Invisible Monsters

Chuck Palahniuk’s work is really something of a canon. Don’t be confused by all the different character names and crazy plot twists that happen from one book to the next; it’s really all part of the same story. Just because they have different names and different problems and different scams (and they all have scams) doesn’t mean they’re not trying to tell the same story.

What’s interesting is that, you’re never quite sure what that story is.

Invisible Monsters is about a model who suffers a horrible accident—which might or might not be an accident—that leaves her face horribly disfigured and, unsurprisingly, puts a kink in her modeling career.

It’s about her thinking back to her life as a model.
It’s about her coming to terms with her horrible disfigurement and figuring out what it means.
It’s about the strange and wonderful people she meets along the way.

It’s about a lot of things, really.

Like basically all of Palahniuk’s novels, this one’s a quick read. There’s a certain, compelling urgency in the writing, which makes it feel fast while you’re reading it. The sentences aren’t long, and there’s a kind of rhythm to it.

The speed of the writing lets Palahniuk do some interesting things.

Like: tell you crucial information that you don’t realize is crucial or even relevant until after you’re hit with the sudden plot twist where the information comes flooding back.

Kind of like Fight Club (the movie or the book) where everything starts to make sense for the narrator. For you movie-watchers, that would be Ed Norton.

At any rate, Invisible Monsters wouldn’t be a bad introduction to Palahniuk’s writing (though why wouldn’t you start with Fight Club?). IM rates alongside Lullaby and Fight Club as Palahniuk’s best, though if you’re wondering, Choke and Survivor are great, too.