If you can weed out the useless essays then you will find some useful discussion of Fight Club both in novel and film form.
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By natalia on 19 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to teach the movie this year and this was so handy, it's quite difficult for kids but is certainly stretching. Really interesting insights and analyses of the film.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan on 13 Feb. 2015
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Do not buy this book! Is pure nonsense , someone else wrote it complete bulls*** , i throw this piece of s*** away
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Amazon.com: 6 reviews
63 of 69 people found the following review helpful
Book reports, mostly written by people who only saw the film 16 Sept. 2008
By D. Vanderweide - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have newfound appreciation for grade-school teachers.

"Weekend spent correcting book reports, most written by people who only saw the film" not only serves as fair analogy to reading this collection, it's every bit as awful as it sounds.

All the essays here come from metaphilm, a Web site. As such, the essays tend to focus on the film version of Fight Club. Most at least acknowledge the differences between the book and the film, but where there are differences, the focus is on the film version.

Unfortunately, the only criterion for inclusion seems to be spurious comparison to some other film or cultural icon. Within 16 essays, comparisons and direct likening are made to Lord of the Rings; Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde; the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip; the Oedipus myth; and in one amazingly ham-fisted entry, The Matrix, American Beauty and Pink Floyd's The Wall, all at once; to name a few.

There is no instantly recognizable film or literary critic in this collection.

There are a few essays from theology Ph.D. students, a pair of professors from colleges you've never heard about before and a particularly self-important, self-absorbed attempt at omnibus insight from a lecturer at Temple University. Otherwise, the academic credentials of these critics are nonexistent.

No one has a social sciences pedigree. No one claims professional expertise in film making, screen writing or any related discipline. Few take the time to follow academic rigor of any sort -- and I don't mean just the essayist who goes on and on about the "Force" of martial-arts kicks and punches, when punches and kicks actually possess momentum.

Consider: Virtually every essay here mentions the 1999 film's depiction of imploding skyscrapers, directly comparing the scene to the 9/11 attacks two years later. Not one, however, notes that "Fight Club" was written in 1995, just two years after the first terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center -- which used a car bomb, just like Project Mayhem did.

We're treated to six pages claiming Tyler Durden, and possibly Chuck Palahniuk, are the products of a government mind-control program, but not one essayist can make obvious comparisons between the anti-consumerist, anti-technology beliefs of Islamic jihadists and those of Tyler Durden, even as he goes for the wrong terrorist attack that equates the two.

Another problem is the total fascination with "homoerotic" undertones that nearly every essayist feels compelled to point out. Yes, Palahniuk is gay. Yes, fist fighting is kind of gay, too; one only need watch mixed martial arts to see that. Yes, the lack of father figure and seeing Marla Singer as spoiler and Bob's "bitch tits" and on and on and on. ... Enough with this, already. It's not new, insightful or particularly useful.

The regrettable part is that some of these essays have genuine merit. For example, the first essay argues that "Fight Club" is really a love story; it does so effectively, largely because the author began with Palahniuk's own statements about his novels, and built upon that foundation.

A few other entries shine, such as one that examines the role of technology to human relationships, and a particularly clever one that dredges up a 1950s book on soap and detergent to effectively summarize Durden's base views.

For the most part, these works are useless. They either fail to prove their premises - often, thanks to the premises being paper-thin - or so stretch your willingness to even indulge the premise, that you want to quit reading after a few paragraphs, almost universally stuffed with adjectives fresh from the thesaurus.

I spent many years writing editorials and columns for newspapers, so I know a thing or two about critical essays. And writing opinions about things you don't actually understand. And hanging your rhetorical hat on any peg, regardless of its ability to hold the load.

I know bad essays when I see them. And I saw a lot inside the covers of this book.

What I did enjoy, immensely, was Palahniuk's foreword -- a brilliantly veiled insult of metaphilm. Noting his time as a campus radical was really a series of silly outbursts that changed nothing, Palahniuk writes that all that really mattered is he found like souls; a family.

There could be no fairer assessment of the largely nonsensical rants collected here; the foreword's proud inclusion in the collection tells you everything you need to know about the intellectual capacities of these critics.

It's nice they have metaphilm, a place to gather in like company. But don't waste your money on what they have to say.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Not bad-Mostly film related 20 Sept. 2008
By Tito - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I agree that the majority of the work is film related. I was a little disappointed by this, but the cover image resembles one of the covers of the DVDs I own. Using "Chuck Palahnuk's" name implies book related, but in truth he just writes the intro.

I love the discussions and am one that likes to push the envelope in making something relevant. I agree that at times I caught myself rolling my eyes at some of the comparisons, but I like the idea that the writers were tying this to something concrete (something they found to be a cultural mile stone).

I don't know that Chuck has become a first name member of the great and holy canon of American Literature, but do feel he has much to say about the last 10 years, culture and society. I personally am intrigued by Will Christopher Baer and would love to see something similiar written on his work. I also like Charlie Huston and Denis Johnson (I throw these names out more as a point of reference of what I see as similiar material and to give my bias as a reader than anything else).

It isn't the best criticism ever written, but if you like criticism that is relevant to the changes in society and dares try to get in the head of "Fight Club" (be it film or book-although, I do wish it was more novel related), this is not a bad read.
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
not what I thought it was, but still a good buy 20 Sept. 2008
By Mrs. Rose Spangler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While I had assumed this was a new book by my favorite author, and it wasnt, it would still be a necessity for anyone in a highschool or college english class for analyzing Chuck Palahniuk's book, Fight Club. Besides the foreword by Chuck himself, there are 17 different interpretations of Fight Club the book, Fight Club the movie, and even Mr. Palahniuk. You really get a good feel for what people took away from the story, and a new view on every angle of the plot and characters.
6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Fight Club & Philosophy 12 Sept. 2008
By Lee Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
FINALLY, a badly needed philosophical discussion of the movie Fight Club. I've always felt that the Unabomber Manifesto was the Project Mayhem playbook, and it's discussed here. This book is packed with 16 essays from various writers who methodically take the movie apart and talk about it. This book is a must for those of us who enjoyed the movie and love to think about it in philosophical and psychological terms. I only hope this book opens the door to further explorations of the movie Fight Club.
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Up it's own butt, but... 25 Oct. 2008
By Dan Bergevin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are like me and think that Fight Club was a self help book cleverly disguised as a gritty misanthropic tale of one man's escapism turned into a rampant global underground upheaval of society, then you should read this book. It expands on many of the book's fundamental ideas. And if you're into the book not so much for its entertainment value as for its ideas, then this is a worthy supplement.

Sure, you get the inevitable essay that's way too far up it's own butt and aims more at being clever than at actually providing useful or even usable information. And you also get the tiresome comparisons between the book and the film, which you will already know if you have watched and read both.

Regardless, it's still worth reading. [...]
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