Chuck Palahniuk’s publishers initially rejected Invisible Monsters because they believed the novel was too perverse for the then mostly conservative American audience. Instead, the company published Fight Club, which was later adapted into a movie — wait… oops, forgot the rule: “don’t talk about fight club.”
While reading Invisible Monsters, it’s easy to understand why Palahniuk’s publishers refused to release the book: major themes include homosexuality, transexuality and every other “sexuality” you can think of. Primarily revolving around supermodel Shannon McFarland — who loses her stunning good looks in an unexplained (well, until the end) accident that leaves her without a lower jaw and a completely disfigured face — the story twists in every possible direction, passing by sensitive subjects like sex changes, pedophilia and drugs.
With a character list that includes Shannon’s gay brother who sets his head (and consequently his seemingly perfect life) ablaze with a hairspray can, and transsexual Brandy Alexander who fills her void life by visiting houses for sale to steal mind-numbing pills from the former residents’ medicine cabinets, this telling tale will have you laughing, tearing up and even making that “ugh” face of disgust.
From the glamorous opening scene of bloody wedding gowns and supermodels with guns to the last wicked twist of true Palahniuk fashion, the story develops interesting characters full of depth and proves that there is heart even in the most heartless of circumstances.
Invisible Monsters reaches the depths of your human soul, plagues it with insecurities and superficiality, disturbs your mind with the abused icons and the neglected pariahs of Shannon’s world and creates an enormous monster out of the tiny, almost indistinguishable (dare I say, invisible) fragment of your heart that still trusts in beauty, justice, equality and above all, redemption.