I should have written this ‘review’ shortly after I read the book. But I didn’t. So things might be a bit wonky.
Then again, it is me who’s writing, so everything is wonky. C’est la vie.
So let’s begin…
I first watched the movie Fight Club before reading the book, which is something I try not to do. Watching the movie first tends to give a different perspective on the book, because you end up comparing the book to the movie.
That said, I have the same sentiment about read the book first as well. You’ll always end up comparing the different media.
I thought the book and the movie actually matched up fairly well. Obviously there were parts of the book that didn’t make it into the movie; that always happens. There’s only so much time in the movie to get so many details from the book, that things need to be cut.
You know what, I’m not sure I can do a true ‘review’ of Fight Club the book. Instead, I feel more strongly about the conversation I had with my friend Marissa about the book v. the movie.
We got into a chat, brief though it was, about the differences between the movie and the book, and how they influence how each is viewed and interpreted.
Such is the case any time you read a book that is also a movie, or watch a movie based on a book, you run into the question of which to consume first.
If you read the book first, you are ever watching the movie to see how well it follows the book. You’re paying attention to omissions and changes in the plot. Which characters are missing, or which have been combined with another. And from my personal experience, more often than not the movies pretty much slice out very crucial and important parts of the book.
Then again, as the following image shows, “true fans” will never be satisfied.
Now, if you watch the movie first, it can often make reading the book more difficult.
First of all, you will have in your head actual people filling the roles of the characters, instead of simply conjuring up an image all on your own. This is both a blessing and a curse – you have a face you can relate to, as well as accents and other mannerisms; but you’re also then picturing who the movie folks have chosen to give you.
Harkening back to the Harry Potter image above, it’s like reading how Tom Felton auditioned for the roles of Harry and Ron. I could *never* picture Draco as anyone else, but that’s only because of how things played out.
Another way watching the movie first is not the best is you read the book and follow along with how the film went, and then the book goes madly off in another direction and you’re all, like, “What? Huh?” OK, that’s an over-exaggeration.
The thing is, of course, there is no way to not have your view or enjoyment of a book or movie altered unless you steadfastly refuse to consume it in more than one media. Meaning, if you choose to read the book only, or only watch the movie.
But I would content you get full enjoyment from consuming the same piece of art in multiple media. You can see how the original creator chose to craft it, and then how the secondary or tertiary creators interpreted and re-imagined it.
I guess all of this is to say both the book Fight Club and the movie Fight Club are good pieces of art. But following my usual trend of feelings, the book was better.