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Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Invisible Monsters: A Novel / Edition 1

Invisible Monsters: A Novel / Edition 1

by Chuck Palahniuk


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Invisible Monsters: A Novel / Edition 1

The fashion-model protagonist of Invisible Monsters has just about everything: a boyfriend, a career, a loyal best friend. But one day she's driving along the freeway when a sudden "accident" leaves her with half her face, no ability to speak, and next to no self-esteem. From being the beautiful center of attention she becomes an invisible monster, so hideous that no one will acknowledge she exists. Enter Brandy Alexander, Queen Supreme, one operation away from becoming a real woman; Brandy will teach her that reinventing yourself means erasing the past and making up something better. And that salvation hides in the last places you'll ever want to look.
In this hilarious and daringly unpredictable novel, 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. Changing names and stories in every city, they catapult toward a final confrontation with a rifle-toting Evie-by which time the narrator will have learned that loving and being loved are not mutually exclusive, and that nothing, on the surface, is ever quite what it seems.
By turns witty, poignant, and exhilarating, Invisible Monsters will take you on a ride you'll never forget.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393319293
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 09/17/1999
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 77,269
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Chuck Palahniuk is the author of Fight Club, which was made into a movie directed by David Fincher, as well as Survivor, Damned, and Tell-All, among other books. He lives in Washington State.


Portland, Oregon

Date of Birth:

February 21, 1962

Place of Birth:

