Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
It is an elite cadre of authors whose materials I have loathed so much I couldn't bring myself to complete them. In fact, in 37 years of reading life, I can count their number on one hand. Today Chuck Palahniuk is breathing that rarefied air. I was so thoroughly sickened by the content of Invisible Monsters that I'm putting it down less than halfway read and you could not pay me to pick it back up. If it were my own copy, I'd burn it, that's how much I really hate this book. I may not have enjoyed the depiction of drug-using, drug-dealing grifters, but I can deal with that, even if their lives seem incredibly depressing. No the final straw (that not only broke the camel's back, but snapped it in twain with a single blow forcing me to put a bullet in its metaphoric head), was the graphically (and nearly literally) vomit-inducing detailed description (at Thanksgiving dinner, no less) of a wretched and revolting sex act that exists well beyond the bounds of depravity and that I NEVER needed to have in my mind. I wish I knew a way to target individual brain cells for destruction, but alas, technology has not yet pushed quite so far forward. In the meantime, I'll just have to drink myself into a stupor and hope those brain cells get caught in the backwash. (It would be worth the sacrifice pf a few memories.) (Just kidding.) (Mostly.)
In spite of the subject matter, Palahniuk is a very talented man and he does have a colorful way with the turn of a phrase. Even with the seemingly haphazard leaping from present to past to distant past to more recent past back to present again in a series of connected vignettes I had no trouble following the train of thought, and that's saying something. I'm only sorry that he chose to turn his talents to such prurient and degrading material as he did.
Others may not agree with me and that is their prerogative, but I am done with this book and would like those hours of my life back, please.
Reviewed by Amy Dobek