If you’ve seen the movie, put it out of your mind. This is the real thing: Full-throttle prose of the kind only creative dementia can induce and sustain.
Antihero Tyler Durden is one man, many men, all men; he’s disaffected, angry, horny, at war with himself. Marla is a fuck-buddy with a “vaginal vault.” Tyler sees signs in piss and kisses in acid.
His alter-ego, Palahniuk’s narrator, is appalled. Or is he?
Punches are both answer and ritual. Ego does it to id, id back to ego, energy level rising like water in a sinking ship. This is a one-sitting novel of irradiating intensity. It is also an American original, a precious commodity.