OK, so that’s one of the most fucked up pieces of literature I have read. And I mean that in the most positive way. Brilliant, yet totally insane, Invisible Monsters will haunt me many nights, while I dream of disfigured faces, gender transformations, types of condoms, and the complete process of turning your penis into a vagina.
Jump to the novel. I can’t summarize it without giving out a number of the twists that kept me staring at the page, numb and shocked. But let’s say it is about beauty. The benefits it brings when everyone stares behind you when you pass by. And yet the responsibilities it carries when all you want is to be invisible for a while. And all you hope is that someone will see you for what is present on the inside rather than what is being manifested on the outside.
Jump to Shannon McFarland, Daisy St. Patience or Bubba Joan, the protagonist that goes by many names had it all – a successful catwalk model with a career, a boyfriend, a dead gay brother from AIDS and an alienated family. A tragic accident takes away her jaw and together with it, her career and her boyfriend. Shannon McFarland, Daisy St. Patience or Bubba Joan is left with a dead gay brother from AIDS, an alienated family…and Brandy Alexander.
Jump to Brandy Alexander, the voluptuous woman whom Shannon McFarland, Daisy St. Patience or Bubba Joan meets at the hospital. The disfigured protagonist hiding behind a veil, the beautiful and promiscuous Brandy Alexander, who is in the process of her countless plastic surgery and Manus Kelley, or Seth, or the other names he goes under, set to travel the States. The unusual trio commits series of minor offenses while travelling the roads and the unusual relationship between the three is revealed. That’s when the massive fucking up begins.
Jump to why I keep jumping. Because that’s what Chuck Palahniuk does. The author jumps from seemingly unrelated events and at first it is difficult to follow. And yet it makes sense, in some really fucked up way. All of it does. Society tends to overrate beauty and those that are cursed with it, would do anything to free themselves, even for a while. And when the disfigured Shannon McFarland, Daisy St. Patience or Bubba Joan hides herself behind a veil, she feels free for the first time. Free to do whatever she wants without having to fulfill expectations. She no longer has to care how she dresses, what make-up she puts on, or how she strolls along the catwalk. She can be her monstrous invisible self without giving a fuck. Her unusual adventure with Brandy Alexander poses the inevitable question of how far we are ready to go for beauty and how much further we are prepared to go to get rid of it.
Jump to my first encounter with Chuck Palahniuk was the 1/2 read Fight Club and the movie based on the book. The twist at the end of Fight Club was unbelievable but the twists in Invisible Monsters are far superior. Strongly recommended and as a friend said, I really wonder why the don’t teach that at school.