When your BFF ends up reading two or three books a week, one ends up with stacks and stacks of books in his/her family room, bedroom, bathroom, etc. In an attempt to work through my own spillage of generously donated books, I picked the top book on the pile, Chuck Palahniuk’s Invisible Monsters. The cover was intriguing, an ambigram, and this is the same author of the Fight Club, so I thought it would be a good read. I had no idea what I was in for . . .
In the opening scene, I am introduced to Evie whose blond/brown hair has been burned off, and all the clothing that remains on her body are the wire hoops from her wedding dress. Visual imagery at its best. What ensues is a complex, often vulgar and absolutely dysfunctional, tale of a brother, sister, her boyfriend, and her best friend.
Now this BFF Sarah mentioned above has introduced me to many a book I would never have picked up on my own, but loved at first read such as the Merry Gentry series by Laurell K. Hamilton (I love me some Frost). When I asked her her thoughts on Invisible Monsters, she replied she had abandoned the read after a few chapters. Ugh! I wish I had known . . . For me, though, I am unable to let a read go until completion. I must see it through to the end as I always tell my students because you can learn from books you both like and dislike, and you never know how it’s going to end until it ends.
After wincing through several portions of Invisible Monsters and learning from others, Palahniuk definitely introduces his readers to cultures of people not necessarily readily known. Likewise Palahniuk’s message about the emptiness of striving for idealized beauty and sacrificing all in the name of love came through loud and clear after a continuous roller coaster of plot twists. A definite thriller of a ride which I now need some time from which to recover.