The Invention of Sound by Chuck Palahniuk


After reading Consider This by the same author, - and loving it so much! - I wanted to give him another chance to shine and dive into his latest work: The Invention of Sound.

I will be honest here and say that this book is not for the faint of heart: Palahniuk delivers a riveting look inside the side of Hollywood we know very little about, how sounds in movies are made. But Palahniuk being Palahniuk, he goes beyond that and gives us a gory thriller that will give you major goosebumps of horror all throughout the pages until the very end.

The story follows two characters: Foster, a father who has been stripped away from is right to be a father when his daughter went missing and spends his life looking for her, convinced she's in the hands of bad people who only want to hurt her; and then we have Mitzi, who is forever on the hunt for the perfect scream to sell to movie producers, the kind of scream that could put the whole world to its knees but to do that, she goes all psycho and torture people under the effects of pills that make her forget everything.

And if that isn't creepy enough, you wait until you actually read all about how she performs her arts on her poor victims, going into details. Yup. Palahniuk is not scared of a little blood or different sorts of tortures that could make horror movies run in shock. But, for someone who actually enjoys splatter movies because they're a good laugh out loud therapy session, I actually loved Mitzi's psychopathic tendencies. 

In the meantime, Foster is tortured by the loss of his daughter so much so that he spends his time on the dark web, studying the faces, the hands of people involved in child sex trafficking, just in case he would run in some of them and have his revenge. This part is very unsettling, as we watch him go down the path of insanity, wondering if he's doing justice or he's just another user giving them the rights to continue abusing children. So if you're highly triggered by these kinds of topics, please be aware of it and probably pick another book. I have such a hard time with sensitive topics, especially abuse on children or women or honestly, abuse in general that I had to stop and go for a walk to clear my head. So be mindful of that.

As he gets closer to the truth, to his daughter, the two stories merge together in a very disappointing ending. I won't go ahead and ruin the fun for you but once Foster gets his truth, once he finds out what happened to his daughter - which, honestly wasn't even a mystery - he just stands there and helps Mitzi with her final plan without even blinking. For someone who has spent his whole life with a mission, with the desire of truth and possibly justice, he's so numb and still and even after finding out that the people around him that gave him comfort weren't what he thought they were, he did nothing to make things right.

It was typical, how a mere sound could lure people to their doom.

This book was wild, to say the least! I particularly loved the closer look at how sounds in movies are made - not the torture part, that, I'm sure, was all fake - because it's something that's rarely talked about and even though now I'm more aware of them whenever I watch a movie - and imagine how a specific sound has been made - it didn't take the magic away.

Overall a very fun read, even though the last part was a bit rushed and I expected some answers and possibly some revenge of some sorts, I think the whole psycho part was enough for me to give it a 3/5 stars, but just because it made me tear up a little bit at the end and I did not expect it.

Title: The Invention of Sound 
Author: Chuck Palahniuk 
Pages: 240 
Genre & Keywords: Horror Fiction | Thriller 
Publication Date: September 3rd, 2020 by Corsair 
Edition: *gifted Hardback 
Find it on: Goodreads | BookDepository | 
Chapter92 Rating: 3/5 ⭐⭐⭐
Quick Review: Man spends life searching for his missing child. Woman tortures people to record the perfect scream. The two meet in an uneventful, unanswered, disappointing ending.

*this copy was kindly gifted by Corsair but all thoughts are my own