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Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
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's review
Oct 21, 07

bookshelves: advisory07-08
Read in January, 2007

Pages: 200+

So, it's safe to say that Chuck Palahniuk owns my soul. Not even a little bit of it. The whole thing.
Invisible Monsters blew my mind. I spent a good chunk of the book stuck in confusion and my mind felt like it had just been exposed to the trippiest thing ever. But, as I like to think, what is a Chuck Palahniuk story without mental mind trips and without confusion? It is not a Chuck Palahniuk story at all!

Right off the bat Palahniuk leaves his print by introducing a set of characters in the strangest, craziest way possible. In technicality, there is a beginning and an end, but to a reader there's no formal structure at all. Which works great for the story. The reader is pulled from the "beginning" to before the beginning to the middle to a house in who-knows-where to the pre-beginning again to the middle to the beginning to the end.
If you don't plan on reading this book all in one sitting, don't start reading it. Chances are you'll just end up confusing yourself more, and who wants that?

Repetition, my favorite Palahniuk weapon, is used intensely in the story. Me being a big fan of repetition, especially Chuck-style, thought this was a great story enhancer.

Bottom line is, I expect no one to finish reading this review because I expect everyone to be outside buying this book already.
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Quotes Alexis Liked

Chuck Palahniuk
“Parents are like God because you wanna know they're out there, and you want them to think well of you, but you really only call when you need something.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

Chuck Palahniuk
“All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

Chuck Palahniuk
“When did the future switch from being a promise to being a threat?”
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

Chuck Palahniuk
“When we don't know who to hate, we hate ourselves.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

Chuck Palahniuk
“My mom says, "Do you know what the AIDS memorial quilt is all about?"
Jump to how much I hate my brother at this moment.
I bought this fabric because I thought it would make a nice panel for Shane," Mom says. "We just ran into some problems with what to sew on it."
Give me amnesia.
Give me new parents.
Your mother didn't want to step on any toes," Dad says. He twists a drumstick off and starts scraping the meat onto a plate. "With gay stuff you have to be so careful since everything means something in secret code. I mean, we didn't want to give people the wrong idea."
My Mom leans over to scoop yams onto my plate, and says, "Your father wanted a black border, but black on a field of blue would mean Shane was excited by leather sex, you know, bondage and discipline, sado and masochism." She says, "Really, those panels are to help the people left behind."
Strangers are going to see us and see Shane's name," my dad says. "We didn't want them thinking things."
The dishes all start their slow clockwise march around the table. The stuffing. The olives. The cranberry sauce. "I wanted pink triangles but all the panels have pink triangles," my mom says. "It's the Nazi symbol for homosexuals." She says,"Your father suggested black triangles, but that would mean Shane was a lesbian. It looks like female pubic hair. The black triangle does."
My father says, "Then I wanted a green border, but it turns out that would mean Shane was a male prostitute."
My mom says, "We almost chose a red border, but that would mean fisting. Brown would mean either scat or rimming, we couldn't figure which."
Yellow," my father says, "means watersports."
A lighter shade of blue," Mom says, "would mean just regular oral sex."
Regular white," my father says, "would mean anal. White could also mean Shane was excited by men wearing underwear." He says, "I can't remember which."
My mother passes me the quilted chicken with the rolls still warm inside.
We're supposed to sit and eat with Shane dead all over the table in front of us.
Finally we just gave up," my mom says, "and I made a nice tablecloth out of the material."
Between the yams and the stuffing, Dad looks down at his plate and says, "Do you know about rimming?"
I know it isn't table talk.
And fisting?" my mom asks.
I say, I know. I don't mention Manus and his vocational porno magazines.
We sit there, all of us around a blue shroud with the turkey more like a big dead baked animal than ever, the stuffing chock full of organs you can still recognize, the heart and gizzard and liver, the gravy thick with cooked fat and blood. The flower centerpiece could be a casket spray.
Would you pass the butter, please?" my mother says. To my father she says, "Do you know what felching is?”
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
tags: sex

Chuck Palahniuk
“The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

Chuck Palahniuk
“Give me lust, baby.
Give me malice.
Give me detached existentialist ennui.
Give me rampant intellectualism as a coping mechanism.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

Chuck Palahniuk
“Sorry, mom.
Sorry, God.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

Chuck Palahniuk
“We went sailing one time, and he wore a Speedo, and any smart woman should know that means bisexual at least.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

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