My first Chuck Palahniuk book was a real doozy. I was absolutely engaged from beginning to end with this novel, however if you’re expecting a relatively light, and normal reading experience you won’t find it here.
Palahniuk is the author of Fight Club (Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, 1999) which has become something of a cult classic since being released to the big screen. Palahniuk has a very distinct style, and knack for writing grit and gore that almost makes it sound romantic…almost.
Invisible Monsters was written before Fight Club but published after – when Palahniuk first submitted the manuscript for publication no one accepted it because it was too graphic and grotesque. As the friend who recommended the book to me said it is “quite possibly the most fucked up piece of literature I’ve ever read…a brilliantly executed trainwreck from beginning to end.”
To try and describe what the book is about is easier done in themes – beauty, envy, addiction. It is about one girl who loses her face and her brother who loses his…life? It is about one girl named Brandy who is a self-identified queen and enrolled in “the Marilyn Monroe school of medicine where enough of any drug will cure any disease.” It is about other characters…Manus and Evie and Shane. But really it is about ugliness and the way it manifests itself in people.
It is a delicious novel. Luxurious and grotesque and absolutely unique. I loved every minute, was shocked and dismayed by the ending, and highly recommend it.
Overall Score: 8.7 – great read.
For more information on Chuck Palahniuk’s other works check out his website at chuckpalahniuk.net