Sunday!

Whilst in Portland visiting dear friends, we stopped by Powell’s book store and in my browsings, I found Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club 2. It’s a graphic novel this time, so it manages to do two things at the same time:

1) Provide a sequel to Palahniuk’s original novel
2) Provide a storyboard for what the sequel to the movie would look like

The story is fairly straightforward: you saw Fight Club (the movie), right? Maybe you read the book if you’re one of those bookish types? Well, take the events from the last scene in the movie and then fast forward 10 years.

Marla and Jack have had a marriage and a child and they’re both getting a bit nostalgic about the crazy life they left behind years before for a life of sedate(d) domestic bliss. Events conspire and, for a handful of reasons, Jack stops taking his meds.

And, at that point, we see what happens when Tyler Durden comes back and takes Project Mayhem out of storage.

Or, more precisely, what happens when Chuck Palahniuk takes Tyler Durden out of storage.

The story is interesting, there are a number of exceptional monologues, and we visit the origin stories of a number of old friends (including a surprising origin story to Tyler Durden himself).

That said, once the story decides to go “meta”, it really puts its back into going meta and does the thing where an author yells at his/her fanbase about not liking the right stuff about his/her stories. I hate that thing. That said, the original story for Fight Club was kind of messed up and the sequel comes out and explicitly explores the whole messed-uppedness. There are fewer examples of events that might inspire a “hey, that’d be kind of cool!” response and a lot more of the whole “hey, this is really messed up” experience.

But it feels like Palahniuk yelling that we enjoyed the movie wrong.

As such, I’d only really recommend the sequel to people who need to know what happened next after the buildings fell. The people who might feel a temporary spike of curiosity? Eh, you’ll probably walk away feeling disappointed.

Or feel yelled at.

So… what are you reading and/or watching?

(Featured Image is “Edison’s Telephonoscope” by George du Maurier from Punch Almanack for 1879)


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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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15 thoughts on “Sunday!

  1. I read a lot of good stuff this week, most notably Jane Yolen’s Merlin’s Booke from 1987. So compelling that I wonder if it was one of those books I absorbed and then forgot were external to me, as a kid.

    TVwise I am fixated on Flash and Arrow catchup, although also I was excited that the new season of Jane the Virgin has started, and Jay and I finally restarted watching the final season of Person of Interest. (We’re having trouble, you see, because once we finish it there won’t beeeeeee any more.)

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  2. I’m reading (technically re-reading, though I remember almost nothing about it.) John Crowley’s Little, Big. It’s a fantasy novel than derives from the Alice books and A Midsummer Night’s Dream rather than Tolkien. It’s quite good so far: the prose is stunningly beautiful, and while the plot meanders, it feels like it knows where it’s going. It got amazing reviews when it first came out:

    * “The best fantasy novel ever. Period.” Thomas Disch

    * “A book that all by itself calls for a redefinition of fantasy” Ursula K. LeGuin

    * “It is hard to imagine a more satisifying work, both on an artistic and an emotional level” Paul Di Filippo

    * Harold Bloom put it in the Western Canon!

    So it’s a bit odd that it seems mostly to have been forgotten.

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  3. Not today, but soon, I plan on watching the 3d season of Black Mirror on Netlfix. I had mixed feelings about the first two seasons. Some of the episodes were downright gross and when they weren’t gross, preachy. Still, it seems to offer something, and White Bear, while also preachy in its own way, was a pretty good episode.

    I’m hopeful this next season will be better than the first two.

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  4. I know it was mostly a joke, but the one chapter Goldman wrote of the purported “Princess Bride” sequel was pretty mediocre…

    Mostly youtubing British panel shows. They finally started broadcasting the first post-Fry series of QI, and while Sandi Toksvig might take some time to grow into the first chair(*), even in her first episode she showed she’s up to the job, which is one of the more daunting in all television.

    (*) In addition to everything else, it accommodated the 6’5″ 20+ stone Fry for 14 series, so presumably it has quite a dent.

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  5. I don’t think it was a joke. Goldman really did want to write Buttercup’s Baby, but his skills as a novelist have completely deserted him, as you can see from his last few novels. One is a sequel to Marathon Man that does its best to completely ruin any good memories you might have. It turns out that Scylla didn’t die. And apparently he wasn’t gay either. And Babe appears at the end, just so we can be told he married his professor’s daughter,, just in time to find out she was murdered.

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  6. “That said, the original story for Fight Club was kind of messed up and the sequel comes out and explicitly explores the whole messed-uppedness.”

    Well, the original book did as well. I watched the movie and read the book afterwards, and I was rather surprised at how much of what people liked and thought interesting in the movie was completely made up for the movie and didn’t appear in the original story at all.

    Sort of the converse of “Ender’s Game”, where almost all the good parts were already present in the original short story.

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