Invisible Monsters

Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk. "She's a fashion model who has everything: a boyfriend, a career, a loyal best friend. But when a sudden freeway "accident" leaves her disfigured and incapable of speech, she goes from being the beautiful center of attention to being an invisible monster, so hideous that no one will acknowledge she exists. Enter Brandy Alexander, Queen Supreme, one operation away from becoming a real woman, who will teach her that reinventing yourself means erasing your past and making up something better. And that salvation hides in the last places you'll ever want to look."

This is one of the most bizarre books I have ever read. For my birthday last year Joseph took me to Barnes and Noble and told me to pick out a book. I asked for his opinion and he said he loved the book Fight Club, so we went and looked at books by the author and came across this one, which neither of us had ever heard of before.

I was completely lost the first chapter. Then I felt a little better when in chapter two he begins by saying, "Don't expect this to be the kind of story that goes: and then, and then, and then. What happens where will have more of that fashion magazine feel, a Vogue or a Glamour magazine chaos with page numbers on every second or fifth or third page. Perfume cards falling out, and full-page naked women women coming out of nowhere to sell you make-up. Don't look for a contents page, buried magazine-style twenty pages back from the front. Don't expect to find anything right off. There isn't a real pattern to anything, either. Stories will start and then, three paragraphs later: jump to page whatever. Then, jump back. This will be ten thousand fashion separates that mix and match to create maybe five tasteful outfits. A million trendy accessories, scarves and belts, shoes and hats and gloves, and no real clothes to war them with. And you really, really need to get used to that feeling, here, on the freeway, at work, in your marriage. This is the world we live in. Just go with the prompts."

That is exactly how the book is written. Although more and more of the pieces start to fit together as the book goes on and all of those random, chaotic parts of the story you first read but didn't understand start to make sense. There is some bad language and a few crude paragraphs that I wish I'd never set my eyes on throughout the book. Chuck Palahniuk has a very direct writing style and just tells it like it is. Towards the end of the book there are some major twists and surprises though that completely fascinated me. I thought I had it figured out and then the truth was revealed and I was totally shocked. What I loved about the book was that a) the story is unlike anything I've ever read b) the unique writing style c) the interesting perspective and lessons shown throughout the book d) the twists and turns, especially at the end. I definitely don't think this book is for everyone - it certainly won't fill you with warm fuzzies when you're done reading it. But even though I finished it months ago - I still think about it often. It really made an impression on me. Bottom line - one of the most intriguing, weird books I've ever read. I don't recommend it to most people, too many things that should have been edited, but the concept of the story is unlike anything else I've ever read.

I don't really agree with many of the quotes below and they probably don't make sense to someone who hasn't read the book, but I underlined some of these parts for various reasons and am including them to give you a feel for the book.

Page 90, "Give me amnesia. Flash. Give me new parents. Flash." - I like his creativity in using her background as a model to portray her thoughts.

Page 97, "'If you were on a game show,' Seth says about his types of people. Seth has already pulled off the freeway and we're driving between dark warehouses, turning toward every glimpse we get of the Space Needle. 'So you're the winner of this game show," Seth says, 'and you get a choice between a five-piece living room set from Broyhill, suggested retail price three thousand dollars - or -a ten-day trip to the old world charm of Europe.' Most people, Seth says, would take the living room set. 'It's just that people want something to show for their effort,' Seth says. 'Like the pharaohs and their pyramids. Given the choice, very few people would choose the trip, even if they already had a nice living room set.'" - This was such an interesting thought to me and I've thought about it a lot since. It's so true. I hope that I would be one of the few to choose the trip to Europe.

Page 103, "Games shows are designed to make us feel better about the random, useless facts that are all we have left of our education." Never thought about this before, but it's kind of true.

"When did the future switch from being a promise to being a threat?"

Page 104, "Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I've ever know." - I don't exactly agree with this, but isn't it interesting how much of an impact all the people we've ever known have had on us?

"The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person." - Disagree, but this can be true a lot of the time.

Page 239, "He was all the time making big cow eyes at Brandy." - I found this line funny because the "big cow eyes" is an inside joke from sophomore year between Erin and I. Does anyone else ever have that happen to them? You have an inside joke and then coincidentally see or read something that matches up with that inside joke perfectly even though it's just a total coincidence?

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