Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk

invisiblemonstersInvisible 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.

 

Quiz Night: Tidal Locking

A couple of months ago I went to my first quiz night at a popular bar. I performed reasonably well on the sports questions but was not so good when it came to general knowledge, although I always felt I was reasonably competent in this area.

Since then I’ve taken to reading random facts on a variety of subjects, and Wikipedia proved helpful with its Random Article functionality. [I do recommend cross-checking Wikipedia articles with other resources as they may not be entirely factual given that it is user-generated]

Today I came across this feature on Tidal Locking which was pretty interesting. You only ever see one side of the moon all the time because it is tidally locked with Earth. Look closely at the gif on the left and you’ll see this phenomena in operation. Notice how only one side of the moon is always presented to Earth while rotating around it, even though the moon is also rotating on its axis.

Tidal_locking_of_the_Moon_with_the_Earth

I suppose this is how the term “dark side of the moon” originated, since that side is not visible to Earthlings due to tidal locking. For a more in-depth explanation on the physics and mechanics of tidal locking, check out Wikipedia, the YouTube videos available online.

What would happen should the Earth become tidally locked with the sun? Well, in short, we’ll all be fooked as it will wreak havoc with our weather and just about everything else.