Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Review: Invisible Monsters

Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk

Pages: 304, paperback

ISBN: 9780099285441

Publisher: Vintage

Date Released: November 2nd, 2000 (originally published 1999)

Genre: adult / satire / literary / thriller / dark humor

Source: bought

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 center of attention to being an invisible monster, so hideous that no one will acknowledge she exists.
Enter 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 look.
The 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. (Taken from blurb.)

Okay, let me start this off by saying that I am a massive fan of Chuck Palahniuk. I first started reading his stuff way back when I was 14 or 15. Clearly, most of the themes and situations went way over my head. But upon re-reading this book, I've ignited my love and understanding for the man.

The story is set out so that it jumps all over the place, jumping through time, breaking in the middle of tense scenarios, and filling the reader with bits of seemingly worthless information, that actually builds the story, the way a jigsaw piece may seem insignificant on its own. For some, the all-over-the-place structure may be annoying, and it does take some getting used to. But I quite enjoyed it.
Most of Palahniuk's books read this way, in a disjointed manner, so I suppose if one doesn't like any of his other stuff, then they most likely wouldn't like this.
The writing style is also something that not everyone will enjoy. He uses repetition, is sometimes over the top with his graphic descriptions, and often throws in a sentence or two that seem life changing and philosophical.
This book left me with a few quotes that I believe I must share, because they just make me say wow:

"Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I've ever known."
"The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person."

"All God does is watch us and kill us if we get boring. We must never, ever be boring."

What I love most about this book is Palahniuk's way of surprising the reader with these sudden twists that make you go "no way!", even though it seems completely obvious in hindsight. Even after reading this book twice already in the last few years, I found myself still being surprised and shocked.

I know that this isn't much of a review, but I can't really say much about this book that isn't completely biased and goes along the lines of "This book is fantastic, it'll change your life, it'll change the way you write, speak and see life. It's a literary masterpiece. I am completely in love with Chuck Palahniuk because of this book."

So, give this book a chance. I can't promise you'll love it, but it's worth a shot.

Cover: 4
Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing: 5
Level of Interest: 5 (so much, so, I literally couldn't put this book down, was annoyed when I actually had to due to going on a date. Even managed to finish it in approx 4 hours of on/off reading.)

Total: 5/5 stars.

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