A REVIEW FROM MY COMMUTE: Invisible Monsters — Chuck Palahniuk | #Bizarre #Brillance

I’ve read Palahniuk before and I’ve always believed he has a way of twisting a story so that by the end of it, you’re not entirely sure what just happened. Invisible Monsters doesn’t disappoint in this regard…

InvisibleMonstersShe’s a fashion model who has everything: a boyfriend, a career, a loyal best friend. But when a sudden freeway “accident” leaves her disfigured and incapable of speech, she goes from being the beautiful center of attention to being an invisible monster, so hideous that no one will acknowledge that she exists. Enter Brandy Alexander, Queen Supreme, one operation away from becoming a real woman, who will teach her that reinventing yourself means erasing your past and making up something better. And that salvation hides in the last places you’ll ever want to look.

If you want to invest yourself into a book that will seriously mess with what you thought you once knew (in relation to the story of course), this is the book for you. It’s got a cinematic sweep to it where you can almost believe you’re watching a movie instead of listening to it. It was fabulous.

And if you thought Fight Club was a little twisted, or a lot twisted, Invisible Monsters delivers that same punch.

Rating: 5+ out of 5

A REVIEW FROM MY COMMUTE: Scavenger — David Morrell | #Thriller #Mystery

When I read Creepers by David Morrell, I knew I wanted to read more from him. When I saw Scavenger on the shelf, I immediately grabbed it and was pleased to learn it carried on the stories of some of the characters from Creepers. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem like life was getting any better for them…

ScavengerFrank Balenger, the resolute but damaged hero of David Morrell’s acclaimed Creepers, now finds himself trapped in a nightmarish game of fear and death. To save himself and the woman he loves, he must play by the rules of a god-like Game Master with an obsession for unearthing the past. But sometimes the past is buried for a reason. Scavenger is a brilliant, frightening hunter-hunted tale that layers modern technology over the dusty artifacts of earlier times. The result is a surreal palimpsest, one that contains the secret of survival for Balenger and a handful of unwilling players who race against the game’s clock to solve the puzzle of the time capsule, only to discover that time is the true scavenger.

Scavenger was a thrilling book filled with intrigue, puzzles, death, mystery — you name it! It was well written, easy to follow, and had such an inherent creepiness to it that at times, I felt I was being watched by the Game Master. If you’re into stories that leave you guessing, I recommend picking this one up.

Rating: 5 out of 5

A REVIEW FROM MY COMMUTE: The Returned — Jason Mott | #Mystery #SocialCommentary

Sometimes when I pick up a book, I’m struck by the title, or the blurb. Other times, it’s the cover or a favourite author. With The Returned, it was a little different. The idea intrigued me and as my own imagination whirred, I wanted to know where Jason Mott had taken the idea of this singular but life-changing event…

thereturned.jpg“Jacob was time out of sync, time more perfect than it had been. He was life the way it was supposed to be all those years ago. That’s what all the Returned were.”

Harold and Lucille Hargrave’s lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their old age they’ve settled comfortably into life without him, their wounds tempered through the grace of time…. Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep ― flesh and blood, their sweet, precocious child, still eight years old. All over the world people’s loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why this is happening, whether it’s a miracle or a sign of the end. Not even Harold and Lucille can agree on whether the boy is real or a wondrous imitation, but one thing they know for sure: he’s their son. As chaos erupts around the globe, the newly reunited Hargrave family finds itself at the center of a community on the brink of collapse, forced to navigate a mysterious new reality and a conflict that threatens to unravel the very meaning of what it is to be human. With spare, elegant prose and searing emotional depth, award-winning poet Jason Mott explores timeless questions of faith and morality, love and responsibility. A spellbinding and stunning debut, The Returned is an unforgettable story that marks the arrival of an important new voice in contemporary fiction.

So what did I think of The Returned? It engaged me from the first moment to the last one and felt as if I truly knew the characters and their stories. It really was a superb book full of heartbreak, joy, and everything else you’d expect in a classic. Pick it up — you likely won’t be disappointed.

Rating: 5 out of 5

A REVIEW FROM MY COMMUTE: Rant: The Oral History of Buster Casey – Chuck Palahniuk | #OralHistory #PartyCrashing

Before I share my thoughts, take a look at this synopsis…

RantRant is the oral history of one Buster ‘Rant’ Casey, in which an assortment of friends, enemies, detractors, lovers and relations have their say on the man who may or may not be the most efficient serial killer of our time. Rant is a darkly glittering anti-hero whose recreational drug of choice is rabies, and whose own personal Viagra is the venom of a black widow spider. He soon leaves his half-feral hometown for the big city, where he becomes the leader of an urban demolition derby called Party Crashing. On designated nights, the Party Crashers chase each other in cars in the hope of a collision, and all the while Rant, the ‘superspreader’, transmits his lethal disease…

Palahniuk has done it again. Another one of his novels has enthralled me with what seems like a random grouping of completely coinciding factors. I loved Rant, from start to finish — even in those moments where I was slightly confused, thinking I’d missed some major point that hadn’t actually been revealed yet. My love for strange epidemiologically twisted stories has been satisfied.

The story itself is told through the many voices of those who either knew Rant Casey or had the distinct (dis)pleasure to share breathing space with him. It was a brave undertaking but in this instance it works so very well. A highly recommended listen and read.

Rating: 5 out of 5