Pub. Date:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Invisible Monsters: A Novel / Edition 1

Invisible Monsters: A Novel / Edition 1

by Chuck Palahniuk
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The fashion-model protagonist of Invisible Monsters has just about everything: a boyfriend, a career, a loyal best friend. But one day she's driving along the freeway when a sudden "accident" leaves her with half her face, no ability to speak, and next to no self-esteem. From being the beautiful center of attention she becomes 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; Brandy will teach her that reinventing yourself means erasing the past and making up something better. And that salvation hides in the last places you'll ever want to look.
In this hilarious and daringly unpredictable novel, the narrator must exact revenge upon Evie, her best friend and fellow model; kidnap Manus, her two-timing ex-boyfriend; and hit the road with Brandy in search of a brand-new past, present, and future. Changing names and stories in every city, they catapult toward a final confrontation with a rifle-toting Evie-by which time the narrator will have learned that loving and being loved are not mutually exclusive, and that nothing, on the surface, is ever quite what it seems.
By turns witty, poignant, and exhilarating, Invisible Monsters will take you on a ride you'll never forget.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393319293
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 09/17/1999
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Chuck Palahniuk is the author of Fight Club, which was made into a movie directed by David Fincher, as well as Survivor, Damned, and Tell-All, among other books. He lives in Washington State.


Portland, Oregon

Date of Birth:

February 21, 1962

Place of Birth:

Pasco, Washington


B.A. in journalism, University of Oregon, 1986

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Invisible Monsters: A Novel 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 440 reviews.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Chuck Palahniuk is the hugely popular author of modern, edgy books like Fight Club (also a movie with Brad Pitt--go ahead, act surprised) and Choke. For this reason I did not expect to like Invisible Monsters, originally published in 1999. The story is told by a nameless narrator: a young woman who used to be beautiful. After a series of bizarre, haunting events involving a freeway, birds and a few other things those days are gone forever. Her face disfigured, her voice gone, the narrator is invisible. And a monster in the eyes of most. Desperate for someone to save her, the narrator meets Brandy Alexander at just the right time. Brandy embodies the life that the narrator used to have--except for an important operation that Brandy still needs to have. Riding off with Brandy, the narrator starts fresh. Life is a story. If you don't like the story you have, make up a new one. As the lives Brandy offers up as truth continue to change and the lies threaten to fall apart, it becomes clear that no matter where you run eventually you have to face the facts and really decide what story you want to tell. That's the story. But it's really not even half the story. Stylistically, this novel has a lot going on. It's written in the first person, present tense setting up a tone that is both conspiratorial and conversational. Despite that, the narrator remains aloof, unreliable. Talking to the reader like an old friend, the narrator reveals the smallest details of her past while leaving key plot points to herself until the right moment. There are few male novelists who can write as convincingly in the voice of a woman as Palahniuk. The narration is amazingly authentic even when the story becomes more and more over-the-top. Palahniuk also brings a high level of complexity to the narrative, writing the story in a non-linear format. The novel opens with the final scene as the narrator tries to explain how she got to that point. Along the way flashbacks are interwoven with "the present" and other points in the time line of character's lives. This is the kind of book that requires a lot of attention. Like the modeling world that the narrator comes from, nothing in this novel is exactly what it seems. Characters lie, information given as fact turns out to be false. Palahniuk manages all of these elements impressively well, making it all work despite the bizarreness and absurdity inherent to certain parts of the plot. More than anything, though, this book is really a character study. Palahniuk creates a lot of unique characters whose lives intertwine unexpectedly. As might be expected from the plot description given above, many ofthe relationships between characters in Invisible Monsters are dysfunctional. But it is the dysfunction that allows Palahniuk to look at how people interact and what it really means to love someone. So, while it is utterly strange, this novel definitely puts the "fun" in dysfunctional.
eeh More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite novel written by one of the most extreme and talented contemporary writers I have encountered thus far. There are so many twists in the story, yet they are so tightly woven that the absurdity flows so smoothly, and ends with a satisfying conclusion. Psychologically trippy, and full of complex characters, I definitely recommend this novel to anyone with an open mind looking for a fun and thought provoking read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am writing a college essay about this book, for sure. There are very few other books I would even consider doing that for.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The most insane yet beautiful book ive ever read. In other words...IT WAS FRICKIN AWESOME.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel is deceivingly disturbing, (at times) mildly disgusting, and ultimately BRUTAL. But is also surprisingly touching, empathetic, and breathtaking. The first quarter/half of the book may be a challenge for some, but I highly encourage readers to push through. The novel's non linear structure is at first confusing but eventually becomes the story's greatest component. Once you read the book in its entirety you will be completely blown away. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down! Every page was a surprise and i was never bored.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AWESOME!!!! This is a fast pace & mind blowing book - written so well you can visualize everything - lots of twists & turns & then blam it goes to another other level. This is the first Chuck Palahniuk book I have read & will shortly be reading ALL his others!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im making my way through all C.P's books. Not once have I been disappointed. This one however was better than others. Drama, murder, drugs and drag (well, sorta). Jaw dropping and hilarious!
Fiona_Cathleen More than 1 year ago
Wow! What a ride! My first Palahnuik novel. Won't be my last.
a.del More than 1 year ago
This is by far my favorite from Palahniuk!!! The characters are both raw and comical. I have lost count on how many times I've reread this one.
words-like-knives More than 1 year ago
Read it!!!
smonk_you More than 1 year ago
THis book rocks because every 15 pages CP pulls that fight club deal where you have to rethink everything you just read
kanata on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Maybe it is because I'm older or because I've read too many of his books but they don't seem to stand out anymore. His themes of ugliness, man-boobs, and doing what isn't expected to reach a "real life" seem stale to me now. I could relate much better when I was in my early twenties. It was an alright book with some amusing passages but nothing terribly exciting. Not something I would reread.
thelittlereader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
not at all what i expected. invisible monsters was comical and shocking, particularly towards the close of the story, in the rather atypical ways that only palahniuk could manage. definitely worth the time, but still coming up short of choke.
ccourtland on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Chuck Palahniuk creates an incredibly realistic and twisted story. However, it is a bit overdone and by the end the reader may become a little immune to the extraordinary and by doing so, causes some of the twists and turns to become not necessarily predictable but perhaps not shocking. On the upside, Palahniuk did an amazing job at making a twisted original plot seem believable. Every character is fully developed and has a unique back story that out does the other one, creating a vicious cycle of complicated brilliance. In the style of Palahniuk this novel hits the mark. I would not recommend to everybody, but if you're a fan then check it out. Chuck Palahniuk may appeal to a more specific audience and this book fits within that scope.
