Enlightening isn't the right word...


The Blog of Tom Webster

  2008-12-11 17:47:00 PST

But its the first word that came to mind.

Most of you have already witnessed a work by Chuck Palahniuk, most likely it was a movie, to most of you, it presented an interesting concept, a counter- culture of sorts. That movie was Fight Club. But you liked it because of the brilliant film making, the impressive cinematography, and the starring roles of two big-name actors. Most of you didn't know this was also a book. First a book. I'm not gonna lie. I saw the movie first, then I read the book. I'm not going to judge you, I'm not hypocritical, I did the same thing. But I'm not here to discuss that movie, nor that book. I'm here to tell you about some of Palahniuk's tales that you might have missed.

Recently I've finished Invisible Monsters by Chuch Palahniuk. No spoilers here. I just wanted to say that it is quite an amazing book. Its the type of book that you'll read two or three times just to fully grasp the concepts it throws at you. While Invisible Monsters shared some similar themes with Fight Club, both books stand alone in their own right. Both take a hard look at society, consumerism, and the daily grind, but each has its own story to tell and its own way of telling it.

This isn't your grandfather's paperback. This isn't your grandfather's world anymore, and Palahniuk's books perfectly represent that. Fight Club hooked me from the start, same with Choke, same with Survivor, but Invisible Monsters hooked me somewhere in the middle. Not to say that the book was bad, boring, or dry, it wasn't. I guess it just didn't have the same "Kick in the door" beginning that the other books had. Invisible Monsters is one of those books that you figure out all the twists half-way through, then it kicks you in the groin, tells you you're wrong, daddy never loved you, and then reveals what's really going on. Its an amazing book that looks at modeling, beauty, deformation, and individualism on an entirely different level.

Palahniuk's books are never about a happy person. Its always the person in the back row you'd never expect (This is an exception in Invisible Monsters, in the beginning, she is all but invisible). The person who you think is quiet and content, only to be thinking the entire time. You can't shut their mind up. They have a bleak view of society and humanity. And that's what kicks off each story. A person who isn't content. Or is it a person who is all too content? You'll just have to read and find out.

Regardless, all of these books are absolutely engaging, enthralling, and ultimately entertaining. I'm two chapters into Survivor (or is it two chapters out of Survivor?) and I'm already hooked. You know a book is good when you consider that it could be your favorite book of all time two chapters in.

Go buy these now.