Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk (1999)

invisible mosnters

L: 9.5/10

M: 9/10

Analysis from the meaning of a made-up word:

Invisible Monsters: The book that solidified Mr. Palahniuk as one of my favorite authors. I read Invisible Monsters and Fight Club in a crazed fury many moons ago in high school, illuminating the thought that reading could actually be enjoyable. Palahniuk was the first author that I searched for similar authors immediately after finishing all of his catalog.

Invisible Monsters is a pitcher throwing his best stuff. Chuck is really in his groove here. His magic ability to layer crazy on top of crazy and keep the page-turning at breakneck speeds is on full display. A twisted road unravels through quick time jumps, following the life of the all-around beautiful person, Shannon, as life just gets a little too dull. When some people would maybe travel or take up a hobby, Shannon goes a different route, and her life explodes like a close-range shotgun blast.

Along with a group of strangers who may or may not be strangers, explore the world on a globetrotting drug heist and binge with no real finish line in mind, except maybe self-destruction and the slow and painful death of everyone else. These time jumps strike so fast and frequently, hardly are they noticed. The constant cuts don’t hinder the flow whatsoever. You see the twist in the road approaching, and your heart beats towards its eventual reveal.

Chucks patent overflow of data vomit latches on to every character here. It leaves the reader in awe of how much research must have been compiled when building this story. The page count could have been twice as long, allowing the characters to develop beyond their twist reveal true identities and hidden agendas, and I wouldn’t have minded in the least bit.

In recent years, Chuck Palahniuk has put out sequels to a couple of his stories, and I would love to see the world of Invisible Monsters grow into a universe. Putting down a book like this when finished, left me with the same inspiration I felt all those years ago. An inspiration to write something, make something, just do something. This is the power of Chuck.

Analysis from that one random shoe on the side of the road:

This guy is a literary god. I seriously forget how amazing he is until I read something else he’s written, then I just spend days finding myself reliving his stories and getting lost in the little details. This book never had a rough patch for me. While I could guess some of the plot twists, there is still some unique satisfaction in thinking that I could have possibly shared some of the same thought processes of the great Chuck, and therefore I find it a source of pride rather than a lack of inspired writing. That’s what this man does with a book. He makes you feel special to be on the inside track.

The book is curious in that it jumps timelines constantly. The stability of the story is always in question. You just can’t trust that Chuck knows where he’s going with this one, and yet by the end, it all makes some sort of twisted sense, and you’re left feeling satisfied and perhaps a little motion sickness.

All in all, Shannon and her crew’s story is a story I will revisit a time or two or perhaps only once when I’m old and hiding my grey and suffer from dementia so that I can relive it all for the first time again.


Chuck Palahniuk

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