Customer Reviews for

Invisible Monsters

Average Rating 4.5
( 411 )
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5 Star

(251)

4 Star

(94)

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(49)

2 Star

(13)

1 Star

(4)

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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 February 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    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 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.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 20, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    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. 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.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2011

    Brilliant

    I am writing a college essay about this book, for sure. There are very few other books I would even consider doing that for.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2012

    Mind. Blown.

    The most insane yet beautiful book ive ever read. In other words...IT WAS FRICKIN AWESOME.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    This novel is deceivingly disturbing, (at times) mildly disgusti

    This novel is deceivingly disturbing, (at times) mildly disgusting, and ultimately BRUTAL. But is also surprisingly touching, empathetic, and breathtaking. The first quarter/half of the book may be a challenge for some, but I highly encourage readers to push through. The novel's non linear structure is at first confusing but eventually becomes the story's greatest component. Once you read the book in its entirety you will be completely blown away. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    Amazing

    I couldn't put this book down! Every page was a surprise and i was never bored.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    AWESOME!!!! This is a fast pace & mind blowing book - written so well you can visualize everything - lots of twists & turns & then blam it goes to another other level. This is the first Chuck Palahniuk book I have read & will shortly be reading ALL his others!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2012

    Good

    Good

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2012

    Another fantastic & curious read from Chuck

    Im making my way through all C.P's books. Not once have I been disappointed. This one however was better than others. Drama, murder, drugs and drag (well, sorta). Jaw dropping and hilarious!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2012

    Wow! What a ride! My first Palahnuik novel. Won't be my last.

    Wow! What a ride! My first Palahnuik novel. Won't be my last.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    His best!!!

    This is by far my favorite from Palahniuk!!! The characters are both raw and comical. I have lost count on how many times I've reread this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2012

    Read it!!!

    Read it!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 3, 2011

    about monsters that are invisible.

    THis book rocks because every 15 pages CP pulls that fight club deal where you have to rethink everything you just read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2014

    Hilarious, with some surprising yet poignant moments thrown in.

    Hilarious, with some surprising yet poignant moments thrown in. Palahniuk has a way with words.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    Just as all of his books are: Amazing

    Just as all of his books are: Amazing

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    Invisable Monsters

    Get story

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    I am blown away by this book. It starts out very slow and confu

    I am blown away by this book. It starts out very slow and confusing, but that is just because this book requires A LOT of attention. There is so much going on in this book, but the truths that are uncovered throughout are a constant surprise. It reinstates the classic saying "not everything is as it seems." People have secrets, people hide those secrets, they lie and deceive.....we are all simply... invisible monsters.
    I just finished it and I wish there were more pages. Gripping read and I hope others enjoy this as much as I did.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2013

    Amazing

    This is by far my favorite book ever. Ive read it over and over. As like all Palahniuk books itll make you think differently about our soiciety and what we hold at value. I would recommend this book to any one and in fact its always the first book a loan out when some one wants some thing to read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 22, 2013

    The Best.

    I have read and reread this book. Now I've passed that along to my son. We both love the idea behind this amazing journey. The dichotomy of beauty and the kingdom of and cult of the beautiful is indescribable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2013

    My fav CP book!

    I really hope this gets made into a movie! I thoroughly enjoyed this unpredictable storyline.

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