Fight Club (novel)

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Fight Club is a 1996 novel by Chuck Palahniuk. The plot is based around an unnamed protagonist who struggles with his growing discomfort with consumerism and changes in the state of masculinity in American culture. In an attempt to overcome this, he creates an underground fighting club as a radical form of psychotherapy.

For the David Fincher directed film, see Fight Club (film).


  • "You do the little job you're trained to do.
    "Pull a lever.
    "Push a button.
    "You don't understand any of it, and then you just die." p 2
  • "What you see at fight club is a generation of men raised by women." p 41
  • "Nothing was solved when the fight was over, but nothing mattered." p 45
  • "You see how everything you can ever accomplish will end up as trash {...}
    And I'm lost inside [1]
  • "People are always asking, did I know about Tyler Durden." [1]
  • "One day you're thinking and hauling yourself around, and the next, you're cold fertilizer, worm buffet."[2]
  • "Strangers with this kind of honesty make me go a big rubbery one, if you know what I mean." p 11
  • "I just don't want to die without a few scars, I say. It's nothing anymore to have a beautiful stock body. You see those cars that are completely stock cherry, right out of a dealer's showroom in 1955, I always think, what a waste." p 39
  • "Everyone smiles with that invisible gun to their head." p 9
  • "You buy furniture, you tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. buy the sofa, then for a couple of years you're satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you've got your sofa issue handled, then the right set of dishes, then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug.
    Then you're trapped in your lovely nest, and the things that you used to own, now they own you."[3]
  • "Fight club isn't about winning or losing fights. Fight club isn't about words. [...] There's hysterical shouting in tongues like at church, and when you wake up Sunday afternoon you feel saved." p 42-43
  • "My father never went to college so it was really important I go to college. After college, I called him long distance and said, now what?
    My dad didn't know, so he said get a job.
    When I got a job and turned twenty-five, long distance, I said, now what? My dad didn't know, so he said, get married.
    I'm a thirty-year-old boy, and I'm wondering if another woman is really the answer I need."[4]
  • "You see a guy come to fight club for the first time, and his ass is a loaf of white bread.You see the same guy here six months later, and he looks carved of wood"[5]
  • "Pounding that kid, I really wanted to put a bullet between the eyes of every endangered panda that wouldn't screw to save its species and every whale or dolphin that gave up and ran itself aground."[6]
  • "Love & life belongs to great risk."
  • Raymond K. K. Hessel, your dinner is going to taste better than any meal you've ever eaten, and tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of your entire life.
  • "One minute, Robert Paulson was the warm centre that the light of the world crowded around, and the next moment, Robert Paulson was an object. After the police shot, the amazing miracle of death."[7]
  • "It's easy to cry when you realize everyone you love will reject you or die."
  • "This was therapeutic physical contact, Chloe said. we should all choose a partner. Chloe threw herself around my head and cried. She had strapless underwear at home, and cried. Chloe had oils and handcuffs, and cried as I watched the second hand on my watch go around eleven times." [1]
  • "This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time." p 19
  • "May I never be complete. May I never be content. May I never be perfect. Deliver me Tyler from being perfect and complete." p 36
  • "Nothing is static. Everything is falling apart. I know this because Tyler knows this."
  • "Under and behind and inside everything the man took for granted, something horrible had been growing."
  • "On a large enough time line, the survival rate for everyone will drop to zero."
  • "One minute was enough, Tyler said, a person had to work hard for it, but a minute of perfection was worth the effort. A moment was the most you could ever expect from perfection."
  • "This was freedom. Losing all hope was freedom."
  • "If I could wake up in a different place, at a different time, could I wake up as a different person?"
  • "At the time, my life just seemed too complete, and maybe we have to break everything to make something better out of ourselves."
  • "I wasn't the only slave to my nesting instinct. The people I know who used to sit in the bathroom with pornography, now they sit in the bathroom with their IKEA catalogues."
  • "For thousands of years, human beings had screwed up and trashed and crapped on this planet, and now history expected me to clean up after everyone. I have to wash out and flatten my soup cans, and account for every drop of used motor oil. And I have to foot the bill for nuclear waste and burned gasoline tanks and landfilled toxic sludge dumped a generation before I was born."
  • "I wanted to burn the Louvre. I'd do the Elgin Marbles with a sledgehammer and wipe my ass with the Mona Lisa. This is my world, now. This is my world, my world, and those ancient people are dead."
  • "I've met god across his long walnut desk with his diplomas on the wall behind him, and god asks me, 'Why?'"
    "'Why did I cause so much pain?'"
    "'Didn't I realize that each of us is a sacred, unique snowflake of spiritual unique specialness?'"
    "'Can't I see that we're all manifestations of love?'"
    "I look at god behind his desk, taking notes on a pad, but god's got this all wrong."
    "We are not special."
    "We are not crap or trash either. We just are."
    "We just are, and what happens just happens."
    "And god says, 'No, that's not right.'"
    "Yeah. Well. Whatever. You can't teach god anything."
  • "If I had a tumor, I'd name it Marla."

