Invisible Monsters is a 1999 novel by about a beautiful fashion model. Despite her awful past and family difficulties, continues to be widely successful, and even holds down a relationship with a handsome detective. That is, until and her entire lower jaw is blown off in a drive-by shooting.
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.
Palahnuik forces us to consider the nature of beauty and what it means to truly be oneself. This is not a new theme for the author--in fact, Invisible Monsters was his first novel--but it remains an important one. Palahnuik creates characters who I am strangely drawn to as a reader, and it can be painful to watch them self-destruct over the course of his pages. Interestingly, however, (and perhaps because I've read more of his works, which have bleaker endings) I found this one more uplifting than I had originally mentioned it, with a slight chance for some salvation at the end. And while it may seem depressing to indicate that the only true way to be who you are is to construct your own reality, I take it back to the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure motif; Make your own way, and you'll be OK.
In other media, especially Television, an Invisible Monster is used to save budgets for more outlandish monsters. Often, they are accompanied by creepy noises or music that alerts the Audience to their presence. Done poorly they can be , done right, terrifying.