Peter Derk's Reviews > The Visible Man

The Visible Man by Chuck Klosterman
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Nov 09, 11

bookshelves: reviewed
Read from October 26 to November 09, 2011

Klosterman has written some damn good stuff, and his last few have been awesome. Eating the Dinosaur was strong, and his novel, Downtown Owl, surprised me. Honestly, I was surprised I liked it so much, which probably means 50% that he did a great job and 50% that I shouldn't be such an asshat and go into books with such an asshat-y attitude.

As one might expect, the book is about an invisible man, but it's not really so much about him being invisible. It's more about him watching what people do when they're alone. Being invisible provides the only real opportunity to watch every move someone makes, which the character feels is the only way to really and truly KNOW a person.

It turns out that most people really and truly like to watch Law & Order and fall asleep in front of the TV, which is only slightly different from what they're telling us they do, which is watch the Wire and fall asleep in front of the TV.

The book's narrator and the invisible man are two separate characters. The invisible man is very Klosterman-esque. You can hear his voice a lot when he describes his surprising affinity for sports and his anger when people call him "invisible" as he is not actually invisible but merely far, far LESS visible.

The most enjoyable parts were definitely the descriptions of what people did while alone, character studies really, while the interactions between the main characters were...not completely uninteresting, but far, far LESS interesting.

It's fun as a thought experiment, but feels more like a "What would you do if..." conversation that's forgotten the next day as opposed to something you find yourself considering again days later.
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