5.0 out of 5 stars Not so invisibly good
The writing style is unlike any I have ever read; brutally honest, slightly surreal, and hilarious all at the same time. The closest you'll come is probably "Katzenjammer" by McCrae or some of Bukowski's works ("Post Office"). Still nothing compares to MONSTERS. You don't know whether to laugh or cry or be horrified, but you do know you want to find out what happens next...
Published on Jan. 23 2007 by Ellen Rice
2.0 out of 5 stars Paluhniuk fans beware.
Maybe I am just out-growing Palahniuk, but this book fell flat for me. It doesn't have that sickly entertaining spark that his other books seem to hold so well. As most of the 2-star reviews tell you, it is actually pretty boring. You figure out the twists pretty early on and the rest is just filler. I feel that I am marking Palahniuk too hard here, as he is still so much...
Published 16 months ago by K. Ketz
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2.0 out of 5 stars Paluhniuk fans beware.,
This review is from: Invisible Monsters (Paperback)Maybe I am just out-growing Palahniuk, but this book fell flat for me. It doesn't have that sickly entertaining spark that his other books seem to hold so well. As most of the 2-star reviews tell you, it is actually pretty boring. You figure out the twists pretty early on and the rest is just filler. I feel that I am marking Palahniuk too hard here, as he is still so much better than most fictional writers today, but comparing this to his other works I can't give it a good review. I wouldn't suggest it if you are generally a fan of this author.
5.0 out of 5 stars Not so invisibly good,
This review is from: Invisible Monsters (Paperback)The writing style is unlike any I have ever read; brutally honest, slightly surreal, and hilarious all at the same time. The closest you'll come is probably "Katzenjammer" by McCrae or some of Bukowski's works ("Post Office"). Still nothing compares to MONSTERS. You don't know whether to laugh or cry or be horrified, but you do know you want to find out what happens next. I had no trouble at all with the inconsecutive style; it keeps you on your toes and forces you to piece together a very bizarre puzzle. Is it weird? Yes. Is it gruesome at times? Yes. Does it push your sensitivities to the limit? Yes. And isn't that what we want in a book? I know I do. A novel about a model who agonizes and depresses over a drive-by hitting her, shattering her jawbone and disabling her speech and career. She loses all hope and travels down the wrong path of life for the next year. The story is about that year, with her fiance leaving and sleeping with her best friend, to her parents freakingly denying her brothers death years ago, dead of aids. She tumbles and twists to tell you this tale and the classic voice of Chuck Palahniuk screams through, unraveling the creativeness he always has been good at. Read this novel. Would also recommend the novels "Lullaby" and "Katzejammer: Soon to be a major motion picture." While excellent though, nothing compares to Mr. P's works. Check them out first.
4.0 out of 5 stars A surprise at every turn,
This review is from: Invisible Monsters (Paperback)After a read (and loved ... thanks evan) Survivor, i though this author would be one of those authors who wouldn't keep my interest for very long. YOu know what I mean, the shocking the distrubing and eventually ... the boring. but no. This one held up. This book was on my shelf for a long time until I actually picked it up, but I was so glad i did.
It's such an easy read. i found myself chapters into it before I knew it. I really enjoied this book.
So, all in all. Great. Thumbs way up!
5.0 out of 5 stars You either love it or you hate it,
This review is from: Invisible Monsters (Paperback)Invisible Monsters, is by far, one of the greatest books to exist on the surface of this planet. Unfortunately, there is no in between with this book. I have bought this book for everyone who knows how to read and there have been only two reactions. You either hate it or you love it. It really depends on the type of person you are. If you're an intelligent, open-minded person who is looking for a book with depth and layers, then this is the book for you. If you're the type of person that's looking for a simple story that you don't have to think about, try a different book.
Truth is, the first time you read this book, you really need to be paying attention. Nothing in this book is without purpose. Everything is there for a reason. I recommend buying this book, waiting till you have a few hours (however long it takes for you to read about 280 pages) and read it from cover to cover in one sitting. Then I suggest you read it again. I've read this book well over twenty times. Everytime I read the book there seems to be a part I don't remember reading the last time. As the book says "No matter how careful you are there's going to be the sense you missed something, the collapsed feeling under your skin that you didnt experience it all. There's that fallen heart feeling that you rushed right through the moments where you should've been paying attention. Well, get used to that feeling. That's how your whole life will feel some day."
The book opens your eyes to a new point of view, to keep you looking forward. As one of the most remarkable characters to hit print says "Tell me your sad-assed story all night. When you understand, that what you're telling is just a story. It isn't happening anymore. When you realize the story you're telling is just words, when you can just crumble it up and throw your past in the trashcan, then we'll figure out who you're going to be."
2.0 out of 5 stars Invisible Monsters,
This review is from: Invisible Monsters (Paperback)Give me a cheap literary trick.
Give me redundancy.
Oh, Chuck, why do you do this to yourself? You find a neat little saying, a nice trick, a clever play of words and then you ram it into the ground until what's left is beyond dead, beyond interesting, beyond taste. Pile on sex, drugs and twists-a-plenty and you have Invisible Monsters.
The story is reasonable, I suppose. Definitely enough there to keep the page turning. A mildly successful model has had half of her face shot off, by her best friend, her ex-fiance, who knows? She has to learn to cope with being horribly ugly, a monster. She meets up with a pre-op trans-sexual and they have adventures together, stealing drugs from people's homes with another friend.
