“I loved this book. I read it non-stop over the span of two days. Upon finishing it I was rendered speechless for several hours.”Elly wrote this review Sunday, July 1, 2007. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Chuck is the master of disguise and black humor. Very suspenseful and you can't put it down.”MEGHAN wrote this review Wednesday, June 20, 2007. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
Palahniuk's grotesque romp aims to skewer the ruthless superficiality of the fashion world and winds up with a tale as savagely glib as what it derides. Narrator Shannon McFarland, once a gorgeous fashion model, has been hideously disfigured in a mysterious drive-by shooting. Her jaw has been shot off, leaving her not only bereft of a career and boyfriend, but suddenly invisible to the world. Along comes no-nonsense, pill-popping diva Brandy Alexander, a resplendent, sassy, transgendered chick, who has modeled her body rearrangementAthe breast implants, the hair, the figureAon what Shannon used to look like. Brandy suggests veils, high camp and no self-pity. Shannon wants revenge: first on her supposedly best friend Evie, who has been squeezing her size nine body into Shannon's size six wardrobe, then on her fianc?, Manus Kelly, who has been running around with Evie. Since Shannon now believes that Manus and Evie orchestrated her "accident," Shannon rustles up a few arson/kidnapping "accidents" of her own. Then she learns that Brandy is actually her long-lost brother, Shane, who supposedly died of AIDS after his parents kicked him out of their home. (Since then, the McFarlands have become militant gay rights activists, trading on their "grief.") Amid the family drama, Shannon manages to exact her revenge on Manus by surreptitiously slipping him estrogen and enjoying his dismay at sprouting unwanted breasts. Adding to the plot's contrivances are the relentless flashbacks, heralded at the beginning of almost every paragraph with "Jump back to..." and the author's pretentious device of using a fashion photographer's commands ("Flash. Give me adoration. Flash. Give me a break") to signpost the narrator's epiphanies. Palahniuk writes like he's overdosed on Details magazine. Though the absurd surprise ending may incite groans of disbelief, this book does have fun moments when campy banter tops the heroine's flat, whiny bathos. (Sept.) FYI: The film of Palahniuk's novel Fight Club will star Brad Pitt.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. ”
“I’ve been out of my comfort zone before, but I’ve never been wrenched from my comfort zone at 3am with a bag over my head, and tossed into a blender with scraps of a story whizzing before my eyes, catching glimpses as I fight to get my footing, yet loving every second of it. This is the work of Chuck Palahniuk. This is what it feels like to read Invisible Monsters.
This novel is all about ego, and the self-absorbed lifestyle of the California bombshell. A world where love pretends to come in a thousand different forms, but never delivers. Our narrator through this crazy world is Daisy St. Patience, the enterprising young model and embodiment of beauty.
Daisy appears to have the perfect life, until everything seems to disappear in a muzzle-flash, when somebody sees fit to shoot her in the face as she drives down the Freeway. Now she’s a disfigured horror show that nobody can understand, or even wants to acknowledge.
Enter stage right: Daisy's savior and idol Miss Brandy Alexander, queen supreme. As Daisy puts it, “Just by herself, Brandy Alexander is such a shift in the beauty standard that no one thing stands out. Not even you.” Brandy appears to be the perfect woman, so much so that she seems almost a caricature of a person. This holds for nearly every character in the novel. Each beautiful on the outside, yet rife with psychoses and self-doubt on the inside.
The setting is a mix of estrogen-fueled crime, anger, and obsession. Its part crack-house romance and part lavish Broadway show. Be forewarned though, as this novel is not for the faint of heart. Invisible Monsers was supposed to be Palahniuk's first published novel, but it was rejected by his publisher for being too disturbing, only given a second chance after the success of Fight Club.
You don’t fully learn who Daisy is, until you’ve read every page of Invisible Monsters. Her narrative jumps around through time in disarray, leaving you questioning what you thought you had figured out. The plot of this novel is so engrossing, and at times horrifying, you'll find yourself grudgingly putting it down to get on with seemingly irrelevant tasks like eating and sleeping.
Palahniuk's prose is lovingly crafted and masterfully delivered. You immediately feel plunged into his world, in all its always ironic, shocking, and often hysterical mayhem. The tone is colloquial and perfectly set. You may find your internal voice speaking in that valley-girl accent without even meaning to. There's no sense of artificiality, indeed you'd swear Palahniuk was a Janice Dickinson channeling fashionista in a former life by the imagery he seems to define the whole world with.
To top the whole masterpiece off, Chuck bestows upon his characters a philosophically deep and disturbing insight into the world we live in. An insight so lucid, it will stop you mid sentence, bringing you to question your own deeply-held ideals. Daisy, with her new perspective on life, offers up particularly bitter bits of wisdom: “All god does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever get boring.”
As I said, this novel is not a casual Sunday afternoon read. It's a keyhole into the ugly interior of world so beautiful on its exterior. That said, it's a real treat to read, and it's sure to reside in your memory for a long, long time.”
“This is one of my favorite books....impossible to put down”Stacey B wrote this review Thursday, March 8, 2007. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I read this book because Chuck Palahniuk wrote it, but it definately wasn't his best. It was a painful book to finish. It took me about two months to finally finish it, and I was just as disappointed with the end as I was with the beginning and the middle.”leihrana wrote this review Thursday, March 1, 2007. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Only one of my favorites.”christyflint wrote this review Thursday, February 22, 2007. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“this book is nuts. but good. a little off. but refreshing. though he tries to trick you like he did in fight club. great landscape and location namedropping. as well as the pharmaceuticals. also, it's a quick read.”rizzledizzle wrote this review Wednesday, February 21, 2007. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No