Bookbed recommends: ‘Invisible Monsters’ by Chuck Palahniuk

by Kachi Parado

Give me a shotgun.

Give me new names.

Give me a new me.

There’s this theory that the first Chuck Palahniuk book you read will be your favorite. In my case, it’s Invisible Monsters.

Like with most of the books I’ve read, I had no idea what this book was about. I just saw quotes from it on Tumblr and was like, “Hmm, this is interesting,” then hit reblog.

Chuck Palahniuk is an American novelist known for Fight Club (read the book, watch the film!) and it’s been said that he wrote Fight Club to annoy his publishers more for rejecting Invisible Monsters as it’s “too disturbing.”

Invisible Monsters is disturbing, I have to agree. The book has violence, sex, drugs, profanity; it’s very dark. I, myself, was shocked with what I was reading then but I couldn’t stop turning the pages. I also read it during a dark period of my life, aka the graduation aftermath, which would make you think “That’s not a very good idea” but you know, in darkness, your eyes are persistently looking for the light.

This book was that light for me.

Give me story.

The narrator arrives at the hospital with her jaw shot open and while recovering, meets Brandy Alexander, a transgender, who then gave her a new identity and offered her, basically, a new life. Living this brand new life together, their past catches up to them, revealing that they share more than just a hospital agreement.

Give me change.

Invisible Monsters taught me to not be afraid of who I am or who I am becoming; the power of emancipation and change, that it can go as extreme as hurting even yourself just so to feel and be free; that pain is healthy, that it’s okay to be hurt as it teaches you completely different things you wouldn’t experience otherwise. Invisible Monsters helped me grow up.

I guess as far as “disturbing” goes, if it’s a kick in the chest and mind, I’m good.

The first and, so far, last time I read Invisible Monsters was three years ago. I’ve been meaning to open it again to relive the values I picked up (and highlighted, do you do that?).

“Don’t do what you want. Do what you don’t want. Do what you’re trained not to want. Do the things that scare you the most.”