Title: The Invention of Sound.
Writer(s): Chuck Palahniuk.
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing.
Release Date: September 8th, 2020.
Genre(s): Horror, Thriller.
My Overall Rating:
We all know how terrifying humans can be. We have clearly established throughout history that we are the cruelest monsters living on Earth. But we might also be the weirdest of them all. In a hopeless and ridiculous attempt to appease our most basic or deviant desires, we are sometimes capable of doing some of the most extreme things in the world. Just take a look at some of the jobs that exist in the world. People seek talent where you least expect it and some people will do anything to be the best in the business. Best-selling author Chuck Palahniuk, known for his first novel Fight Club, returns to the front of the literature world with another book in his diverse array of transgressive fiction, this time figuratively forcing you to cover your ears, yet peak with your eyes at the disturbing lives of two odd characters who are on a collision course.
What is The Invention of Sound about? Gates Foster is a father who lost his precious daughter Lucy, seventeen years ago. Having never known any form of closure, he has developed an obsession with finding her, hunting down pedophiles if he has to. Eternally stuck in a limbo, doing everything in his power to cherish his memories of her daughter and imagining what she would be like today through twisted roleplay with a stranger who looks like her daughter, he is not ready for a new major lead that will send him down a terrifying path to potentially finding her. Meanwhile, Mitzi Ives is a rising Foley artist who has a peculiar talent in a business that makes her indispensable: she creates bone-chilling screams with secret techniques passed down by her father that give life to Hollywood horror movies like no one else can. While it might seem improbable at first, Gates Foster and Mitzi Ives are now about to cross paths and unveil a sinister secret hidden between the walls of Hollywood.
“After people had been fed so many lies they’ll never swallow anything as the truth.”
— Chuck Palahniuk
To pick up a story by writer Chuck Palahniuk is to concede to the fact that there is a deep-rooted interest in the twisted and perverted minds of individuals; it is to revel at the idea of exploring a cynical and grim facet of the universe where nothing is impossible. The story that unfolds here is one helmed by two relatively unlikable characters who each present readers with an uncommon yet somehow familiar world where individuals are hanging by a thread or driven by impulse. With a poignant and visceral writing style, writer Chuck Palahniuk does not shy away from explicitly detailing taboo ideas, constantly hopping from one trigger to another. Readers are thus introduced to aspects of these characters’ lives that they would never have imagined discovering alone and ultimately find themselves sticking around out of pure curiosity for their messed up lives.
Despite these characters being the driving force of the narrative, this short and fast-paced story remained a bumpy ride. The constant alternation between both points of view makes for an addictive and thrilling story-telling style that, however, sometimes leaves readers confused as to what exactly is going on. This is especially felt throughout the second/middle part of the book where the muddling of the narrative distances the reader from the chain of events. Thankfully, writer Chuck Palahniuk’s signature plot twists will alleviate the flaws and assure an entertaining tale filled with provocative elements and thought-provoking reflections on loss and pain, as well as a depiction of the pitiful lengths you would go to for art and power.
The Invention of Sound is a quirky and thrilling tale oozing with desperation, folly, and obsession.