Tyler Durden

  • "Getting fired [...] is the best thing that could happen to any of us. That way, we'd quit treading water and do something with our lives." p 74
  • "Forget her, she's a predator posing as a house pet."
  • "I'm breaking my attachment to physical power and possessions, because only through destroying myself can I discover the greater power of my spirit."
  • "You have to see [...] how the first soap was made of heroes."
    Think about the animals used in product testing.
    Think about the monkeys shot into space.
    "Without their death, their pain, without their sacrifice [...] we would have nothing."
  • "Sticking feathers up your butt [...] does not make you a chicken." p 60
  • "This is a chemical burn, and it will hurt worse than you've ever been burned. Worse than a hundred cigarettes"
  • "With enough soap, you could blow up the whole world."
  • "Maybe self-improvement isn't the answer, maybe self-destruction is the answer."
  • "It's only after you've lost everything, that you're free to do anything."
  • "Disaster is a natural part of my evolution, toward tragedy and dissolution."
  • "The liberator who destroys my property, is fighting to save my spirit. The teacher who clears all possessions from my path will set me free."
  • "You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everyone else, and we are all a part of the same compost pile."
  • "Recycling and speed-limits are bullshit. They're like someone who quits smoking on his deathbed."
  • 1st Rule: You do not talk about FIGHT CLUB.
    2nd Rule: You DO NOT talk about FIGHT CLUB.
    3rd Rule: If someone says "stop" or goes limp, taps out the fight is over.
    4th Rule: Only two guys to a fight.
    5th Rule: One fight at a time.
    6th Rule: No shirts, no shoes.
    7th Rule: Fights will go on as long as they have to.
    8th Rule: If this is your first night at FIGHT CLUB, you HAVE to fight.

Marla Singer

  • "I want to have your abortion."
  • "You're such a nutcase, I can't even begin to keep up."
  • "I embrace my own festering diseased corruption."
  • "You know, the condom is the glass slipper of our generation. You slip it on when you meet a stranger. You dance all night then you throw it away. The condom, I mean. Not the stranger."
  • "At the store, they have 100% recycled toilet paper. The worst job in the world must be recycling toilet paper."
  • "I knew this would happen. You're such a flake. You love me. You ignore me. You save my life, then you cook my mother into soap."
  • "I used to work in a funeral home to feel good about myself, just the fact I was breathing."


  • "The First Rule of Project Mayhem is you do not ask questions. The Second Rule of Project Mayhem is you do not ask questions. The Third Rule of Project Mayhem is that in Project Mayhem there are no excuses. The Fourth Rule of Project Mayhem is that you cannot lie. The Fifth Rule of Project Mayhem is you have to trust Tyler."
  • “Burn the Louvre,” the mechanic says, “and wipe your ass with the Mona Lisa. This way at least, God would know our names.” p 134
  • "If you don't know what you want," the doorman said, "you end up with a lot you don't."
  • "'What you have to consider,' he [the mechanic] says, 'is the possibility that God doesn't like you. Could be, God hates us. This is not the worst thing that can happen.'
    How Tyler saw it was that getting God's attention for being bad was better than getting no attention at all. Maybe because God's hate is better than His indifference." p 134
  • "The mechanic says, 'If you’re male and you’re Christian and living in America, your father is your model for God. And if you never know your father, if your father bails out or dies or is never at home, what do you believe about God?'"


  1. a b c Palahniuk, Chuck. Fight Club. New York: Owl Books, 1999. p. 17 ISBN 0805062971
  2. Fight Club. p. 35
  3. Fight Club. p. 44
  4. Fight Club. p. 50
  5. Fight Club. p. 51
  6. Fight Club. p. 123
  7. Fight Club. p. 177

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