Edit Sorry, there are a few extra chapters than I originally thought, so make sure to look through the book a few times for all the extra chapters I guess.
I have a theory about Chuck Palahniuk books.
If somebody is starting to read Chuck Palahniuk for the first timethe first book they read of his will always be their favorite I have found that to be the case with many people I really enjoyed Invisible Monsters and it was the first Chuck Palahniuk book I read It was such a new approach to writing that I had never seen before, and I found myself really engrossed and moved by the now usual Palahniuk twisty ending It was such a shocking book to me that I loved every page of it Of course, since, I have read Chuck Palahniuk books that I could consider to be better, but the initial shock of this book on me has kept it the one I ve liked the most A lot of people I have talked to really don t like this book of Palahniuk s, but I think that is probably because they didn t read it first.
She S A Catwalk Model Who Has Everything A Boyfriend, A Career, A Loyal Best Friend But When A Sudden Motor Accident Leaves Her Disfigured And Incapable Of Speech, She Goes From Being The Beautiful Centre Of Attention To Being An Invisible Monster, So Hideous That No One Will Acknowledge She ExistsEnter Brandy Alexander, Queen Supreme, One Operation Away From Being A Real Woman, Who Will Teach Her That Reinventing Yourself Means Erasing Your Past And Making Up Something Better, And That Salvation Hides In The Last Place You Ll Ever Want To LookThe Narrator Must Exact Revenge Upon Evie, Her Best Friend And Fellow Model Kidnap Manus, Her Two Timing Ex Boyfriend And Hit The Road With Brandy In Search Of A Brand New Past, Present And Future I m too old for this stuff Shocking doesn t do it for me alone, and he works SO VERY HARD at being vulgar and violent and crass Don t get me wrong those are three things that can make for a great story But it was so unrelenting and contrived, and not as funny as it was supposed to be There were some clever turns of phrase, and it wasn t entirely unenjoyable, but I was not really impressed.
Si tuviera que decir de qu trata Monstruos invisibles, dir a que es un relato rayano a lo absurdo, un viaje en compa a de individuos que te espantar an si te los cruzaras por la calle Monstruos invisibles es una critica al estereotipo belleza y al modo de pensar Trata que nos desprendamos de cualquier modelo de pensamiento y de creencia Nos prueba que somos falsos, un producto de miles de rostros que desean vernos caer Lo que queremos es lo que nos dicen que tenemos que querer, lo que odiamos es lo que ellos odian Creemos que so ar es infinito, pero los sue os se alimentan de esperanzas, y las esperanzas, de lo conocido, y lo que conocemos no es m s que lo que nos muestran Libro ampliamente recomendado.
Chuck Palahnuik s Invisible Monsters has many similarities to Fight Club and clear influences from Sartre and John Barth It s disjointed, fragmented, almost incomplete, and yet, he raises complex questions and makes brilliant observations I don t think he is so much nihilistic as he is post modern and just doesn t believe in culture de jour, readily satirizing at what needs to be poked fun.
Chuck Palahniuk is the hugely popular author of modern, edgy books like Fight Club also a movie with Brad Pitt go ahead, act surprised and Choke For this reason I did not expect to like Invisible Monsters, originally published in 1999.
The story is told by a nameless narrator a young woman who used to be beautiful After a series of bizarre, haunting events involving a freeway, birds and a few other things those days are gone forever Her face disfigured, her voice gone, the narrator is invisible And a monster in the eyes of most Desperate for someone to save her, the narrator meets Brandy Alexander at just the right time Brandy embodies the life that the narrator used to have except for an important operation that Brandy still needs to have.
Riding off with Brandy, the narrator starts fresh Life is a story If you don t like the story you have, make up a new one As the lives Brandy offers up as truth continue to change and the lies threaten to fall apart, it becomes clear that no matter where you run eventually you have to face the facts and really decide what story you want to tell.
That s the story But it s really not even half the story.
Stylistically, this novel has a lot going on It s written in the first person, present tense setting up a tone that is both conspiratorial and conversational Despite that, the narrator remains aloof, unreliable Talking to the reader like an old friend, the narrator reveals the smallest details of her past while leaving key plot points to herself until the right moment There are few male novelists who can write as convincingly in the voice of a woman as Palahniuk The narration is amazingly authentic even when the story becomes and over the top.
Palahniuk also brings a high level of complexity to the narrative, writing the story in a non linear format The novel opens with the final scene as the narrator tries to explain how she got to that point Along the way flashbacks are interwoven with the present and other points in the time line of character s lives.
This is the kind of book that requires a lot of attention Like the modeling world that the narrator comes from, nothing in this novel is exactly what it seems Characters lie, information given as fact turns out to be false Palahniuk manages all of these elements impressively well, making it all work despite the bizarreness and absurdity inherent to certain parts of the plot.
