1. (…) the first step to eternal life is you have to die. (p.11)

2. You do the little job you’re trained to do.

Pull a lever.

Push a button.

You don’t understand any of it, and then you just die. (p.12)

3. With a gun stuck in your mouth and the barrel of the gun between your teeth, you can only talk in vowels. (p.13)

4. It’s easy to cry when you realize that everyone you love will reject you or die. On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone will drop to zero. (p.17)

5. Everyone smiles with that invisible gun to their head. (p.19)

6. Losing all hope was freedom. (p.22)

7. Because I can’t hit bottom, I can’t be saved. (p.22)

8. This is your live, and it’s ending one minute at a time. (p.29)

9. I melt and swell at the moment of landing when one wheel thuds on the runway but the plane leans to one side and hangs in the decision to right itself or roll. For this moment, nothing matters. Look up into the stars and you’re gone. Not your luggage. Nothing matters. Not your bad breath. The windows are dark outside and the turbine engines roar forward. The cabin hangs at the wrong angle under the roar of the turbines, and you will never have to file another expense account claim. Receipt required for items over twenty-five dollars. You will never have to get another haircut. (p.31)

10. For two years, Chloe’s been crying in my arms during hug times, and now she’s dead, dead in the ground, dead in an urn, mausoleum, columbarium. Oh, the proof that one day you’re thinking and hauling yourself around, and the next, you’re cold fertilizer, worm buffet. This is the amazing miracle of death, (…) (p.35)

11. Her chapped lips are frosted with dead skin. (p.38)

12. There was no real sense of life because she had nothing to contrast it with. (p.38)

13. You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug.

Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you. (p.44)

14. “A lot of young people try to impress the world and buy too many things,” the doorman said. (p.45)

15. May I never be complete.

May I never be content.

May I never be perfect. (p.46)

16. (…) Walter from Microsoft smiles his steam shovel jaw like a marketing tool tanned the color of a barbecued potato chip. (p.48)

17. It used to be enough that when I came home angry and knowing that my life wasn’t toeing my five-year plan, I could clean my condominium or detail my car. Someday I’d be dead without a scar and there would be a really nice condo and car. Really, really nice, until the dust settled of the next owner. Nothing is static. Even the Mona Lisa is falling apart. Since fight club, I can wiggle half the teeth in my jaw. (p.49)

18. Maybe self-improvement isn’t the answer.


Maybe self-destruction is the answer. (p.49)

19. The gyms you go to are crowded with guys trying to look like men, as if being a man means looking the way a sculptor or an art director says. (p.50)

20. I’m a thirty-year-old boy, and I’m wondering if another woman is really the answer I need. (p.51)

21. At the time, my life just seemed too complete, and maybe we have to break everything to make something better out of ourselves. (p.52)

22. One morning, there’s the dead jellyfish of a used condom floating in the toilet. (p.56)

23. Marla lives at the Regent Hotel, which is nothing but brown bricks held together with sleaze, where all the mattresses are sealed inside slippery plastic covers, so many people go there to die. You sit on any bed the wrong way, and you and the sheets and blanket slide right to the floor. (p.58)

24. Marla said she wanted to have Tyler’s abortion. (p.59)

25. Me, with my punched-out eyes and dried blood in big black crusty stains on my pants, I’m saying HELLO to everybody at work. HELLO! Look at me. HELLO! I am so ZEN. This is BLOOD. This is NOTHING. Hello. Everything is nothing, and it’s so cool to be ENLIGHTENED. Like me.


Look. Outside the window. A bird. (p.64)

26. There’s one, two, three moments of silence until all of Marla is gone from the room. (p.68)

27. “Sticking feathers up your butt,” Tyler says, “does not make you a chicken.” (p.69)

28. And if I don’t fall all the way, I can’t be saved. Jesus did it with his crucifixion thing. I shouldn’t just abandon money and property and knowledge. This isn’t just a weekend retreat. I should run from self-improvement, and I should be running toward disaster. I can’t play it safe anymore.

This isn’t a seminar.

“If you lose your nerve before you hit the bottom,” Tyler says, “you’ll never really succeed.”

Only after disaster can we be resurrected.

“It’s only after you’ve lost everything,” Tyler says, “that you’re free to do anything.” (p.70)

29. “You can cry,” Tyler says. “You can go to the sink and run water over your hand, but first you have to know that you’re stupid and you will die. Look at me.

