Invisible Monsters is quite possibly the most bizarre book I’ve ever read, if you exclude certain religious texts. I plodded through the first two-thirds, and then breezed through the rest as things started coming together and finally making sense.
This was my first Palahniuk novel, having only ever experienced his work through the film Fight Club, starring Brad Pitt. And I can’t say if I’ll attempt another any time soon, because writing trippy novels seems to be what he’s about.
Now comes the difficult part: saying more about the book without actually giving the whole game up (incidentally you could look it up in Wikipedia, but that would spoil the mind-fuck awaiting you).
The book is narrated by a model whose name you don’t get to find out until the very end, and starts at the end and ends at a sort of beginning. If that does not make any sense now, you’ll have to read the book to get what I mean. The narrative revolves around the dysfunctional relationships among a small group of people and jumps from the present to the past at disconcertingly frequent intervals. In fact, you’ll have to get used to the term “Jump to”, as it is used quite frequently to shift the scene from the present to the past and back to the present. So paying attention is pretty important.
The Invisible Monster is actually the narrator who’s just had half her face blown away by a gunshot wound. The plot essentially revolves around her travels through various parts of America bingeing on prescription drugs with her companions Brandy Alexander and Manus, who really aren’t who you think they are. Along the way, you’ll learn about her supposedly closest friend Evie, who also turns out to not be what you’re told either.
Right from the beginning I was expecting the plot to be about the search for the shooter, but this person is also a real surprise. I’m not giving away anything more, so you’ll just have to read the damn thing yourself.
Cool Quotes From the Book
The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person.
All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.
If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to change costume and come back as a new character…Would you slow down? Or speed up?
Your birth is a mistake you’ll spend your whole life trying to correct.