The Visible Man: A Novel

( 23 )

Overview

Austin, Texas, therapist Victoria Vick is contacted by a cryptic, unlikable man who insists his situation is unique and unfathomable. As he slowly reveals himself, Vick becomes convinced that he suffers from a complex set of delusions: Y__, as she refers to him, claims to be a scientist who has stolen cloaking technology from an aborted government project in order to render himself nearly invisible. He says he uses this ability to observe random individuals within their daily lives, usually when they are alone ...

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The Visible Man: A Novel

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Overview

Austin, Texas, therapist Victoria Vick is contacted by a cryptic, unlikable man who insists his situation is unique and unfathomable. As he slowly reveals himself, Vick becomes convinced that he suffers from a complex set of delusions: Y__, as she refers to him, claims to be a scientist who has stolen cloaking technology from an aborted government project in order to render himself nearly invisible. He says he uses this ability to observe random individuals within their daily lives, usually when they are alone and vulnerable. Unsure of his motives or honesty, Vick becomes obsessed with her patient and the disclosure of his increasingly bizarre and disturbing tales. Over time, it threatens her career, her marriage, and her own identity.

Interspersed with notes, correspondence, and transcriptions that catalog a relationship based on curiosity and fear, The Visible Man touches on all of Chuck Klosterman's favorite themes--the consequence of culture, the influence of media, the complexity of voyeurism, and the existential contradiction of normalcy. Is this comedy, criticism, or horror? Not even Y__ seems to know for sure.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Richly drawn and dryly funny…Klosterman is terrifically expressive, funny company.... Klosterman’s unique voice is never less than right out in the open.” —Los Angeles Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442345492
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Publication date: 10/4/2011
  • Format: MP3
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Ships to U.S.and APO/FPO addresses only.

Meet the Author

Chuck Klosterman
Chuck Klosterman is the New York Times bestselling author of seven books, including Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs; Eating the Dinosaur; and The Visible Man. His debut book, Fargo Rock City, was the winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. He has written for GQ, Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Spin, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Believer, A.V. Club, and ESPN, and he now writes about sports and pop culture for ...

Chuck Klosterman is the New York Times bestselling author of seven books, including Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs; Eating the Dinosaur; and The Visible Man. His debut book, Fargo Rock City, was the winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. He has written for GQ, Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Spin, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Believer, A.V. Club, and ESPN, and he now writes about sports and pop culture for ...

Chuck Klosterman is the New York Times bestselling author of seven books, including Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs; Eating the Dinosaur; and The Visible Man. His debut book, Fargo Rock City, was the winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. He has written for GQ, Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Spin, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Believer, A.V. Club, and ESPN, and he now writes about sports and pop culture for ...

Good To Know

In our interview, Klosterman shared some fun and fascinating facts about himself:

"I think I love onion rings, but I actually don't. Very often, I will purchase onion rings and throw them in the oven, and I'll be very excited about the premise of consuming them. However, when I finally start to eat supper, I realize they're only okay. Somehow, this situation has happened to me at least five times in my lifetime: For some reason, I keep unconsciously convincing myself that onion rings are delicious."

"The original title for Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs was American Minotaur, but everybody turned against me."

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 5, 1972
    2. Place of Birth:
      Wyndmere, North Dakota
    1. Education:
      Degree in Journalism, University of North Dakota, 1994

Read an Excerpt

I was physically introduced to Y____ in the most standard of ways: There was a knock at my office door, and I told the knocker to enter. The entrance swung open and a man stepped into the room. I knew who he was before he told me. There were no surprises.

He was a man. A strange-looking man, but nothing more.

He was tall and he was thin. Cadaverous. Perhaps six feet five or six feet six, but no more than 175 pounds. His head was a skull on a stick; it was shaved to the skin, but I could see a subtle shadow where his hair would sprout. The hairline was receding. He wore an oversized black T-shirt, khaki pants, and garish white tennis shoes. His arms were wiry and unnaturally long. His nose was large, as were his Adam's apple and his ears. His teeth were jagged and yellow. "Ichabod Crane," I thought to myself. "He looks like an actor auditioning for the role of Ichabod Crane." It was a sweltering day in May, but he was barely sweating. I can recall this because I asked him where he had parked his car (at the time, I was in the midst of a minor parking dispute with a neighboring office building and lived in constant fear that my patients might get towed). He mentioned that he had arrived on foot. I could not imagine how a man in a black T-shirt could walk any distance in the 90-degree Texas heat without perspiring, but Y____ was immune. When he shook my hand, it was cool and dry, like a brick from the cellar.

