This post of Fight Club 2 (or the Fight Club book) by Author Chuck Palahniuk, Illustrations Cameron Stewart, Cover art David Mack has been adapted from two previous posts. First is the spoiler free review, followed by the spoiler full review and summary. Additionally, I’ve had a lot of time to think about this one and my opinions may have changed. I intend to reread and add a new review category eventually. Just take my initial review here with a grain of salt.
Spoiler Free Review
Usually I keep things a little moderate, language wise, for my reviews. Well here’s your warning, Ima be cursing in this one.
I’m going to assume that you’re already familiar with Fight Club, either the book or the movie. You must be, how could you have missed it? Have young people not reached the Fight Club phase of their youth yet?
This sequel assumes that you are familiar with both the movie and the book, they are mostly similar except the endings are quite different and somehow this graphic novel picks up where both of them left off. Doesn’t make sense? Well, neither does anything that happens in this one.
Back when I was a teenage edge lord Chuck Palahniuk was my god. He writes these ridiculous, offensive, grotesque, over the top books that I used to love. I had already thought that I’d outgrown him but I decided to give this graphic novel sequel to Fight Club a shot.
It started off okay. I went in with a very low bar after having rewatched the movie a few years back and finding that it maybe doesn’t hold up as well as I would have liked.
It starts with the narrator, who now has the name Sebastian, married to Marla who is insanely bored and still going to support groups. Sebastian is overmedicated to keep Tyler Durden from rearing his handsome destructive face around but Marla is trying to lure him out.
About 30 pages in it jumps the shark harder than any shark has ever been jumped and then it throws dynamite into the shark’s mouth, laughs at all the bystanders now covered in shark guts, and then flings it’s own feces all over them for good measure.
You should definitely read the summary below to see all the ways that this book is loaded with absolute horse shit insanity that goes so far from being fun it becomes a confusing assault to your well-being.
Don’t worry about the spoilers, you won’t believe me anyway.
The biggest problem is that Palahniuk felt the need to insert himself into the book as a meta character dripping with so much narcissism I’m pretty sure the pages are sticky with his own ejaculate.
He not only praises himself as the all mighty writer of Fight Club but then proceeds to insult everyone who ever loved it. Not metaphorically, not subtly, directly and with malice.
In short, it’s an awful awful story that is as confusing as it is personally offensive. It’s bad on purpose and thinks you’re stupid enough to take it.
I must say there is one shining positive that this book does contain. The cover art was all done by the incomparable David Mack. It’s beautiful and if this book wasn’t otherwise a pile of shit covered in garbage I’d hang it on my wall.
Unfortunately, that is not enough to bump this up past a one star review. This Fight Club sequel has, thankfully, not been adapted into a movie.
Fight Club 2 Summary
Usually I keep things a little moderate, language wise, for my reviews. Well here’s your warning, Ima be cursing a lot in this one.
I’m sure you are familiar with Fight Club. At least with the movie if not the book. It’s a generational classic at this point. It surpassed cult and became an integrated part of the zeitgeist.
If you haven’t read the original book, I recommend it. Now, I haven’t read it in years so I can’t guarantee it holds up but I remember it being even better than the movie (which only kind of holds up). And I preferred the ending.
The biggest problem with Fight Club in general is that it requires A LOT of suspension of belief. When you are first exposed to it it’s shocking to find out that the narrator, Edward Norton’s character, is actually Tyler Durden, Brad Pitt’s character. It’s a split personality thing, if somehow you missed the movie.
But when you try to rewatch it it starts to fall apart. There are so many reasons it doesn’t make sense. Enter Fight Club 2.
This is the graphic novel sequel to BOTH the book and the movie. Yes, two forms of media that had two very different endings converge into this different form of media.
How does Palahniuk accomplish that? In short, by inserting himself aggressively into it and shitting all over anything anyone ever loved about it.
It starts with the narrator who now has a name, Sebastian.
