An expanded, radically refashioned “director’s cut” of a favorite Palahniuk novel...
Injected with new material, Invisible Monsters Remix fulfills Chuck Palahniuk’s original vision for his 1999 novel, moving a daring satire on beauty and the fashion industry even further into a wildly unique listening experience. Palahniuk’s fashion-model protagonist has it all - boyfriend, career, loyal best friend - until an accident destroys her face, her ability to speak, and her self-esteem. Enter Brandy Alexander, queen supreme, one operation away from becoming a bonafide woman.
Laced in are new chapters of memoir and further scenes with the book’s characters. Listeners will jump between chapters and have a second listen to understand the dissolve between fiction and fact, taking them on a ride they’ll never forget.
About the author: Chuck Palahniuk’s best-selling novels include Tell-All, Damned, Pygmy, Snuff, Rant, Haunted, Lullaby, Fight Club, Diary, Survivor, Invisible Monsters, and Choke. He is also the author of a nonfiction profile, Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon, published as part of the Crown Journeys series, and the nonfiction collection Stranger than Fiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.
©1999, 2012 Chuck Palahniuk (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Palahniuk’s stories don’t unfold. They hurtle headlong, changing lanes in threes and banging off the guard rails of modern fiction.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
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"Read the book or get the original audio version"
This is the only time I have ever rated the Overall lower than both the performance and the story because although the performance (especially Anna Fields) is quite good and the story is bizarrely entertaining and somewhat thought-provoking, this is a book that was totally meant to be read. From what I have seen on the Internet, it is not even meant to be read in electronic form (much less heard), but truly read in BOOK form - doesn't really work with Kindle either.
I chose this book based on a recommendation from a friend and did not check out what the differences might be between the Remix and the original and just assumed that the Remix with additional inserts by the author would be better. And, it may be better in book form but it is not great in audio form because this book moves not only back and forth through time, but back and forth through chapters. (Chapter 33 might follow Chapter 2, etc.) There are other "Easter Eggs" hidden in the printed version like a chapter that must be read in a mirror which you simply cannot experience through audio. The story is not presented linearly but you kind of have to piece it together like a jigsaw puzzle. It is a little frustrating in the beginning, but as you get the "border pieces", you start to get the hang of it and it is a very interesting way to get the whole picture. However, because the clues to the heart of the plot/characters come sprinkled through, it would be a lot nicer to have the print form of this to go back and double check on parts you have already read.
Apparently the Remix is Chuck Palahniuk original vision of a book that would not only challenge your thoughts on beauty, family, well-being, but actually challenge your reading ability, dexterity, and sleuthing skills. That might work with a book you hold in your hands, but it is kind of disjointed and unsatisfying in this audio version.
"We must never, ever be boring."
“All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
I admire what Palahniuk was trying to do here structurally. Dislocating the reader by organizing the chapters so they don't give you an exact idea, a hint, when the book will end is novel (it did kinda remind me, in some ways of those cheap "choose your own adventure" books I used to buy from Scholastic books when I was a kid).* Having the words in some chapters written backwards made my wife's vanity mirror finally useful to ME. And, I mostly adore Palahniuk's transgressive, PoMo, fiction shtick with his satirical insight into both the beautiful and the damned. There was no ONE big problem with this book and there were certainly moments of genius and moments when I laughed out lout.
But when viewed as a whole, with all of the satirical dancing, noise, and absurdity -- it just didn't work or me in the end. As the novel wrapped up, I was bored more than anything. It was like being lost in a carnival funhouse. For a few minutes it might be novel and may even BE fun, but the danger and threat of a sticky, almost wearisome boredom is real. I closed the book and just felt meh. So, that.
* This structural disruption, however, doesn't do much in the audio version.
“If I can't be beautiful, then I just want to be invisible.”
Chuck Palahniuk is a truly unique and twisted individual. He also seems to be a bit hit or miss with me. I have come to the conclusion that timing may be everything for a Palahniuk read.
Invisible Monsters has it all. Pretzel plotting, biting wit, uber-bizarre characterizations, scathing sarcasms, all wrapped up in a non-linear format that was either going to suck balls or be utterly brilliant. I’m going with brilliant.
Geesh piercing, Manus’s man mags, vaginoplasty, face eating birds, 46" of silicon glory, and The Elephant Man’s jazz hands. Flash!
“Wear a Veil. It's lingerie for your face.”
"Another hit for C.P."