More than anything, though, this book is really a character study Palahniuk creates a lot of unique characters whose lives intertwine unexpectedly As might be expected from the plot description given above, many ofthe relationships between characters in Invisible Monsters are dysfunctional But it is the dysfunction that allows Palahniuk to look at how people interact and what it really means to love someone So, while it is utterly strange, this novel definitely puts the fun in dysfunctional.
You can find this review and on my blog Miss Print
REVIEW ALSO ON ve all seen extended edition and director s cuts of movies, but this is the first time I have ever come across an author s cut of a book With this hardcover release of Chuck Palahniuk s third published novel but his first in terms of writing , he took the opportunity to change the linear format that was originally published in 1999 and release it the way he initially envisioned it The intention was to give the reader the feel of literally getting lost inside the book, as one would be with a Vogue magazine Which you have to admit is kind of perfect for a novel centered around beauty, perceptions, and transformation Sadly no Madonna songs though.
So how exactly is this achieved The narrative flips the reader around from chapter to chapter 41, 1, 40, 2, 39, 4, 38, 5, 37, 6, etc with the instructions at the end of each chapter to, Now, Please Jump to Chapter So polite This makes things intriguing, because unlike in a typical book where a dwindling number of pages signal the end is coming, you don t know exactly when Invisible Monsters Remixwill reach its climax And as with the original Invisible Monsters, the narrative itself skips around in time, so you will be well and truly lost in the events while you read It s a non linear format inside a non linear format, a mirror image It couldn t be produced as intended initially, but now at least it can be read and enjoyed by Chuck s legion of fans.
One downside to this format, is that you might inadvertently see key bits of information as you flip through from chapter to chapter This will lead you to wonder exactly how the narrative could lead there, so at least it s not a total spoiler Think of it as a darker version of How I Met Your Mother , but akin to, How I Lost My Face Page numbers would probably be easier for a reader to navigate from place to place, but I imagine it would be a logistics nightmare in terms of publishing every time the book gets re released or the format is changed This way at least is manageable for everyone except the dyslexics, but let s be honest, page numbers would be even difficult to follow.
While the original novel was published in a straightforward manner to please readers and make it marketable, this version is Palahniuk s original vision Due to this, in addition to jumping around from chapter to chapter, there are also additional chapters outside this straightforward narrative Twelve to be exact, split up into three sections which instruct the reader to loop between chapters over and over again For example chapter 3 to chapter 16 to chapter 30 to chapter 3 Lather, rinse, repeat Even after you re done with the main story there s even to discover We re back to the Vogue magazine idea here.
Most of these side stories deal with the process of revision and re imagining famous movies, as Chuck did with this novel, while others detail where our narrator is now after her story These sections are all new additions to the original novel, and some chapters are even written backwards, forcing you to read the words in a mirror It s a pain, but there is a purpose about reflections and mirrors and being forced to look at yourself while you read You re reading while watching yourself read while you read You get the picture It s the idea of multiple reflections which function the same as the chapters that repeat on a loop Where does it all begin and end So many moebius strips, so little time.
The third and most interesting of these narrative diversions contains biographical stories about Chuck s own life There are three separate stories in this loop, one which deals with a road trip that inspired this novel, one about when he was writing his first manuscript, and a third about being on set for the film of his novel turned movie, Choke Since the fictional story deals so much with impossible sounding coincidences even though our world is a small one , Chuck shares some of his own coincidences in these stories, from a shared memory between him and a friend he hadn t met yet, to the death of the mother he wrote about correlating to his own mother s death, and all the coincidences in between They re poignant, beautiful, and most importantly true.
As with most of Chuck P novels, there is a repetitive element throughout the narrative Where in Fight Club it was I am Jack s insert organ of the body here my personal favorite is raging bile duct , this story also has a similar narrative trick In this novel, weaved throughout is the flash of a camera taking photos with a wide variety of emotions being yelled out as if by a fashion photographer The most memorable line being, Give me lust, baby Flash Give me malice Flash Give me detached existentialist ennui Flash There are also paragraphs starting with the phrase, Jump to to tell the reader that the story is once again jumping in time and location Spoiler alert this happens than in a Doctor Who episode.
There are plenty of reasons why this new structure works so well in this choose your own adventure type chapter hopping format, but I appreciate it even for what it says about life The end of a book generally doesn t signal the end of a character s life, unless you re reading a historical fiction novel, and Palahniuk knows that So rather than bring the end of the narrator s story to the end of the novel, he wisely ends it somewhere in the middle, where stories generally leave their protagonists on their journey through life Bravo on that Chuck.
It made me want to blow my own jaw offbut in a good way.