By the Author of FIGHT CLUB
Chuck Palahniuk is the author of fourteen best-selling novels - Beautiful You, Doomed, Damned, Tell-All, Pygmy, Snuff, Rant, Haunted, Diary, Lullaby, Choke, Invisible Monsters, Survivor, and Fight Club. He is also the author of Fugitives and Refugees and the non-fiction collection Stranger Than Fiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest. Visit him on the web at chuckpalahniuk.net.
Palahniuk's grotesque romp aims to skewer the ruthless superficiality of the fashion world and winds up with a tale as savagely glib as what it derides. Narrator Shannon McFarland, once a gorgeous fashion model, has been hideously disfigured in a mysterious drive-by shooting. Her jaw has been shot off, leaving her not only bereft of a career and boyfriend, but suddenly invisible to the world. Along comes no-nonsense, pill-popping diva Brandy Alexander, a resplendent, sassy, transgendered chick, who has modeled her body rearrangementÄthe breast implants, the hair, the figureÄon what Shannon used to look like. Brandy suggests veils, high camp and no self-pity. Shannon wants revenge: first on her supposedly best friend Evie, who has been squeezing her size nine body into Shannon's size six wardrobe, then on her fianc‚, Manus Kelly, who has been running around with Evie. Since Shannon now believes that Manus and Evie orchestrated her "accident," Shannon rustles up a few arson/kidnapping "accidents" of her own. Then she learns that Brandy is actually her long-lost brother, Shane, who supposedly died of AIDS after his parents kicked him out of their home. (Since then, the McFarlands have become militant gay rights activists, trading on their "grief.") Amid the family drama, Shannon manages to exact her revenge on Manus by surreptitiously slipping him estrogen and enjoying his dismay at sprouting unwanted breasts. Adding to the plot's contrivances are the relentless flashbacks, heralded at the beginning of almost every paragraph with "Jump back to..." and the author's pretentious device of using a fashion photographer's commands ("Flash. Give me adoration. Flash. Give me a break") to signpost the narrator's epiphanies. Palahniuk writes like he's overdosed on Details magazine. Though the absurd surprise ending may incite groans of disbelief, this book does have fun moments when campy banter tops the heroine's flat, whiny bathos. (Sept.) FYI: The film of Palahniuk's novel Fight Club will star Brad Pitt. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Chuck Paluhniuk is on outstanding writer, who has never failed, in
my eyes, at producing beautiful novels... [Invisible Monsters]
never fails to shock as you follow the twists and turns of this
revenge filled novel -- Abi Donoghue * Pluto Online *
Maybe our generation has found its Don DeLillo -- Bret Easton Ellis
This is a wild ride of a novel * Booklist *
Palahniuk is one of the freshest, most intriguing voices to appear in a long time. He rearranges Vonnegut's sly humour, DeLillo's mordant social analysis and Pynchon's antic surrealism into a gleaming puzzle palace all his own * New York Newsday *