Customer Reviews for

Invisible Monsters: A Novel

Average Rating 4.5
( 408 )
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(49)

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(13)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Ridiculously Awesome!

This is my favorite novel written by one of the most extreme and talented contemporary writers I have encountered thus far. There are so many twists in the story, yet they are so tightly woven that the absurdity flows so smoothly, and ends with a satisfying conclusion. ...
This is my favorite novel written by one of the most extreme and talented contemporary writers I have encountered thus far. There are so many twists in the story, yet they are so tightly woven that the absurdity flows so smoothly, and ends with a satisfying conclusion. Psychologically trippy, and full of complex characters, I definitely recommend this novel to anyone with an open mind looking for a fun and thought provoking read.

posted by eeh on October 20, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

putting the fun in dysfunctional

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 name...
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 more and more 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.

posted by MissPrint on February 17, 2012

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  • Posted April 4, 2011

    wow

    id read it again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2011

    Amazing!!!

    Absolutely love this book! One of my favorite books!

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    My favorite satire Palahniuk has written..

    Great characters and a dark / hilarious twist. This is a fun read.

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  • Posted January 1, 2011

    Very Good.

    I was pleasantly surprised. Given the type of people who usually recommend this book or Chuck Palahniuk books in general, I was expecting some incredibly emo book. Instead, the book felt incredibly average or real until the ending, which there was an amazing twist.

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  • Posted May 26, 2010

    Interesting read

    I first picked up this book because I was required to read some sort of book for my creative writing class. My only initial reason to read it was because it was the first thing I saw. After I started reading, it kept me interested so I decided I had to finish it. Overall I think the book is well written, what kept me wanting to read more was mainly the style it was written in. The whole book is in different stories and you never know what story the author is going to jump to next. Another thing I thought made it interesting was the story line in general. The bluntness of the character made me laugh out loud a few times, and you really end up feeling for the character in the end. Some parts got a tad bit lengthy and too descriptive, but overall I would recommend this book if you're looking for something a little bit different.
    (HF)

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  • Posted May 4, 2010

    read it

    I've read many Palahniuk books so far- Snuff, Diary, Lullaby,Choke, & Fight Club- and this one is by far my favorite. All of his books are out there but this one's pretty intense. It's hard to describe; this book is soo messed up but I could not put it down. It's a hot mess in the best way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    :D

    Best Palaniuck book ever!

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  • Posted November 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    One of my favorite Palahniuk books

    Getting into the book the first few chapters was harder than most of his books, but after that I needed to put the pieces together. I needed to keep reading.
    The characters are completely disfunctional and wonderful, as is the story. If you enjoy any of his other work you will love this.

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  • Posted September 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    My First Palahniuk Experience

    I haven't even read Fight Club yet. I think this is a solid work, and I'm glad I read it. I'd recommend it to any of my friends whose tastes I'm confident it would not offend. The book does surprise in the end.

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  • Posted September 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Read this!

    This book is true to Palahniuk form. With imaginetive characters, great plot twists, and an unforgetable ending!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2009

    Invisible Monsters Review

    Palahniuk is a true artist of syntactical technique and perspective. Specifically, in Invisible Monsters, I found that he creates a new dimension within story writing. He bridges the gap between reality and fiction, which makes the novel really come to life. The pure candor within the protagonist's stream of consciousness made me feel more aware as I was less tied up with detail and irrelevancy that can be found within many books. Furthermore, the indirect characterizations were unambiguous and real which made me really feel in touch with the characters themselves. Palahniuk's emotional deliverance through direct and honest words made this novel both captivating and surprising. Beyond doubt, it was a great read and I would greatly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2009

    Invisible Monsters

    The writing style in this book is beyond anything I've ever read before. The characters are similar to the characters in "Fight Club" because you're never actually sure who is who and what gender everybody is until the end. The story follows a girl who has gone through many phases of her life trying to impress other people. The plot is very hard to follow, but that's how Chuck seems to like to write. The girl goes through many different murder situations and you're never sure of how serious her serious is in the accident. Once you finally get a grip of how the story plays out it's one of the most incredible reads you can find. The story line is one of the best parts of the read. You can find yourself double guessing on if you've already read certain parts and that makes the read even that much more incredible.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    amazing story

    thsi book was so well written. i wasn't able to put it down once i started reading. once the twist popped up, i was so shocked, i didn't see it comign at all. i loved the magazine style writing, overall this book has quickly become a ahuge favorite

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  • Posted March 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    My favorite Chuck Palahniuk book.

    I couldn't put the book down. I loved it. I read it about 3 years ago and I have yet to find a book I like more.

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  • Posted March 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Beauty

    Invisible Monsters is a very fast and easy read. It is entertaining and interesting. I personally had a hard time 'relating' to it, if that's the right word. But I still enjoyed it and would recommend it. The plot is not what I would have expected, but that seems to be a trend I have with any Palahniuk book! It is a fun adventure set in a world that is so vibrant and real. Chuck's writing style is so natural I think he could write about anything and it would be worth your time to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Interesting

    Everything falls into place with a HUGE twist at the end. Its really jumps around alot but if you stick with it the novel will start to make more sense. If you have read his other novels you'll enjoy this one as well.

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  • Posted November 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    .....

    Not my cup of tea. I feel like this was written so people would comment on how bold and edgy the author is. And as more and more of his books come out, it seems the shock factor goes up.<BR/><BR/>I don't know where he'll go after his newest book. What's more shocking than the making of a snuff film? I guess we'll find out in a year....<BR/><BR/>Go read The Road instead.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2008

    Absolutely Loved This

    From beginning to end this one pulls you in. Twists come at you from every angel and just when you think you know what's going on there's something else you don't know added in to it. Sure, a beauty queen with a disfigured face is interesting enough but you won't know what happens until the last page. Absolutely amazing and wonderful, this is yet another one of Palahnuick's greats!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2008

    pure genious

    Chuck Palahniuk is the mastermind of modern novels. I'm not the 'reading type' but this book completely captivated me, I couldn't put it down. The plot is so twisted and exciting...it's genious.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2008

    love! love!love!

    This was by far my favorite of his books. If you like his other books, you will Love this book. This book was quite entertaining.

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