Fight Club 3 by Chuck Palahniuk

details
Title: Fight Club 3.
Writer(s): Chuck Palahniuk.
Illustrator(s): Cameron Stewart.
Colourist(s): Dave McCaig.
Letterer(s): Nate Piekos of Blambot®.
Publisher: DC Comics.

Format
:
Hardcover.
Release Date: April 28th, 2020.
Pages: 328.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781506711782.
My Overall Rating: ★☆☆☆☆.

Previously in the Fight Club series:
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk.
Fight Club 2 by Chuck Palahniuk.

thoughts

Maybe being a beautiful and unique snowflake was all that was left in the magic hat for author Chuck Palahniuk. Renown for his transgressional fiction filled with dark humour, stark surrealism, and visceral social commentary, his novels have successfully shocked the world to the core, leaving only some in awe at his mindboggling creativity and the rest in revulsion at his outrageous imagination. Following the critically-acclaimed Fight Club novel, which hence spawned one of the greatest movies of all time starring Edward Norton and Brad Pitt, novelist Chuck Palahniuk pursued his foray into this universe by exploring the graphic novel medium with an unexpected exploratory sequel. Continuing down the same road, he revisits the Fight Club lore by breaking free from any storytelling boundaries as the universe he once owned ends up owning him in this latest sequel that will bring you to ask questions breaking the very first rule of Fight Club: You do not talk about Fight Club.

What is Fight Club 3 about? I couldn’t give you a clear answer even if I wanted to. But here’s the only sense a space monkey could possibly squeeze out of it though: the story brings back the unnamed narrator who now goes by the name of Balthazar and presents a pregnant Marla Singer—unexplainedly awaiting her second child this time around—who is involved in a brand-new worldwide scheme that even the deranged Tyler Durden doesn’t know how to deal with. While Project Mayhem—which later became Rize or Die—is officially a thing of the past, a new movement entitled “Die Off” brings into play a whole pyramid scheme with a sexually-contracted virus at the heart of this disaster. Filled with murder and mayhem, the story now forces the binary personalities (Balthazar and Tyler Durden) to work together to solve this mystery before things escalate and has consequences beyond repair.

“Home is where they have to take you in.”

— Chuck Palahniuk

I am all in for complexity. I am all in for challenging. I am all in for authentic, original, and unconventional. But… this… this… I am Jack’s raging bile duct. There is nothing rewarding or worthwhile in trying to elucidate this incomprehensible pile of nonsense. With almost no dialogue to accompany you in this twelve-issue rambling comic book, the reader is left to scrutinize each and every panel to decipher a hint of a story that could justify the somewhat metaphysical characteristics of this sequel. If there’s such a thing as extreme symbolism, novelist Chuck Palahniuk nailed it. Wacky, kooky, triggering, and at times disgusting, there isn’t a moment of respite for the reader to revel in ecstasy at a grasp of some understanding, despite the story arc’s desire to force the reader to create their own story through what they are able to interpret from each panel. If there’s one thing this sequel succeeded in making me feel, it’s the impression of truly being an all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world. And that’s not something I rejoice in feeling.

It might be easy to pardon the terrible mosaic of a structure behind this volume by appreciating the formidable work by illustrator Cameron Stewart and colourist Dave McCraig, but forgiveness is short when the reading experience cumulated to almost no satisfaction whatsoever amidst all the surrealism at play. Each issue begins with an original calendar format two-page illustration and continues on with a traditional square and rectangle panel structure that sometimes dare to overlap one another. There is also the superposition of realistic partial photography (e.g. flies, vomit, etc.) that never really serves much purpose but to hinder the reader’s general reading experience. Besides the real-life sequences, most the volume is also comprised of historical figures and events, dreams, illusions, and plenty of enigmatic and irrelevant characters, allowing artists Cameron Stewart and Dave McCaig to work their magic in bringing to life the sexuality, the taboo, and the insanity. But in the end, none of it could save this from writer Chuck Palahniuk’s unrestrainable creativity and love for stupefaction. I am Jack’s unimpressed cat.

Fight Club 3 is a kaleidoscopic catastrophe bidding on a plethora of symbolism to tell a story void of significance, direction, or vision.


EXHIBITA

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Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for this copy!

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19 comments

  • Ouch.
    Lashaan ain’t pulling no punches.

    I just went back and read your review of the novel. I read it back in the day, before the film. This novel really meant a lot to you upon a time.

    Looks ;like a brave attempt on Pahluniaks part, but it does not live up to the standard of the novel, or even the movie.

    Happy Trails, Space Monkey.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Icky, for taking the time to read both reviews! I really appreciate it. The novel is one that I indeed treasure. I saw the movie first though and since then have it seen it multiple times. I’m sad that Chuck Palahniuk decided to do “this” to his novel. I really think it was unnecessary… Happy reading, sir!

      Liked by 1 person

  • When I saw the title, I thought at first it was a novel, which I really liked. I can see why the sequel would start relying on artwork since I felt the story was “done” in the first book.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Oof, that must’ve been painful, Lashaan! Great review, raw but eloquent in all its bitter disappointment.

    I do wonder why authors do that to themselves; is it an illusion of safety in coming back to what was their magnum opus? Belief that the charm will work again? Palahniuk is not the only one guilty of that particular sin, but he sure knows how to go down with a bang 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the kind words, Ola. It was indeed pure disappointment for me. I don’t even feel like revisiting it to try and understand any of its 10th degree messages… I feel like him continuing to stretch this world out (he plans on making more sequels apparently…) is him trying to clutch onto one of his big successes…

      Liked by 1 person

  • I had to skip this review since I’ve not yet read or watched Fight Club and would like to at some point. Didn’t want to risk any spoilers. But, wow, 1 star? Must have really gone down hill!

    Liked by 1 person

    • No worries, good sir. The first one is one my all-time favourite books. I do hope you enjoy it when you get around to it. As for Fight Club 2 and 3… The second is tolerable and actually feels experimental… The third one is a waste of time… Do it only if you’re a hardcore fan and you’re just too curious to control yourself like me. 😀

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      • That kind of reminds me of Highlander. I absolutely loved the first movie, but the 2nd and 3rd…. waste of my time. The series, though, was entertaining. As for Fight Club, would you recommend the book before the movie? I’m guessing yes. I can only recall one time in my life so far where I’ve enjoyed a movie version more than the original book (Horns by Joe Hill).

        Liked by 1 person

        • I would always recommend the book before any movie, if the person has time, patience, and interest in the original source material. Otherwise, I like to tell people how the Fight Club movie and book aren’t the same experience and that you’ll be just as thrilled by both in different manners. The ending of the book is also slightly different if I remember correctly. Ohh, I didn’t know anyone would say that about the Horns movie. I thought people made fun of Daniel Radcliffe in that role actually. That’s interesting to hear.

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