Invisible Monsters Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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.
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|Listening Length||5 hours and 56 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||June 08, 2021|
|Publisher||Recorded Books, Inc.|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #15,230 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#18 in Dark Humor Literature & Fiction
#44 in Satirical Literature & Fiction
#73 in Dark Humor
Reviewed in the United States on October 2, 2016
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Many reviewers of Palahniuk (especially those here) try to judge his writing in comparative terms. ("not as good as Fight Club" or "better than Choke") Palahniuk is, unfortunately, a victim of his own skill, because although his texts are certainly their own stories, they do have remarkably similar tones (e.g. he sprinkles his text with odd/unusual facts as a backdrop for the odd/unusual action). As a result, they polarize the audience quite well. Like one book, and you're likely to enjoy them all.
That having been said, let me add my own opinion to the mix: this book is Chuck's best to date (note: I haven't read Diary).
All of his books are, to some extent, about identity crises. In this case, it is the identity crisis of ex-model Shannon, whose jaw is blown off in an unusual auto accident. She goes on a soul-quest of sorts with transgendered queen Brandy, and a few other people with similarly odd problems. What follows is a tangled, twisted, and tantalizing tale of drugs, sex, love, loss, and hope.
This time, the style of the book is tailored after movie-esqe terms (like "flash forward" and "jump cut"), giving the text a cinematic quality that works well with the subject matter (it also, for you literature fans, makes for a far more subtle metaphor than you'd expect). The flashbacks and the dialogue and the incidents with Shannon's parents and modeling peers are all as well-crafted as an insightful and hilariously filmed movie scene.
Some of the reviewers here complain about the "soap opera" quality of the book, to which I say, "go read the funny pages." There are, true, melodramatic moments, but they are well-honed, well-placed, and, by God, necessary. The story's many threads tie together neatly and superbly by the film's violent and firey conclusion, and true to Chuck's form (with the exception of Choke), not a word of the book is extraneous or unnecessary.
Other people complain that the novel doesn't answer the question it poses, nor does it rise above the subject matter it scorns. Although I will concede that these statements are half-true, they are simply part of Palahniuk's form, and for his audience, part of his charm. If you want someone to deliver polite and pat answers, then read, I don't know, Danielle Steel.
Besides, Palahniuk does offer solutions--he just makes you search for them, makes you assemble them on your own. Neither does he treat his subject matter with wishy-washy ambivalence, but with unflinching honesty and realism (although reading this book, you may find it hard to compare it to any kind of reality with which you're familiar). His spare, brutal, and beautiful writing clarifies the brutal and beautiful nature of his story.
So, if you want bite-sized literature with a sweet moral center, go somewhere else. This book is candy, sure, but it's the kind that gets all over you.
"Invisible Monster" reads like a screen play on steroids creating for this reader a movie theatre in my mind. I can totally see this as a film, Tarantino directing. It's a satisfying experience to encounter a novel with this level of dark humor and poignancy. This is my first read by Palahniuk but after completing the novel realized that I've seen a film base on another of his novels, Choke . Although I certainly know about the film Fight Club (Widescreen Edition) I didn't know it was based on a Palahniuk novel; I'm pretty sure that I'll read the book as I couldn't get into the movie. I'm glad for the introduction to this author and I'm looking forward to the next meeting
In a zany prose reminiscent of Candace Bushnell's 'Sex In The City' and the surrealism of Bret Easton Ellis's works, Palahniuk has written a twisted and sick tale of disfigurement, love, hate, and fashion here in Invisible Monsters.
Shannon McFarland's career as a picture perfect model was ruined the day her lower jaw was shot off while she was driving down the freeway. Her best friend Evie Cottrell steals all her clothing while she is in the hospital, and her fiancé Manus Kelley leaves her; but during her speech therapy classes she meets the enigma that is Brandy Alexander.
Brandy befriends Shannon, and together with friend Seth Thomas they set off on a wild cross country tour, viewing high end estates up for sale and stealing all of the prescription drugs from them. But believe me when I say, nothing is as it seems in this crazy story. You are in for several very big surprises.
Invisible Monsters is a book that is not about the plot, it is about the characters, and yet there are twists upon twists upon twists every turn of the page. Who is Brandy Alexander? Who is Shannon McFarland? Who is Seth Thomas? And who is Evie Cottrell? You'll just have to keep reading. Like me, you will probably wind out not caring about any of them, but they are going to make you laugh out loud with their outrageous plans and antics.
You'll have tears running down your face when Shannon's parents (in a flashback scene before her disfigurement) give her nothing but condoms for Christmas because her brother died of AIDS. And the conversation around the Thanksgiving table turns to graphic depictions of hinder romping while they cower in unnecessary fear because they support AIDS families. Be thankful these are not your parents.
Told oddly in a profusion of scene jumping, using the written word like flash photography, Palahniuk has written a psychotically offbeat tale that nonetheless will have you turning pages as rapidly as Brandy pops vicodin and estrogen. I found it strangely enjoyable and morbidly compelling, and if you like screwy and disgusting stories, you will most likely love Invisible Monsters. Enjoy!