Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palanhiuk

Invisible Monsters: Beauty and Gender

There are enough revealations in this book that spoilers are inevitable. If you haven’t read it, it’s a great and unique perspective on how gender interacts with beauty, and what beauty does to both men and women.


How many books start with a three women and a man and end with three men and a woman? Beauty in this book, the fetishized female form, is the villain. And ever single character is slave to it, to desire. Every character transforms themselves because of beauty, abandons their old lives in favor of a new beautiful life.

The drag queens are beautiful women, who relish sex with men. Their trans natures are complete surprises to the other characters, something they deliberately work to accomplish.

And beauty, once attained, is a curse. The only character who did not have to undergo endless surgery to become beautiful destroyed her own face. Beauty made her life something revolting, so she destroyed it. The other characters desperately seek beauty, they want to possess and embody it.

Basically, this book is as much a mindfuck as any Palahniuk novel, and if you want all your modern ideas of beauty challenged, read it.


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