rexrobotreviews on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk is INSANE. This is one of my favorite books just because I was like 'wow.' Then I would turn the page and say 'wow' again. Over and over. I read this book probably 10 years ago, when I was in high school and it first hit the shelves. Even though there may be something on every page that will make you shake your head saying 'wow' or 'what the hell?' you WILL keep reading. You won't be able to stop and you will love it. It is like a bad car accident and you can't look away. You're too damn interested in the outcome- and you will love the outcome. The ending is fantastic! The majority of the story is about beauty- what does beauty mean? Who values it? How can it be good? How can it be a nightmare? The characters will suffer for and because of beauty. Palahniuk is making a very powerful statement with this novel. He flaunts his brilliant writing techniques all the way through the end and I think most people will love it or hate it. (I obviously love it- are you over my gushing yet?) The narrator of this book used to be a gorgeous super model, but is now left grossly disfigured after a messy shooting incident. Her jaw was shot right off, thus leaving just her tongue and top row of teeth. Everything she once had (such as a career and fiance) disappears. This is when we meet the brilliant Brandy Alexander. She is a beautiful, sassy transgender woman. Brandy likes pushing our narrator to do whatever scares her the most and tries to force her to forget the past. Now enters their male mutual friend... The three amigos go on a long road trip. The purpose of the road trip is so that they can find themselves, forget about the past and move on with their lives... not to mention have one hell of a good time. They visit mansions that are up for sale when they have Open Houses for potential buyers. With absolutely no intent to buy they steal the current occupant's prescription medications and use/deal it. Throughout the road trip they figure out some secrets they've been keeping from themselves and one another and form amazing friendships. There are ridiculous plot twists in this novel that you don't want to miss. In fact, I had to reread some of the paragraphs to make sure I read them right. Haha- and the more you read this author's work the more you love it. (I have read this book a million times.) I hope that anyone who reads this novel has a firm grip on reality and a good sense of humor ;o)
TiffanyHickox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If I have said it once, I've said it a hundred times - I am in love with Chuck Palahniuk novels! Just when I think I have the plot pegged, he throws in something so psychotically absurd and fantastic that I am humbley reminded of his literary genius. The characters in this book may not be some of the most developed characters he has created, but this lends itself more to the time jump style of the narration than oversight. The ending was satisfying, and even optimistic. I definately recommend!
queencersei on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A beauty queen is horrifically maimed in a shooting/car accident. As she copes with her new life of disfigurement the story jumps from her past to her present. In her past she relives her childhood feelings of being overshadowed by her gay older brother, Shane. Shane is kicked out of the house and apparently dies of AIDS. Her former fiancé Manus, who also has sexual identity issues. And in her present, she is part of a pill-popping house scamming ring with Princess Brandy Alexander and Ellis aka the ex-fiancé Manus. The book starts out strong, but sadly the author seems to get lost in his own plot as he tries to tie all the various plot threads back together. Still, it makes for an imaginative and interesting read.
leo_depart on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The plot is imaginative but not very convincing in its construction. Language and style of the book are great as usual. A quick read, interesting observations but overall nothing too exceptional.
perlle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you're not easily offended, this book is a crazy wild, fast-paced ride. Even though the ending was a bit far-fetched (even for this) I found myself not really caring. The ideas and the story are so entertaining, it was more about the journey.
FolkeB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Chuck Palahniuk's novel Invisible Monsters initially catches the reader's eye with its unique book cover, but easily ropes one in with a writing style that goes from disturbing to hilarious to thought-provoking, even within a single sentence. The narrator of the novel has been shot in the face, thus destroying her modeling career and leaving her without a jaw or the ability to talk. Through her rehabilitation she meets the queen supreme Brandy Alexander, a transsexual who teaches the narrator that she can simply make up a new life and move on. Brandy and the narrator begin a life on the road along with a man named Seth, paying for their lifestyle by touring mansions for sale and stealing prescription drugs. Palahniuk's novel frequently jumps between different time periods, allowing the reader to piece together the narrator's story, which twists and turns in unexpected ways from beginning to end. While this novel is certainly not for the faint-of-heart, a fan of Palahniuk will see that it is one of his best works to date, and it offers a satisfying ending that is nothing short of jaw-dropping.Laurel C.
namaste374 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Like reading a car crash I read to the end to find out what happened but I am not intending to read any others by this author!
breadnbutter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
At first I was concerned that the constant jumping around in the story telling would be hard to follow, but it surprisingly wasn't. For about the first 2/3 of the book it was about as straightforward as you can call a Chuck Palahniuk book, but the last 1/3 is where it really shines. Shocking twists (and I mean shocking) that I honestly didn't see coming. I was worried that this wouldn't be as good as Survivor but it is right up there in my opinion. It really is difficult to give a synopsis of the book itself, but all I will say is that if you are a fan of Palaniuk, or just a fan of downright craziness, then you should check out this book.
TakeItOrLeaveIt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
another very strange book with all sorts of twists and turns, but for a youngin' of 18 this is exciting stuff!not his best...
nm.spring08.m.gunthe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Invisible Monsters is one of my favorite books. It tells the story of a beautiful girl who becomes a supermodel because her parents pay more attention to her gay brother. She gets in a tragic accident and looses her ability to talk. She meets the amazing Brandy Alexander who is one surgery away from becoming a real women. They set off on a road trip to find who they are going to become. I love the way this book is written, it's very raw and uncensored. my favorite quotes:"Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I've ever known.""When it's time to reintroduce me to solid foods, their words again, it's pureed chicken and strained carrots. Baby foods. Everything mashed or pulverized or crushed. You are what you eat.""Hysteria is impossible without an audience. Panicking by yourself is the same as laughing alone in an empty room. You feel really silly.""Another thing is no matter how much you think you love somebody, you'll step back when the pool of their blood edges up too close.""The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person."I'm making my sister read this book.