She's a catwalk model who has everything: a boyfriend, a career, a loyal best friend. But when a sudden motor 'accident' leaves her disfigured and incapable of speech, she goes from being the beautiful centre of attention to being an invisible monster, so hideous that no one will acknowledge she exists. Enter Brandy Alexander, Queen Supreme, one operation away from being 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 place you'll ever want to look. The narrator must exact revenge upon Evie, her best friend and fellow model; kidnap Manus, her two-timing ex-boyfriend; and hit the road with Brandy in search of a brand-new past, present and future.
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(198mm x 129mm x 19mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
A macabre fantasy, in which a deformed model is guided by a drag queen down the yellow brick road of her past to the Emerald City of her future - all dreamed up by cult novelist Palahniuk (Survivor, 1998) in one of his more baroque moods. There is a certain point in all bedroom farces and comedies of errors when you give up trying to figure out who's who and just go along for the ride. That might be the wisest strategy here. Our narrator is one Shannon McFarland (although she doesn't actually introduce herself until the very end), and she's a real mess, quite literally: she was injured in a mysterious shooting and has lost her entire jaw and most of her face. Oddly (or perhaps not so oddly?), Shannon's brother Shane was also disfigured in a suspicious accident when he dumped a load of trash into the fire and a can of hair spray exploded in his face. Shane eventually turned gay and was thrown out of the house by his parents, who later learned that he had died of AIDS. Shannon grew up, became a supermodel, and got herself engaged to Manus, a vice-squad detective who ditches Shannon after her accident and takes up with Evie Cotrell, a rich Texas bimbo who used to be Shannon's roommate and may have been a man early in her career. But never mind Erie; the one to watch is drag diva Brandy Alexander, who meets Shannon in the hospital and soon becomes her only friend. Brandy takes Shannon on the road, and - along with Brandy's boyfriend Alfa Romeo, who in reality may be Manus - the two steal drugs from expensive homes by calling realtors and posing as potential buyers. Eventually, Shannon discovers that Brandy is not who she appears to be, but by then we're ready for anything. Too clever by half a Chinese box of a novel fascinating in its intricacies but pretty hard to get a grip on whole. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Chuck Palahniuk
Chuck Palahniuk's eleven previous novels are the bestselling Tell-All, Pygmy, Snuff, Rant, Haunted, Lullaby, Diary, Choke - which has been made into a film by director Clark Gregg, starring Sam Rockwell and Anjelica Huston - Survivor, Invisible Monsters, and Fight Club, which was made into a film by director David Fincher. He is also the author of the nonfiction profile of Portland, Oregon, Fugitives and Refugees, and the nonfiction collection Stranger Than Fiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.