Pasco, Washington


B.A. in journalism, University of Oregon, 1986

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Invisible Monsters: A Novel 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 423 reviews.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
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.
eeh More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am writing a college essay about this book, for sure. There are very few other books I would even consider doing that for.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The most insane yet beautiful book ive ever read. In other words...IT WAS FRICKIN AWESOME.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down! Every page was a surprise and i was never bored.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Fiona_Cathleen More than 1 year ago
Wow! What a ride! My first Palahnuik novel. Won't be my last.
a.del More than 1 year ago
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.
words-like-knives More than 1 year ago
Read it!!!
smonk_you More than 1 year ago
THis book rocks because every 15 pages CP pulls that fight club deal where you have to rethink everything you just read
yougotamber on LibraryThing 3 days ago
I have read many of Chuck's books and this one although very good, was my second to least favorite. That isn't saying much since I love every word he puts onto paper. My least favorite is Survivor and I would advise everyone to stay away from that one until you have read his others. Grab those tissues, this one is mighty sad in my opinion.
chasehimself08 on LibraryThing 3 days ago
One of Chuck Palahniuk's best novels to date. He tells the story of a beautiful girl that is shot in a tragic accident and has a mutilated face. This turns her world upside down in a series of events that will make you laugh, and shock you at the same time. A great novel and a very fast, easy read.
Djupstrom on LibraryThing 3 days ago
This book is a bowl full of crazy! I want to know what Palahniuk was smoking while he was writing this one!
bookishjoxer on LibraryThing 3 days ago
I didn't hate this book, yet I didn't really like it either. I didn't like any of the characters in it. It was trying too hard to have a sort of twist to it.
kjarcand on LibraryThing 3 days ago
Invisible Monsters opens on our nameless main character standing in the middle of a scene that is ten shades of chaotic. The lavish mansion they are in is on fire, pools of blood are creeping ever closer, and the end is near.Flashback to the beginning of the entire mess.The narrator, a former model & somewhat actress dependent on her beauty is in a hospital after a horrific accident. The young beauty is informed that half of her jaw is missing after a stray bullet hit her on the freeway, sending her and her car careening into a brutal mess.While in the hospital, our now mute narrator befriends Ms. Brandy Alexander, a woman with oddly mannish hands and a thing for prescription drugs and gaudy jewelry. The two become three when a young man, Manus, joins them when Brandy take the narrator under he wing. Brandy is a thief. The trio takes on pseudonyms and live in a fantasy world touring mansions that are for sale, stealing everything from Valium to codeine, and fleeing to Canada to sell the drugs and make a profit.Bits of the main character¿s life fall in to place throughout the book; her missing brother who vanished after coming out to the family that he was gay, an estranged ex-boyfriend and the mysteries surrounding his departure, not to mention family facades and the pressures of having to beautiful all the time.Palahniuk sets up a unique heroin for the reader. Unable to speak, we see everything in honest, dark hues through the thoughts and emotions of the main character. The character development will keep any reader enticed and turning the pages, begging for more. The reader is shown the ugly side of humanity, as is the case in most books by Palahniuk, in a way that will make them think hard about who they are as a person.The relationships built with the characters and the dark, honest, holds-nothing-back narration will draw in any reader looking for a hero in the less-recognized grotesque. This book twists every time you think you have it figured out. The end and the way Palahniuk weaves together the final pages of his novel will stun.Favorite Passages/Quotes¿If I can¿t be beautiful, I want to be invisible.¿¿¿no matter how much you think you love somebody, you¿ll step back when the pool of their blood edges up too close.¿¿Hysteria is impossible without an audience.¿¿When did the future switch from being a promise to being a threat?¿¿When we don¿t know who to hate we hate ourselves.¿¿Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I¿ve ever known.¿¿First your parents, they give you your life, but then they try to give you their life.¿¿All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.¿¿What I really hate is myself, so I pretty much hate everyone.¿¿The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person.¿OpinionThis book is an all-time favorite, and will be forever. My copy is underlined, highlighted, dog-eared, and pretty well beaten up. I have referred to this book dramatically as my grotesque bible. The way Palahniuk holds nothing back in his writing is very appealing to me, but I can easily see how some readers might think this haughty of him, and be turned off. All of his works lead down the path of the anti-hero and examine those issues we are far too reserved to speak of ourselves. I was entirely surprised with this book. It was nothing that I expected it to be, and that made me ecstatic. Use this book to look deeply at yourself and what you hold dear and try to see why and how and for what. The things we love the most are often times the things we are trying to run away from.When I finished this book, I was mad. Mad that I didn¿t see it coming, mad that I didn¿t figure it out¿ And mad there wasn¿t more to read.Rating: On a scale of 1-5 stars, this book is a 4.5. If you¿re into dark heroes and twist-in-plot novels that examine the human condition, this book is a must read. If you¿re a bit squeamish or don¿t like suspense, try some Nicholas Spa
these_fragments on LibraryThing 3 days ago
hmm... I think you get diminishing returns from Palahniuk - recently read Diary and thought it was brilliant, but this was too similar - looking for the most shocking thing.
rcooper3589 on LibraryThing 3 days ago
Every Palahniuk book I've read in the past I've enjoyed, and "Invisible Monsters" fits right into that category. I love Palahniuk's unique voice, his prose and sentence structure. Like in his previous novels, nothing is what it seems in "Invisible Monsters" and everyone is connected. And while Palahniuk's characters and stories are, at times, extreme, his ability to satire society is fabulous. FAVORITE QUOTES: Another thing is no matter how much you think you love somebody, you'll step back when the pool of their blood edges up too close. // She says, "You can't base your life on the past or the present." // People just can't stand not knowing something, she tells me. Especially men can't bear not climbing every mountain, mapping everywhere. Labeling everything. Peeing on every tree and then never calling you back. // And I want Seth dead. Worse than dead, I want him fat and bloated with water and insecure and emotional. // ...he told me that your parents are like G-d because you want to know they're out there and you want them to approve of your life, still you only call them when you're in crisis and need something.
RosesAreRed on LibraryThing 3 days ago
This was the most recent chuck book I read, and I wasn't disappointed. This one is full of great quotes, as well as the rest.
Alera on LibraryThing 3 days ago
This, like the other novels by Chuck Palahniuk, is once more making a statement. It's gross. It's beautiful. It's unbelievable. And it's real. It's life. And it's not life. The people out of the spotlight...will go to any length to get the attention they crave. Not because they necessarily want the end product...but merely because they want all eyes on them. The people in the spotlight....can be led to do crazy things to get away from it. To get as far from it as possible. Because in the end...they just want to feel something that is real. It's a large generalization but at the same time oddly fitting.
saltypuppy on LibraryThing 3 days ago
I could not put this book down! I felt obsessed, driven . . . just like the character in the book. I felt as if the lines were thoughts generated in my own head. The repetition of insidious ideas, the flow of associations from one bizarre situation to the next. Reading this book made me feel like I was certifiable . . . you know, crazy. I loved ever word of it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read this book 10 times over and its still my favorite.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Perfectly written, I loved everything about this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had no idea it's a completely different face when you turn it upside down. Am I the only one who didn't know this?