Invisible Monsters details the life of the model Shannon McFarland, who loses her jaw after a stray bullet strikes it off. Almost immediatley, she loses her career as a model, and after looking at her disfigured face, her fiance quickly calls off the engagement.
Her life becomes chaotic and pointless until one day she runs into the attractive Brandy Alexander, a would-be transsexual who is one step away from becoming a woman. Brandy instantly latches onto the pain and sorrow that Shannon is feeling, and begins to console her, helping her figure out what direction she can take her life in now that she's lost everything she had before the accident.
Everything is not what it seems, however, and Shannon receives several not-too-subtle hints that her ex-fiance, Manus, and her ex-best-friend, Evie, may have had something to do with Shannon's disfigurement.
Shannon and Brandy team up to set things right and generally make life miserable for Manus and Evie. But as they learn more about themselves and the people they are after, the reader and Shannon both begin to realize that everything, Shannon's accident, her career, her family, and Brandy, are all connected in some hilariously twisted manner.
The review of this Book prepared by Colin Kehm
A young aspiring model mysteriously gets half her face blown off and ends up on a journey of self-discovery with her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, who rob homes while pretending to be realators. She attempts to slowly change her ex-boyfriend into a woman, by secretly feeding him estrogen supplements.
The review of this Book prepared by Zahra
The main character was a model until she was shot in the face while driving her car on the highway. She reinvents herself while recovering in the hospital with the help of a pre-op transsexual named Brandy Alexander. They later embark on a hilarious road trip up and down the West Coast while driving with a hostage.
The review of this Book prepared by JS
A supermodel is forced to create a new reality when her best friend steals her boyfriend and her face is blown off in a freak "accident". Unable to talk she meets Brandy Alexander, one operation away from becoming a woman, who teaches her that life is about creating something better. Together they embark on a twisted quest where they raid for-sale mansions for perscriptions drugs leading them to a bitter end.
The review of this Book prepared by Megan
This book follows the eccentric and strange life of a fashion model after having her face blown off by a gun. The story travels between past and present, detailing how the narrator went from being a happy child with a (somewhat) normal family to lying in a hospital bed with no jawbone to driving around America stealing drugs from the bathrooms of mansions. She describes relationships with her fiance, Manus; her best friend, Evie Cottrell; her crazy parents who still mourn their son; her brother Shawn; and her new friend/enemy, the 'Princess' Brandy Alexander. The narrator tells her story through veils of hatred, mistrust, and revenge...but it keeps the story interesting.
The review of this Book prepared by Colleen
Kay McIsaac, fashion model, is both irritated (because her fashion model best friend Evie Cottrell stole her boyfriend) and anonymous (she wears veils because half of her face was shot away by a freak accident). She's an "invisible monster." But her life takes an upswing when Brandy Alexander, a transsexual one last step of surgery away from becoming an entire woman, brings excitement and money back into Kay's life. They plan revenge on Evie, kidnap Kay's two-timing fiance Manus, and go from state to state, entering huge homes that are open for sale and rifling the bathrooms for drugs they can take in large quantities. This is a very odd and amusing book, with much witty and pointed commentary on the culture of beauty, consumerism, and cosmetic surgery. It also has more plot twists than the average reader can follow.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus
Deceptively simply written as all of Palahniuk's books are, this is still a book very difficult to sum up in a quick or pithy manner. The protagonist, a former supermodel now hideously disfigured by an accident of ambigious cause, is obsessed simulataneously with her ex-lover and current traveling companion, her dead brother and her betraying best friend.
Our protagonist sets out on a weird continental journey with a transexual and a male companion that takes her through plutography and pornography while leading her ever closer to accepting the reality of the decisions she herself made and how they affected both those she knew and loved and those about whom she had no idea whatsoever.
Palahniuk relies, as always, a bit too much on his invented tropes to substitute for declarative sentences describing emotion (in Fight Club it was all about "I am Jack's complete lack of surprise"; in Invisible Monsters it's all about "Give me lust") but the tropes he has chosen/developed WORK because they resonate with our modern experience.
Read this for its look at our ideas about beauty and identity, about what constitutes gender in an age of easy surgery (Hedwig and the Angry Inch fans take note!), or just for a good story about a woman coming to grips with her own weird nature. But do read it!
The review of this Book prepared by Kate Sherrod
A on 4/8/2015 11:16:21 PM says: I'm not going to write an in-depth review on this book, due to the fact that my ability to put my thoughts into words is extremely lacking.. So here goes nothing:
To be honest, I hated the book when I first started reading it. The protagonist was incredibly superficial and selfish and just really pissed me off. I also wasn't used to Palahniuk's writing style, so it bothered me the first couple chapters. I thought it was too simple and not very thought provoking, it didn't really entertain me at all.
HOWEVER, after being stubborn and forcing myself to get past the first couple chapters, I actually began to enjoy this book a LOT.
Palahniuk's weird, twisted sense of humour and different writing style grew on me, and there's actually some good messages within this book. I'm usually a very intuitive reader and usually have the plots/schemes all figured out before big revelations but Chuck really threw me off mutiple times near the end. Everything is so twisted but connected and it was very entertaining. I was also very happy with the ending, which is quite rare for me.
I would suggest this to people who like twisted plots/characters, criminals/crime(?), dark humour, and aren't phased by homosexuality/sex changes/etc. It's definitely not your typical deep, inspiring or meaningful novel, but I personally took away something important from it regarding superficiality. Yes the superficiality exhibited in these characters is over the top but I think it really made me think about society and I think it's a good book!
My favourite quote from it is, "Hysteria is impossible without an audience."