I really enjoyed this book. I found it hilarious in that, "How the heck does he come up with this stuff?" sort of way. I laughed out loud quite often. (The scene with the Christmas stockings springs immediately to mind, so I guess it's also funny in that "Can you just imagine?!" sort of way.)
As other reviewers have mentioned, this book is all mixed up and out of sequence, so one way or another you have to work for it. I listened to about half of the recording just as it is recorded. That was fine. I was able to enjoy each chapter on its own and trust that I would eventually have enough information to be able to figure out what was going on. At about the halfway point, though, I decided to try to follow the jumps and listen to it following the directions.
At the beginning of the recording they give a link to a reader's guide for this book. I got that and printed it. I had also bought the Kindle edition at the same time as the audiobook, just because it seemed like a good idea. Between the three items, I managed to listen to it as the author intended. Even though I was listening to much of it over again, I still enjoyed it very much. But, as I said, there was work involved. You either have to listen to it all mixed up or do the jumping around as called for.
I notice Audible does also have the book as originally published without the jumping around. However, there is interesting stuff added to this book that is not in the original. There are three commentary units mixed up in here along with the story. The reader's guide refers to these as loops, and they are definitely that. If you follow the jumps in the male-voiced portions, the last chapter of each one leads you back to its first chapter. (The guide is very useful.)
So, which version you purchase will depend on how much effort you want to put into it. Either way, it's definitely worth a listen.
Highly recommended. I read the actual book a decade ago, but this was all new. And the remixing and mixing around chapters is both confusing and mindblowing.
The several times I got lost in the chapters. I had to earn this book.
No, but the best narration I've heard so far. Really brings the characters to life.
"Incredible.. as always.. thanks Chuck!"
A nice little arrangement of a great anti-fairy tale. The most quotable book I've ever read.
Quite possibly the most screwed up piece of literature I’ve ever read, this novel is a brilliantly executed train wreck from beginning to end.
"Not a good format for this type of book"
The chapter skipping. This does not work for me with an audio book. Most of my listening time is set it and listen. Bath, drive, while gaming. Needing to jump through chapters and sections does not work for this.
Performance was well done for what I sat through.
Wishing I would have paid a little more attention to the format. I assumed the chapter jumping was done in-line, something like Momento. Not so. Waste of a credit for me.
I loved this book since ur came out. The new version even more. All the jumping makes it more interesting.
"In love but not for the drive"
I absolutely loved this story!!! Unfortunately the interactive nature of it means you have to stop what you're doing and change chapters...not recommended for driving, falling asleep to, or listening to any time that you can't stop and change the chapter. Other than that.. Great story.. Captures the attention and leaves you wanting more and more and more
"The shuffled chapter format doesn't work in audio "
the author's gimmick makes the book insane to follow as an audiobook. my hands aren't always free as I'm listening and having to open the app at the end of every chapter to jump to a new one isn't a pleasant reading experience. Do not purchase.
""Birds ate my face""
Revisiting a classic Palaniuk story with some additional material and brief behind the scenes on the book and some chapters.
Wacky and 'out there' story which asks and foreshadows questions and themes in todays society. Also a great performance by narrator.
That'd be telling! just know; if you follow the story correctly by going to the chapter/track you're told to go to at the end of the chapter, the story will make waaaaay more sense quicker, and it's twists and turns will be more rewarding.
correct track/chapter order here: http://www.blackstoneaudio.com/docs/6858.pdf
My 5 star rating for performance solely lands on the original versions performer "Anna Fields", she embodies each role; making it her own and overall; making the listening experience so much more entertaining and special. I wish they'd gotten her back for the extra material but Palaniuk and Paul do an okay job.
Yes. Some very thought provoking quotes,scenes and themes are in this story. Especially if you're a part of the LGBT community. Heck, even if you've had a big change in your life or feel like something is wrong or missing, this book will help you find it or move on. You'll relate to, laugh with - and love these characters in some way. I'm impressed how the book deals with these themes without becoming a 'killjoy'. A very impressive balance of reality and dark comedy.
I believe the original audiobook has the chapters/story all in order, so you don't have to keep changing the track at the end of each chapter, Though you will miss out on the extra content 'remix' has to offer (but the extra contents is not essential to the whole original plot)
again, If you do purchase this version, look at/copy this link to see the correct chapter/track order: http://www.blackstoneaudio.com/docs/6858.pdf
Why isn't this a Tv series or Movie?!
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