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Return to a nineties classic: Chuck Palahniuk on Fight Club

20 years since Fight Club, the author tells us how he’d rewrite his seminal novel for 2016

Return to a nineties classic: Chuck Palahniuk on Fight Club

“It’s fascinating how the internet has destroyed the credibility of everything. No matter what you want to believe, all you have to do is go on the internet to put together a plausible platform to support your belief. There’s no such thing as a unified truth out there any more. It doesn’t exist.

Fight Club is about the crisis people face when they realise that the path that they were given as a child won’t take them into adulthood, and that they have to break the rules they’ve been taught their whole life to achieve anything unique and independent.

“In the book, nihilism led to something new. It led to romance. All my books feature characters striving for a comfortable, isolated existence, and then I take them back into conflict in a structured way and away from the isolation they’d achieved. In doing so, I bring them to a greater way of being – be that a communion to another person or a society.

“If written now, Fight Club would be even more about conflict. Now, kids are more conflict-averse than they were 20 years ago – people can be medicated or in safe spaces, so there can be a complete removal of real conflict. Some kids have never experienced it. The book could let them dip a toe in the water of conflict and they’d realise it’s not going to destroy them.”