“Someday,” Tyler says, “you will die, and until you know that, you’re useless to me.” (p.76)

30. (…) Mister Boss with his midlife spread and family photo on his desk and his dreams about early retirement and winters spent at a trailer-park hookup in some Arizona desert. My boss, with his extra-starched shirts and standing appointment for a haircut every Tuesday after lunch, (…) (p.96)

31. Marla’s philosophy of life, she told me, is that she can die at any moment. The tragedy of her life is that she doesn’t. (p.108)

32. The way the teeth in the clinic looked huge in everyone’s thin face, you saw how teeth are just shards of bone that come through your skin to grind things up. (p.108)

33. Nothing is static. Everything is falling apart. (p.108)

34. Marla’s heart looked the way my face was. The crap and the trash of the world. Post-consumer human butt wipe that no one would ever go to the trouble to recycle. (p.109)

35. “I’m breaking my attachment to physical power and possessions,” Tyler whispered, “because only through destroying myself can I discover the greater power of my spirit.” (p.110)

36. “The liberator who destroys my property,” Tyler said, “is fighting to save my spirit. The teacher who clears all possessions from my path will set me free.” (p.110)

37. (…) Tyler said he was nobody. Nobody cared if he lived or died, and the feeling was fucking mutual. (p.113)

38. I wanted to destroy everything beautiful I’d never have. Burn the Amazon rain forests. Pump chlorofluorocarbons straight up to gobble the ozone. Open the dump valves on supertankers and uncap offshore oil wells. I wanted to kill all the fish I couldn’t afford to eat, and smother the French beaches I’d never see. (p.123)

39. I wanted to burn the Louvre. I’d do the Elgin Marbles with a sledge-hammer and wipe my ass with the Mona Lisa. This is my world, now.

This is my world, my world, and those ancient people are dead. (p.124)

40. “Recycling and speed limits are bullshit,” Tyler said. “They’re like someone who quits smoking on his deathbed.” (p.125)

41. “You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everyone else, and we are all part of the same compost pile.” (p.134)

42. The space monkey continues, “Our culture has made us all the same. No one is truly white or black or rich, anymore. We all want the same. Individually, we are nothing.” (p.134)

43. He says, “What you have to understand, is your father was your model for God.” (p.140)

44. The mechanic says, “If you’re male and you’re Christian and living in America, your father is your model for God. And if you never know your father, if your father bails out or dies or is never home, what do you believe about God?” (p.141)

45. Which is worse, hell or nothing? (p.141)

46. It’s not enough to be numbered with the grains of sand on the beach and the stars in the sky. (p.141)

47. According to the mechanic, another new fight club rule is that fight club will always be free. It will never cost to get in. The mechanic yells out the driver’s window into the oncoming traffic and the night wind pouring down the side of the car: “We want you, not your money.”

The mechanic yells out the window, “As long as you’re at fight club, you’re not how much money you’ve got in the bank. You’re not your job. You’re not your family, and you’re not who you tell yourself.”

The mechanic yells into the wind, “You’re not your name.”

A space monkey in the back seat picks it up: “You’re not your problems.” (p.143)

48. (…) and we have no control, no choice, no direction, and no escape and we’re dead. (p.146)

49. I am stupid, and all I do is want and need things.

My tiny life. My little shit job. My Swedish furniture. I never, no, never told anyone this, but before I met Tyler, I was planning to buy a dog and name it “Entourage.” (p.146)

50. The amazing miracle of death, when one second you’re walking and talking, and the next second, you’re an object. (p.146)

51. “You have a class of young strong men and women, and they want to give their lives to something. Advertising has these people chasing cars and clothes they don’t need. Generations have been working in jobs they hate, just so they can buy what they don’t really need.

“We don’t have a great war in our generation, or a great depression, but we do, we have a great war of the spirit. We have a great revolution against the culture. The great depression is our lives. We have a spiritual depression.

“We have to show these men and women freedom by enslaving them, and show them courage by frightening them.” (p.149)

52. “We are the middle children of history, raised by television to believe that someday we’ll be millionaires and movie stars and rock stars, but we won’t. And we’re just learning this fact,” Tyler said. “So don’t fuck with us.” (p.166)

53. How everything you ever love will reject you and die.

Everything you ever create will be thrown away.

Everything you’re proud of will end up as trash. (p.201)



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