“Adjustment Day” is the latest novel by Chuck Palahniuk, the guy who wrote “Fight Club” back in the 90’s. To answer your first question, no, you do not need to have read “Fight Club” (FC) before reading “Adjustment Day” (AD). (There are some sections where FC is mentioned, but only because so many more people saw the movie than read the book.) Whereas FC was a reaction to a section of the culture that taught that all men should be “Sensitive New Age Guys” (look it up), AD is a reaction to Identity Politics. AD takes the ideas of Identity Politics and takes them to their logical, horrifying, and apocalyptic conclusions.
In AD, a one-day revolution called “Adjustment Day” is held that targets the elites in politics, media, culture, education … All those “Movers and Shakers” who taught that male privilege is a holdover from the bad old days before we knew about gender fluidity, and who were ready to vote for a new war that would send the surplus young males to die in the Mideast, and who looked down on those who didn’t believe as they did. An online list is created called “America’s Most Hated” where you get to vote on your choice of who is hated the most. Those at the top of the list are worth more than those towards the bottom. And those at the top, although they don’t know it, will be the first to die when AD comes.
AD leads to the creation of 13 separate identity-based countries. Palahniuk focuses on 3: Caucasia (which is like a RenFaire gone mad), Blacktopia, and Gaysia (fka “California”). Problem is, what if you’re gay and black? You can only choose to live in one place or another. And since being Gay isn’t heredity-based, Gayasia quickly becomes a state with forced insemination to produce children that they can trade (once they self-identify as heterosexual at 18) with Blacktopia and Caucasia for the homosexuals living in relocation camps, waiting to be traded.
And that’s just one horrifying logical conclusion. What if you are an interracial couple? Where do you go, what do you do?
Clearly, I enjoyed the book. I don’t think it could ever translate into a movie, but you never know.