He’s been married to Marla for quite some time now, they have a 9 year old son who likes playing with explosives.
Sebastian is heavily medicated. Presumably to keep Tyler away. Marla is bored by the domestic hell so she is replacing his meds with sugar pills so that she can bring Tyler back. Basically only so that she can get fucked harder.
Sebastian’s psychiatrist is also hypnotizing him to bring Tyler out during their sessions. During these hours Tyler is basically running a world-wide crime syndicate.
Tyler kidnaps their son and holds him hostage. (This doesn’t really go much of anywhere.)
Marla is also still attending support groups she doesn’t belong in. Her current one is kids with progeria, the degenerative illness that makes you age rapidly. So basically a bunch of kids that look like little elderly people.
Through this point I was still moderately on board. It seemed very in line with Palahniuk’s edge lord style and even had some good humor to it. Then shit got ridiculous really quickly.
But first let’s take a quick break for me to mention the amazing art work that David Mack did on the covers.
I love David Mack, I wish this book was better because I want to hang these on my wall but I’d just be mad about how awful the content inside gets.
Okay, so in the original Fight Clubs recruits to project Mayhem had to wait on the porch of this old house until they were summoned. Sebastian has gone there now.
He’s waiting to get into the house but Tyler is inside the house running the show. Some people seem to know that he’s both people but some don’t. They’re drawn very differently so I think we’re supposed to see them as two different people but they literally share one body and are in two places at once.
Then all of a sudden we’re in an office with Chuck Palahniuk himself. He’s with a group of writers discussing how to write Fight Club 2 and what should happen next.
I hate this. I hate this so fucking much. Why is this meta all of a sudden?!
Sebastian goes to his first fight club in years and fights his old frenemy Angel Face who has been fighting weekly for all those years and looks like chewed up gum held together with wood chips.
What’s Marla doing while all of this is going on? Convincing a Make A Wish like foundation to send all of the progeria kids into various warzones by dropping them in fully armed via helicopter. Um what? Why? What?
While she’s doing that for absolutely no explained reason Tyler sends Sebastian on a mission to vandalize an art museum by spraying his own blood all over the art, he thinks this will kill him. In the body they share.
He survives this task so Tyler infects their son with himself. What?
Turns out Tyler Durden is some kind of mental virus that has existed throughout history.
Somewhere in between warzones Marla realizes she’s pregnant again, it’s Tyler’s, not Sebastian’s, she’s very clear.
So she keeps going to more warzones with more kids who look like old people to do something that we will never know because we’re never told.
We do find out that Tyler’s plan is to somehow reboot civilization as a whole and Palahniuk is somehow integral to all of that.
A bunch of people who just read the now published Fight Club 2 show up on Palahniuk’s doorstep to complain. He tells them to write their own goddamned ending then and mocks everyone for liking what he had created in the first place.
Palahniuk, you’re an asshole. People liked your work, enough to make it a lifestyle, enough to get it tattooed on their bodies, and you mock them. Fuck you. You’re the worst kind of artist. You’re ungrateful toward those who made you and your edge lord bullshit is so out of fashion now you don’t know how to deal.
(Revisiting this, these people are wrong to make Fight Club their lifestyle. Maybe Palahniuk is right to call them out.)
And now we’re all on an island for some reason. Tyler kills Palahniuk before he can write that Marla has an abortion and I guess that means that there will be a little Tyler running around even though he can make anyone him at any time anyway.
Sigh, here’s another Mack cover as a palette cleanser.
Seriously, the only worth while part of the book.
So that was terrible. I had a low bar going in but this was just rude. It seemed bad on purpose.
And then I found out there’s another sequel. Here’s the deal, if you guys like this rant/review let me know in the comments and I’ll read and review it for you. Otherwise, I’ll let this story die here with this bizarre meta nonsense that I really could have done without.
1/5 what the fucks did i just reads 😖
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Buy the original and far less confounding book here: Fight Club: A Novel