But the twists are ridiculous. We are shown various tid-bits of the mostly nameless narrator's life and every single character brought into the story ends up twisting and turning about until they are all in this tight little web of lies. The problem is that life isn't like that. People can disappear from your life and never, ever show up. They can appear, change your life in a certain way, then disappear, and then resurface years too late. But they don't become ever single focal point of your entire adult life. Everyone you meet is not directly affected by and affecting every other person you meet. Life just doesn't work like that, but in Chuck's world, it does. Which makes for some not very believable writing.
The characters are all one dimensional caricatures. Perhaps that is the point, and I think it is, but it leaves me unsatisfied. I honestly couldn't imagine a single one of these characters living outside the fairly tedious storyline. They couldn't breathe and live on their own, they don't have enough substance.
Unfortunately, in the end, the twists make or break this book. And they aren't even that interesting. Once you see the first one coming - and it isn't too hard to figure out - all you need to do is extrapolate and you have the entire book. Hell, the first chapter is the end sequence, it's like there is a huge, neon sign pointing you where to go and what direction to take, so your mind does, and when you find out that you were right, the disappointment is immense.
Overall, I guess I wasn't happy with this book. It read too much like Choke, another Palahniuk story, and his writing techniques are repetitive and redundant. It was a quick read though, all it took was a Sunday afternoon, and I guess my time was better spent than if I had sat around doing nothing. I guess.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By far my favorite book by anybody named Chuck,
This review is from: Invisible Monsters (Paperback)I read this book while driving and crashed into a fountain (one of the ones of an Angel pissing). You'd think I'd have had enough of it by then but no, I hadn't. It's that good. I read it three times in the hospital and once more in the waiting room at physical therapy (this I had to do collectively over a period of visits). If you like weird stuff and surprises, don't have that midget spring naked and ablaze from your closet when you get home from work. Read this book.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ridiculous,
This review is from: Invisible Monsters (Paperback)With each passing book, Palahniuk gets even stupider. He doesn't seem to be able to make his far-out premises work anymore, and this novel proves nothing but an embarassment to read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic Palahniuk save gender issues,
This review is from: Invisible Monsters (Paperback)As the title says, this novel is pretty consistent with a lot of Palahniuk's work (of which I've read most). A really absurd story with unique characters, and surprising twists. I wouldn't say it's one of his best though.
My main qualm with the book is that it is written in first person from a female perspective, and in my opinion, it was not convincing at all that this person was a woman. I felt like the character thought much like ones in his other books (which are men) - and that the things she would think about and conclusions she reached didn't mesh with how a woman thinks (I'm a woman!).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh.. could have been better,
By A Customer
This review is from: Invisible Monsters (Paperback)I thought the book was good, but it should have been better. The plot idea was great but the beginning was so slow that I didn't even want to finish it. When I did get to the middle though I was surprised on how engaging it was. The twists were great - but not one of his best books.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How did this get published?,
By A Customer
This review is from: Invisible Monsters (Paperback)Without question one of the worst novels I've ever read. From the ham-handed opening paragraph (a ripoff of McInerney's Bright Lights, Big City) to the graceless, gimmicky narrative ("Jump to Brandy and me...";"Jump to the other day when..."; "Jump to Seattle where...") to the endless stretches of terrible prose ("Then you'd sweat if there wasn't a breeze, and the cotton crepe stuck to you like eleven herbs and spices..."; "The basketball king until he was sixteen and his test for strep throat came back as gonorrhea, I only knew I hated him."), the most remarkable thing about this novel is that it was published at all.
Palauniuk defenders are quick to suggest that those who dislike this inspid book are likely put off by its "shocking" subject matter or content. The truth is that C.P.'s narration is so choppy, so platitudinous and dull, his characters so flat, that it's impossible to feel anything resembling emotion/interest toward any of them. Any kind of sophisticated reader simply isn't likely to be shocked by something he cares nothing about, by something that hasn't engaged his attention on an emotional or intellectual level.
In the hands or a competent writer, this sophomoric tale might have been tolerable. Palahniuk, though, instead of providing any kind of significant character development or intriguing interaction, relies on the kind of ridiculous identity-swapping "surprises" often found in comic books and overheard among groups of children playing with Barbie dolls and G.I. Joes. "This isn't really Brandy Alexander, it's actually..." Give me a break.
C.P. seems to want to be any number of other writers, from Bret Easton Ellis (who in American Psycho and Glamorama is everything Palauhniuk isn't in Invisible Monsters: shocking, witty, morbid, clever) to Tom Robbins (with his studied frivolity) to (for whatever reason) Douglas Coupland circa Generation X. Unfortunately, C.P. manages to combine the worst tendencies of each of these writers while somehow failing to tap into any of the qualities that have made each of them successful. (And in Coupland's case I use that term loosely.)
For those Palahniuk fans who actually think this ridiculously bad novel is worth defending or recommending, I would urge/beg you to expand your reading sphere. There really are authors out there who don't write like the average fifteen year old. And while you could likely throw a dart toward the fiction section of your local bookstore and hit a novel of far more worth than Invisible Monsters, I'll offer a few suggestions to get you started: Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, Americana by Don DeLillo, The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq, Glamorama by Bret Ellis, The Verificationist by Donald Antrim, The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro. Years from now, when you look back in astonishment at your pubescent fascination with the drivel of Invisible Monsters, you might even thank me.
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Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk (Paperback - Aug. 1 1999)
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