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Chances are you’ve either read the 1996 Chuck Palahniuk novel or seen the 1999 David Fincher film that both bear the name Fight Club.
It’s my hope that if you’re still reading these words, you’ll be happy to hear that the story will continue.
Earlier this week, Palahniuk announced that he was working on a sequel to the groundbreaking novel that explored reality in the form of psychosis in the mind of a young man stuck in the 9-to-5 grind. Fight Club 2 is slated to be released in May 2015 in a 10-issue graphic novel series.
I am Jack’s enthusiastically wagging tail.
Palahniuk recently offered some insight into the general plot of the sequel. The Portland, Oregon-based author said the sequel picks up the narrator’s life 10 years after “Fight Club” ended. He’s now married to chain-smoking Marla Singer, and together, the degenerative couple has a 9-year-old son aptly named Junior.
Tyler Durden, an uber-confident, macho iteration of the narrator’s id, also makes an appearance. Palahniuk said some of the sequel will also take place in the past, and we’re likely to learn about Tyler’s history.
“Tyler is something that maybe has been around for centuries and is not just this aberration that’s popped into his mind,” Palahniuk said.
What’s the Sequel About Anyway?
The original novel focuses on the failure of fathers, Palahniuk said, adding that he had thought the “Fight Club” story was wrapped up when he put down the pen 18 years ago. But after some soul-searching and conversations with fans, he decided to revisit the story. The author, now 52, feels as though he can look at the characters from a fresh perspective.
“Now to find myself at the age that my father was when I was trashing him made me want to revisit it from the father’s perspective and see if things were any better and why it repeats like that,” Palahniuk said.
One more Fight Club 2 spoiler: At one point, the narrator tries to relive his glory days and attends a fight club, as Project Mayhem has grown into an even bigger entity. But the old man doesn’t have the gusto anymore.
“He tries to go back and reclaim that phase of his life, and is just a pathetic failure,” Palahniuk said. “He’s not that person anymore. But beyond that, it’s what the organization has grown into in his absence and what he’s pulled back into.”
Let’s hope for the narrator’s sake he’s at least graduated from his dilapidated home he squatted in, sitting on decrepit patio furniture while dreaming of making soap. Hopefully he’s moved up to at least a split-level, though one hopes he hasn’t lost any steam on his anti-establishment crusade; the Fight Clubwe all know and love was all about escaping corporate servitude, the love of wealth, and financial commitments.
Let’s Hope It Lives Up to Expectations
People always say that the book is better than the movie. Who knows if that’s always true? Sometimes I feel as though people just say that to look down their nose at you, telling you that they have read the book themselves.
In the case of Fight Club, though, that statement is most definitely true. Which is not to say Fincher’s film isn’t a masterpiece as well – it is. But that film doesn’t encapsulate the entire novel. There are some amazing scenes that are left out.
What’s most amazing about this announcement, then, is that the sequel will be told through a medium that falls somewhere between novel and film. The graphic novel’s art will be done by Cameron Stewart, who said he’s giving the work a “cartoony” feel that lends itself better to some of Palahniuk’s more humorous passages.
In other words, we get Palahniuk’s words, and we get Stewart’s interpretation of those words manifested in ink. Following that train of thought, one can’t help but wonder if Fight Club 2 will make its way toward the silver screen a la Sin City or The Walking Dead.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here.
The Power of a New Medium
In any case, it’s always a good thing when we get a chance to explore a world that’s been created for us from a new perspective. The world of Fight Club is undoubtedly an enrapturing one – even though it’s a world rife with things that are a copy of a copy of a copy – and any Palahniuk fan is certainly looking forward to exploring it again.
Many times, sequels never live up to their predecessors (I’m looking at you, The Godfather Part III andAnchorman 2). But the novel is a different form. And the fact that Palahniuk’s branching out from solely the written word to tell the tale in graphic novel form is an encouraging sign as well. It shows that the author is aware of the expectations – that his audience expects more – and is striving to meet those expectations.
Either way, we’re looking forward to seeing what he comes up with.
For the record: Palahniuk’s also got a novel due out in October, but let’s be honest, every one of his fans is waiting for May.
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