Adjustment Day by Chuck Palahniuk
Many of you may be familiar with Chuck Palahniuk. I devoured his books in high school. Fight Club, Invisible Monsters, Choke, all of them. He kept writing books and I kept reading them into adulthood.
Unfortunately, I hit a wall with his work. I read Tell All and Pygmy and decided either I outgrew him or he lost his way. So I stopped picking up his new stuff. Until I read Fight Club 2. Oh boy what a read that is! You can find my absolutely scathing review of it by clicking that link. However, after thinking about it for about a year I might need to change my mind on hating it.
The main challenge with Palahniuk is determining when he’s serious. I think the answer might be, never. Fight Club got so twisted that the group it was mocking loved it so much they make it part of their identity. Toxic masculinity has no self awareness so they latch on to media like Fight Club and American Psycho and fail to see that these characters are not heroes.
That brings us to Adjustment Day. The cult of toxic masculinity in Adjustment Day is like if Project Mayhem from Fight Club was successfully able to start The Purge. For those unfamiliar with any of these references you’re probably not the audience for this novel.
Adjustment Day is a day of resetting the Patriarchy. Every so many years the young men of America get restless in their want of power and the only way to reset the status quo is with a war. The book goes into the logic of this in great detail, it makes a certain amount of sense but I sincerely hope that’s not how the powers that be actually operate.
The testosterone driven population is scared of losing any ounce of power so they eagerly take up a new philosophy driven by a mysterious book and the men who invite others into the fold. They are ready to “save” the nation with Adjustment Day.
The books is told through a series of alternating vignettes that bounce between many different characters. We see many different view points and points in time before during and after Adjustment Day.
I found this book fascinating and highly entertaining. It’s important to recognize that Palahniuk writes the opposite of how he actually seems to feel and believe. (I think I forgot that when I first read Fight Club 2). These “heroes” are ironic. The events are hyperbolized and satirical. However, after the events of the January 6th attempted coup these fictional actions aren’t so hyperbolized anymore.
If you want to get back into Palahniuk I can definitely recommend Adjustment Day. It has all of his edge and non-traditional narrative style without sacrificing moral or story.
4/5 ears 👂👂👂👂
If you like Chuck Palahniuk you’ll love Entropy in Bloom
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Buy it here: Adjustment Day
11 thoughts on “Adjustment Day – Book Review”
Palahniuk’s best work, to me, has always been his non-fiction. That might be an unfortunate and even insulting take to his fans, and perhaps to Palahniuk himself, but that’s only my subjective opinion. But I’m eternally grateful for Palahniuk’s championing and love of his former writing teacher Tom Spanbauer- truly the greatest and least appreciated American novelist still living and, hopefully still working, in America today.
I really enjoyed his nonfiction, wish he’d do more!
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