‘Invisible Monsters’ by Chuck Palahniuk

InvisibleMonsters

Fiction – paperback; Vintage; 304 pages; 2000.

There’s nothing quite as surreal as immersing yourself in a Chuck Palahniuk book. He takes imagination to a whole new level, let me tell you. Invisible Monsters is no exception. There’s enough quirky, eccentric, off-beat characters to fill an entire universe in this one.

But seriously, this is a brilliant novel full of complicated and unexpected twists and turns (although I did guess the main one well before it was revealed). It’s set in the bitchy, I’m-a-bigger-whore-than-you fashion world and tells the story of a fallen glamour model who had her face horribly disfigured in an “accident” and is no longer able to speak. She hooks up with her new best friend, Brandy Alexander, and tries to start her life afresh.

The narrative jumps backwards and forwards in time (a recurrent Palahniuk trick used in his other novels), which serves to disorientate the reader in much the same way you imagine that the drugs the characters scoff throughout the story disorientate them. But because this author is such a skilled writer he deftly weaves the strands together so that you never seen the joins. And once you understand (and get used) to his literary style you immediately fall in love with it and wish you’d invented it before him.

All in all, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

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