Customer Reviews for

Invisible Monsters: A Novel

Average Rating 4.5
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(247)

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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012

    Shocking

    Loved this book! Cant wait to check out more of his books!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2012

    Mithos to lala

    You there?

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2012

    Cale

    *I laugh* "Need a hair cut? I gtg guys brb"

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2012

    Favorite

    Of all time.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    My new favorite by Chuck

    I have read most of Chuck's books and I love this book. Like usual his work is mind blowing and expect the unexpected. I highly recomend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    FUCK YEAH INVISIBLE MONSTERS!!!

    Read it.
    Love it.
    Never forget.

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  • Posted December 6, 2011

    Weird

    Very strange book. But great read, he has a unique imagination and a great feel for human frailty.

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  • Posted October 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Extremely smart writing from an extremely talented author

    Invisible Monsters is a masterpiece. The characters and their situations are wonderfully grotesque, and the novel is packed with Palahniuk's special blend of dark humor and satire. This is not a book for the faint of heart - it will take the reader to places they've never been before, and they will always remember what happens. The tragically disfigured Shannon McFarland and the fabulous Brandy Alexander are characters that are impossible to forget. Chuck Palahniuk has created a story that will entertain, confuse, offend, disturb, and provoke thought in readers for generations to come.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2011

    Read this book!

    All I can say about this book is its absolutely amazing. I have read it numerous of times and it never gets old, by far my favorite novel!

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  • Posted August 8, 2011

    One of his best

    If what you love about Palahniuk is his candidness, his morbidity and conniving humor, and his ability to create an interesting xharacter with clear motivation... if what you love in his work is that curve ball you never expect... you will love this book. Absolutely, hands-down, a must-read for any fan of his work.

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  • Posted July 12, 2011

    This book could not be more perfect

    Twists, turns, and full of amazing quotes. This continues to be one of my all time favorite books.

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  • Posted May 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I loved this book!

    I have yet to find a book that has made me laugh out loud and then cringe a sentence or two later. I love that Palahniuk's novels are entertaining and shocking yet if you dig down just a bit you will realize that life and human society can really be as absurd tragic or disturbing as some of these characters and plots are. I love the way that he gathers dark bits and weaves them together with his remarkable wit. There are so many twists and turns in this novel in particular that it takes effort to anticipate any next move and you are likely to be surprised anyway. I really felt like i was along for a rowdy ride, and the characters are marvelous.

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  • Posted April 19, 2011

    What?

    Schizophrenically written but its a great book nonetheless.

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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 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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