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Invisible Monsters
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on October 9, 2017
good book
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on February 22, 2004
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.
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on May 23, 2017
This one is one of the best you will never regret from purchasing it. I advised not to be using by non professional because it may cut your finger low price. OK, there is do not have any problem. i need it to change , i will purchase it from you next time.
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on July 17, 2004
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.
and yes there is a but. Some may not 'get it', some people of a certain mindset, who may not understand the opposite sex, or human nature may not understand it and think it just a story about a vain lady. then that's the case, it may help you understand the opposite sex or human nature more, or ... if you're boyond the point of understanding and just don't care ... well ... you woudn't be looking up Chuck Paliniuk book now would you.
So, all in all. Great. Thumbs way up!
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on January 23, 2007
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.
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on March 5, 2004
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."
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on June 8, 2004
When reading this novel you have to keep in mind that a book being 'good' and a book being 'entertaining' are two entirely different things. Take for example Proust, no doubt good literature, but it will bore you to death(me at least). Invisible Monsters brings about nothing that hasn't been covered in Palahniuk's other literature, basicly being anti-everything as per Palahniuk's other books. And although the things are not what they appear, role reversal game gets a bit tired by the end, this is no less a very entertaining book. I can say that I've enjoyed it only slightly less than Lullaby. One of may favorite aspects of this,all of Palahniuk for that matter, is that he keeps his books short and active, along with his quirky modern-Vonnegut-esque writing style it allows him to both keep a reader interested and thinking. Finnaly some may say that his aforementioned odd style makes his books confusing, although this may be the case I find that a dry book will lose me far more easliy, and dry this certainly isn't.
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on July 12, 2004
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.
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on August 20, 2002
This was my first Palahniuk book, suggested by a friend. After seeing Fight Club, I immediately noted the simular style of 'Time Leaping' which is also utitilized in this book, and is something that is used in other novels such as Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut. Though in this story, as in the story of Fight Club, Palahniuk takes this style to a new level (as well as the climax initiating storyline).This style is primatively redundant and can become annoying to read. We understand that this is the character's mentality and this actually does work in illustrating the levels of her sanity throughout different points of the story, giving the narrative some varied rhythm and that postmodern "conscious altering feeling." I also agree about the need for commas, even from an artstic stand point as I am a creatIve wrIter.
The main character is interesting and dynamic as she is simultaneously lame, trite, conceited, vain, shallow, though shows some "moments of |intelligent| clarity" in her observations and her own self-awareness. In this we are easily open to consider our own short-comings better.
It's almost as though Palahiuk is using a pleasing intrustive narrator, if you can do so on a first person narration, as she is constantly reexamining herself, redefining herself and, unbeknownst to her, accepting her real self by coming to terms with her past in a circular, chaotic way.
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on March 19, 2006
Someone has blown the face off a beautiful model as she is driving on the expressway! Whodunnit? This question is almost ignored throughout this really weird and hilariously offbeat take on contemporary USA, its hidden and revealed horrors and pathos, its commercialized culture and highways, and its plain strangeness. Along this path, we meet individuals who may or may not be transgendered, all-American families with really off the wall Christmas celebrations.Think contraceptives in the stockings to Perry Como crooning Christmas carols. How to get drugs fairly easily, and name changes to match the current predicament. Like reading on high octane jumping back and forth through terrain best described as odd!
Also recommended: KATZENJAMMER by Jackson T. McCrae.
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