Join the Club: Stupid is Contagious
I’ve decided to change how I do my book reviews. I figured I might get more feedback when writing my book reviews if I made them into actual posts. I’ll still be keeping the “Books” section of my blog, but that section will be more like an archive in which all my book reviews can be accessed. I’m also thinking about making a similarly formatted section for any movie reviews I do. For my first book review post, I’ll just be combining the two reviews I already did.
Stupid and Contagious is a contemporary novel by Caprice Crane. It’s smart, witty, and hilarious, with chapters arranged by, alternatively, by two main characters’ points-of-view: Heaven and Brady, two wildly opposite yet strangely similar characters who develop an odd friendship and eventually fall in love. This book is by no means, however, a sappy love story. In fact, it’s barely a love story at all. Music fans rejoice, Stupid and Contagious contains bundles of music references that even the less “in the know” readers can enjoy. Simply put, this novel is just a fun and enjoyable quick read. Perfect for, ironically, airplane flights.
Next up, Fight Club.
WARNING: This review contains some movie/book spoilers.
Fight Club has to be my favorite film, and great movies are even better is when they’re based on books. Okay, right now you might be thinking, “Hey, wait, Fight Club is a book?” That’s what I said to my friend when we broached the topic of the movie, but yeah, it started out as a book. The book of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk is around 200 pages, so it’s a quick read, which is always good when you need a novel that doesn’t involve commitment but is still worth the time.
Unlike a lot (okay, probably most) of movies inspired into production by successful books, the film version of Fight Club does a very good job at staying true to the source material. There were, however, some differences. Of course, all movies add things to the already existing mix, expanding on conversations and occurrences that may have only been briefly mentioned or even minor in the book, which does indeed happen in the film Fight Club. Still, there were only two prominent differences I noticed when comparing the book with the movie. First, the book is a lot darker, which is a hard notion to swallow considering the movie was almost bumped up from the R rating until a piece of dialogue was removed (Marla’s abortion quip). It’s definitely more violent. While in the film they make it a point that innocent bystanders won’t get hurt, this is not so in the book. For example, at the end of the movie, Tyler and the members of Project Mayhem made sure that the buildings they destroyed were empty. On the other hand, that was not something they planned on taking pains to ensure in the novel (even though in the end the buildings failed to be blown up anyway). The book is purely anarchic, even more so than the movie. Second, the endings are different. Besides what I just mentioned, in the book Tyler wakes up in a mental institution, and Project Mayhem is still confirmed active. In fact, the Narrator seems to have possibly even embraced his true identity and role in the Project.
Despite the differences between the book and the film, Fight Club the novel is just as mind-blowing as the film was the first time you saw it; while the movie adds on to some plot points while skipping over a few others, both versions are pretty close. It’s not like, say, Blood and Chocolate, which was totally mutilated when it was translated to the big screen. Nothing is radically altered or changed just because the screenplay writer or the director felt like being “bold” or “artistic” much to everyone else’s horror and aggravation.
What is more, you know those memorable lines from the movie that you worshiped? They’re straight out of the book, preserved in mint-condition. And that makes both the book and the movie just that much sweeter. In addition, there’s a nice little afterword at the end of the book that is definitely worth checking out in which Palahniuk discusses the book’s origins and his own experience with and thoughts on the Fight Club cult phenomenon, including the common lack of realization that there was indeed a book.
Filed under: Books, Reviews | 8 Comments
Tags: caprice crane, chuck palahniuk, fight club, stupid and contagious