Northwest Bookshelf: Chuck Palahniuk’s Invisible Monsters Remix

By Amanda Zurita June 11, 2012 Published in the July 2012 issue of Seattle Met

Thirteen years after the publication of Invisible Monsters, Chuck Palahniuk, the Pasco, Washington, native of Fight Club fame, releases Invisible Monsters Remix (W. W. Norton and Co.) in its originally intended form—mimicking the way the articles in a glossy magazine jump around. The first novel began with the final scene and skipped through time and space from paragraph to paragraph, but followed chapter-by-chapter conventions. This time around, readers are taken on a wild ride in the book’s rearranged chapters: “Now, Please, Jump to Chapter Nine,” instructs the author at the end of chapter 17. Just as in the original, the story follows a nameless, jawless gunshot victim and former fashion model as she seeks revenge on her best friend and cheating fiance. And, just as before, we meet transgendered Brandy Alexander, who helps the protagonist reinvent herself after the accident that left her mute: “Jump to” arson, prescription pills, and crystal-studded organza veils. The novel adroitly satirizes our culture’s obsession with perfection. All the page turning in Remix is confusing (intentionally) and will likely leave readers wondering if they’ve missed something (they have) as they search the pages looking for missed passages like buried treasure. By the end, one has to rifle through the book to find up to 10 unread chapters. Still, Palahniuk offers fair warning: “Don’t expect this to be the kind of story that goes: and then, and then, and then.” He’s right.

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