My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The world ends, but it really doesn’t. Chuck Palahniuk’s story ends but it doesn’t. Tyler dies, but he really doesn’t. In the most meta issue of the series yet, author-character Chuck Palahniuk gets to have all the endings. He writes the destruction of Rize or Die & the death of Tyler but the readers of the series show up on the stoop & demand a rewrite. The crowd (including Palahniuk & his writer friends) retrieve Marla, Sebastian & co. from a tomb with Robert Paulson’s help. Tyler & Palahniuk go off to talk about what happens next & Mr. Durden kills his creator in hopes to live another day.
First, to Palahniuk’s in-universe statement that the book ended differently, I’d like to say, NO. DUH. Some of us have been uncomfortable with all the changes since issue #0.
That said, all I can say is well, that’s over. That was certainly a story. It was interesting seeing Palahniuk take on a new medium to tell his story, although I’m not sure how well the serial format allowed him room to write. But perhaps it works in the sense that there’s plenty of fourth wall breaking & allows Palahniuk to vent his authorial frustrations. I think the idea of cultural memory & its short-sightedness is not fully explored here. Also, the final premise that Palahniuk’s readers have no idea that there’s a Fight Club book is weird to me both as a reader & as someone who once worked in a bookstore & knew Palahniuk’s readers on sight as a specific, intense & completest set of customers. I know that there are probably people who know the movie more familiarly than the book, but the idea that it’s totally unknown? Noooooooo. . . At least my various frustrations with this series did bear out & were shared by the Palahniuk character. Overall, this collection is ok but other than being a public confession of struggling with one’s own success–I don’t know. Not something I’ll be revisiting.