Chuck Palahniuk originally released “Invisible Monsters” in 1999, however the books was re-released in 2012 titled “Invisible Monsters Remix.” This time, Palahniuk got to keep the book the way he originally intended it, as a jump around book that makes you flip around looking for the next chapter. This way you don’t know where the story starts or ends. This also allowed Palahniuk to insert a few chapters of his own commentary outside of the story.
As a way to capture the stylistic format of the book that Palahniuk uses, these are the astonishing concepts and ideas that I found to be the most relevant …
Back to your childhood, where everything about you is based on how you look. A few years later all you want to do is change your path, change how you look, change everything and how people perceive you. All you know is you have to move forward and it has to happen now, so you blow your face off – with the explosion of big can of hairspray in your garbage can. However, things haven’t quite gone as expected and you haven’t gotten your new beginning yet.
Please jump to the moment in your life where everything is supposed to be perfect and you should be at the peak of your life. But you’re not, something is wrong. All you want to do is change your path, change how you look, change everything and how people perceive you. Sound familiar? What big mistake could you make that would change your whole life? You’ve finally figured it out when you’re on the side of the road about to blow half of your face off with a gun. No coming back from that right?
Please jump to after the incident with the garbage can. Your new beginning isn’t here yet, everyone is harassing your parents for child abuse, blaming them for what happened to you. You’re even approached by this fancy detective who says he’ll make everything go away for you and close the case if you do this one thing for him. So you do that one thing, and now you have an STD. And your parents find out, and they kick you out for being “gay.” Now what?
Please jump to the hospital, your face is nothing but stitches and the words coming out of your mouth sound like garbage, the only way you can communicate is by scrabbling words on pads of paper. And then you meet her – Brandy, and she’s perfection. She is everything you were before you blew your face off but no one knows that but you, no one knows what you did to yourself. And you plot to blame it on the two people who tore your life apart: your fiancé and your best friend. Those two cheating liars. And somehow Brandy will be a part of everything.
Jump to your life years later after evolving the way you look with the help of your three pals, the glamorous Rhea Sisters. They’d do anything for you. They’re the ones who called your parents and made up the story of your death from HIV. They’d even pay for your sex reassignment surgery. You meet this girl named Evie in one of your support groups who is apparently best friends with your sister. You have to go find her and you plan everything with Evie up to the bullet in your chest.
Please jump to your brother, your sister? Brandy, laying in a pool of blood and you’re kneeling over her. You admit everything to her and she’s not surprised by any of it, except the bit where you blew your face off. And finally you’ve realized this is it. Things cannot get even more chaotic. And you tell yourself that you’re done playing games, playing with people’s lives … playing with your life. This is your big mistake and now it’s finally time to start your life anew.
Now you’re laying in a hospital bed. You were just shot in the chest and that wasn’t supposed to happen. Evie was supposed to shoot at your bulletproof vest. The rest of the show was a success though. You wonder what will become of your life now. Will you really go through with the sex reassignment surgery? Is that really what you want? Could someone love you for the way you are right now? And you wake up to find your sister has left you her identity, given you a voice to make your own.
The concept of beauty is one that has evolved with our ever changing society. However when we actually sit down to define what exactly it means to be beautiful, what are we left with? The enormous impact that society has on what it means to be beautiful is staggering. What makes something beautiful? What makes something ugly? Palahniuk’s “response” to these questions is perfection.
In a way, he sort of destroyed the definition of beauty that society seems to have and blew it up in that trashcan. He shot it straight in the face with that gun. No matter how dramatic these events seemed to be in the moment of the story, they are truly a statement questioning the value of beauty.