Invisible Monsters Remix

On Monday, Chuck Palahniuk released his newest book Invisible Monsters Remix.

This is an enhanced re-release of his third published novel originally released in 1999. Despite being his third published, it was actually the first full novel Palahniuk had ever written. He originally shopped it around to publishers, but they didn't like the characters, and thought the story was over the top. He wrote Fight Club as a response to their rejections, and it became his first published novel.

After Fight Club and Survivor, Palahniuk had a successful track record with his publisher, and they gave the go ahead for Invisible Monsters. It had been years since he had written the book, and he felt disingenuous releasing a full-fledged hardcover edition, so it was only ever released in paperback form. It was his only book to not have a hardcover edition.

Fans have been requesting and petitioning Chuck for a hardcover version of the book, and this week they finally got it. And it has a lot more, too. The original book has 27 chapters of linear story, while Remix has 42 chapters of non-linear story.

Chuck wanted to book to have the feeling of a magazine. Most magazines break up their articles with the first couple of paragraphs in the front of the book, and dump the rest of the text near the back. You can start the book anywhere you want. And if you like what you're reading, continue to the next linear chapter, otherwise just continue to the next numerical chapter.

After skimming through the book, I noticed that the original Chapter 1 of Invisible Monsters is Chapter 41 in the Remix version, and the final chapter, 27, is now Chapter 21. The image above is from the end of Chapter 41 in remix. Even though, Chapter 1 has a nice start of its own, you'd be missing a single chapter in the whole story if you start there.

Also some chapters have mirrored text for some reason.

In typical geek fashion, I ordered my copy through St. Helens Bookstore, which is Palahniuk's favorite local bookstore. Leading up to the release of any of his books, he'll sign all copies pre-ordered through that venue. These are the same types of signatures you can find in the books when he tours around the country promoting them. But with Invisible Monsters Remix, he only toured to 4 cities, all on the west coast, so these signed books might be more scarce than his others.

Also, scattered throughout the book is random party glitter, some red stamped kisses, and "postcards from hell" promos for his newest novel, Damned, released last year.

I look forward to reading this one again. Especially since I barely remember anything that happened in the book. His first five novels all seem to follow a predictable formula. There's always 3 major characters: the narrator, the friend, and the love interest. There tends to be more character than that, but there's always these 3. All 3 of them tend to suffer from some kind of mental or physical illness, and eventually one of them dies.

All 5 of his original novels have them same tone as well. It's very dark, and gritty, and nihilistic with amazing detail into mundane activities. Calculative, efficient, and professional, but with a distance from reality and society. That's what really drew me to Palahniuk in the first place. His writing style is so visceral and atmospheric that I can lose myself in his story, and place myself in the character.

Over the years, he's tried to do things a bit different and break away from the molds he created. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. I think Rant and Pygmy captured some of his original magic, but some of his other novels have fallen flat with me. Snuff and Tell-All in particular were ones that I could not relate to at all. I still haven't read Damned yet. :(

But with Invisible Monsters Remix, he's up to 15 published books, and he has the two sequels to Damned yet to finish and publish. He works pretty damn hard. Each year, he has a new book published, so there's plenty material for his fans. His website, chuckpalahniuk.net, has monthly writing workshops, so it's not too difficult to get into contact with him, and all of his fanbase.




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