The Invention Of Sound: Chuck Palahniuk
Reviewed By Justin M. Woodward
Anyone who knows me knows I would have never become a writer without the influence the works of Chuck Palahniuk have had on me over the years. It goes all the way back to high school for me. I’d not really been into reading for a long time, after having grown up attached to a book at all times. A friend handed me his used copy of Fight Club and I was blown away. I went on to consume his classic works: Choke, Survivor, and, Invisible Monsters.
The thing about Chuck (and this isn’t just my assessment, but comes straight from the man himself) is that he fell off a bit when he got all the money, the success. He lost his drive, his motivation (one only need to attempt to read Damned and its even-harder-to-swallow sequel, Doomed. However, Chuck was the victim of theft, and left broke. The worst part: the theft had come from someone within his team. But Chuck used this drive to get back on the horse, and The Invention of Sound, I’m happy to report, is a glorious return to form.
I’m actually astonished at how many of my peers tell me they’ve never read a Palahniuk book. Maybe it’s his covers, his marketing, or something else entirely that keeps them away. But I’m here to tell you folks, this one is straight up, old school Hollywood horror. There are plenty of callbacks to horror films of old, there’s gruesome torture and murder (a lot of which happens off the page) and one of the most devious villains I’ve seen in a long time.
The story actually surprised me with how much it reminded me of some of my own works, which, as I’ve said before, wouldn’t even exist without Palahniuk. Fans of The Variant will notice similarities with the storyline of Gates Foster, who is described as a “dad-shaped” office worker who has been on a seventeen-year mission to find his abducted little daughter, Lucinda. Fans of Rotten Little Things will see similarities in Mitzi Ives, a foley artist who drugs herself into oblivion while she creates her masterpieces. Viewed by Hollywood insiders as the best in her field, Mitzi’s life work is creating the perfect scream.
I don’t want to spoil any of this exciting, twist-filled storyline. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of Chuck Palahniuk, or you’re thinking of checking out his work, this book ticks that box.
The Invention Of Sound
Chuck Palahniuk returns with the chilling tale, in classic Palahniuk tradition, of a father in search of his daughter, a young woman with a secret, and a malicious recording that can make “the whole world scream at the exact same time.”
Private detective Foster Gates is a father is in search of his missing daughter, and sound engineer Mitzi harbors a secret that may help him solve the case. It’s Mitzi’s job to create the dubbed screams used in horror films and action movies. She’s the best at what she does.
But what no one in Hollywood knows is the screams Mitzi produces are harvested from the real, horror-filled, blood-chilling screams of people in their death throes–a technique first employed by Mitzi’s father and one she continues on in his memory–a deeply conflicted serial killer compelled beyond her understanding to honor her father’s chilling legacy.
Soon Foster finds himself on Mitzi’s trail. And in pursuit of her dark art, Mitzi realizes she’s created the perfect scream, one that compels anyone who hears it to mirror the sound as long as they listen to it–a highly contagious seismic event with the potential to bring the country to its knees.
Justin M. Woodward
Justin M. Woodward is a dark fiction author from Headland, Alabama. He has released several books and has appeared in anthologies alongside names like King and Gaiman.
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