My friend Emily had never seen Fight Club. It is, I think, a great movie that works on a variety of levels, but the underlying theme — ridding oneself of material goods — is probably the one that lands the heaviest impact. Of course, it’s also fun to snicker at Bob’s manboobs.
So, anyway, she’d never seen the movie. She was living in Arlington when I was living in Towson, and every now and then she would get up here, or I would get down there, but never ever could the time be found to watch Fight Club. Never.
About a year and a half ago she was off to Europe for a year, six months in Dublin followed by six months in London. Or vice-versa, I can’t remember. Anyway, so she was leaving in late December, and her folks threw a “going away” party. So I was out at Barnes & Noble late the night before, racking my brain, trying to figure out what to get her. I wanted to get her a book, because, really, books are great for travel — you don’t need a DVD player to watch them, you just need an eyeball (or two?).
And it occured to me to buy her a copy of Fight Club. Of course, I couldn’t think of the author’s name, so I did what any reasonably intelligent individual would do … I scanned each row of the fiction section, shelf by shelf, until I located it.*
I read the book that night, then wrapped it and gave it to her. She eventually read it, and liked it so much she did watch the movie, like a year later.
Anyway, Chuck Palahniuk has a new book coming out, which is why I thought of this, although this one sounds even more disturbing than Fight Club …
The decidedly disturbing Haunted is about a group of frustrated misfits who sign up for a three-month writing retreat. It descends into violence and sabotage as the writers, locked in an old theater, deprive themselves of food, phones and electricity, start chopping off their fingers and toes and then resort to cannibalism.
… I’m going to go and scratch “Writing Retreat” off of the list of things I might like to do some day …
* Actually, I went into the DVD/Music section, found the DVD, and looked on the back cover until I found the “Based on the book by…” credit.