I turned on the tape recorder.

When I treat patients in my office, I never sit behind my desk. The desk creates a barrier, and barriers are the enemy. Instead, I sit in a white Eames chair. My patients have the option of sitting in an identical black Eames chair or on the couch. No one ever takes the couch, particularly during their first session (too overt). Y____ looked at both options and requested that he sit in my chair. I said, "No, that's not how things work here." I don't know why I used those specific words. Y____ asked, "Does it matter where I sit? Can't I sit in the white chair?"

"If it doesn't matter," I responded, "then why not sit in the black chair, like everyone else who comes here?"

"Because I have a preference," said Y____. "I prefer white objects. If I express a preference for white objects, why not allow me to sit in the white chair?"

"Perhaps I have my own preference," I said.

"Do you have a preference?"

"Yes. I prefer the white chair. The white chair is my preference."

"Then by all means, take the white chair," said Y____. "I would never interfere with your preference."

We both sat. I smiled. He smiled back, but only for a moment.

"So here I am," he said. "You wanted to see me, and now you have. This is your office, and I am here. I'm in your office."

"You are," I said. "Thank you for coming in. It's really nice to see you."

"Yes, yes. Of course. Of course it's nice. Let's talk about how nice it is. This is a wonderful office--you have plants, carpeting, a relatively quiet air conditioner. It's contemporary in a classic way, or perhaps vice versa. Can we get to work now? Or do we still need to have a pretend conversation about how much your rent is?"

"We can absolutely get to work," I said. "That's a good attitude. I've really been enjoying our work thus far. The progress has been, you know--progressive. But let me ask you something, before we get going: You mentioned that you liked white objects. That's an interesting thing to like."

"No it isn't."

"Well, what if I think it's interesting?"

"What if I think it's not? There's no meaning here,...

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 23 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2012

    The Visable Man

    Dont read reviews. Read books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 28, 2013

    While it is certainly an entertaining read, and I don't regret p

    While it is certainly an entertaining read, and I don't regret purchasing it, I did find myself often thinking "this is too contrived." Often the main character goes to extreme lengths to explain why her notes and transcripts read less like life and more like a novel. It's almost as if the author was apologizing for how roughly assembled it seemed.
    All in all, a very entertaining and thought-provoking read that doesn't attempt to be anything other than what it is: entertainment.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2013

    Makes yi Makes you think

    Read it

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  • Posted December 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    First, I must state that I am a Klosterman fan, and have read mu

    First, I must state that I am a Klosterman fan, and have read much of his nonfiction. I love his style, and this book was no exception. Yes, it had its lulls, but it also had some truly exceptional passages on the philosophy of human nature. It had an original voyeur nature to it that I enjoyed. As for the writing, I must criticize the dialogue: all the characters talk like Klosterman. It’s just not natural. The biggest criticism I have of The Visible Man is the ending, which was hasty and unfulfilling, however; I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the ride. 

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

    Posted September 28, 2012

    Highly Recommended! Fell in love page 1.

    Let me start by saying, I was not a HUGE fan of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs (the author's first novel) SO I was hesitant to read this one. But a few of my friends suggested it, and went on and on about it. So I picked it up. And finished it within 3 days. (while still going to work, eating and sleeping)

    The book was amazing. With a limited amount of characters (really just 2 main ones, and a few anecdotal appearances) the book had me flipping page after page, enjoying every minute of it.

    Long story short, this book is now in my top five favorites.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    Liked it

    A bit of a rushed ending, but very readable. Liked it a lot. Entertaining, but not fluff.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    RECOMMENDED but don't expect it to be fabulous

    It was simply an ok read. It had it's very good moments but also had much that was completely boring. I'm big on endings and this was just "fair". Personally, I don't think I'd read another one of his books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2011

    Decent read

    I am a huge Klosterman fan and this book was a decent read but it is not his best work. The second half of the story seemd to develop too quickly and left me wanting more at the end. Still worth a read.

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  • Posted October 9, 2011

    Great Read

    I'm about 70 pages in and so far the book is Fantastic. Written with great pace and back and forth dialogue that keeps the reader involved as if he/she was there as it is happening. Can't wait to see how the rest of the story unfolds. So Far a WINNER!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 13, 2012

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    Posted January 19, 2012

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    Posted October 21, 2011

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