Study Guide

Fight Club Genre

By Chuck Palahniuk



In the afterword of the 2005 Norton paperback, Chuck Palahniuk says about Fight Club's genre,

One reviewer called the book science fiction. Another called it a satire on the Iron John men's movement. Another called it a satire of corporate white-collar culture. Some called it horror. No one called it a romance.

First things first. We'd just like to say that Iron John might as well be what Marla's talking about when she describes "guys sit[ting] backward on the toilet and pretend[ing] it's a motorcycle" (14.8). Because Iron John is the best toilet motorcycle name ever. Just sayin'.

So what do you think? Is Palahnium calling Fight Club a romance? In the first chapter, our narrator tells us, "the gun, the anarchy, the explosion is really about Marla Singer" (1.34). That's a pretty bold claim—do we take it at face value? We definitely have a twisted love triangle (lust triangle?) between our narrator, Tyler, and Marla, though people go to pretty great lengths to avoid saying "I love you." Do we just need to read between the lines?