The Invention of Sound by Chuck Palahniuk

Title: The Invention of Sound.
Writer(s)Chuck Palahniuk.
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing.
Format: Hardcover.
Release Date: September 8th, 2020.
Pages: 240.
Genre(s): Horror, Thriller.
ISBN13:  9781538718001.
My Overall Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


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.

Thank you to Hachette Book Group Canada for sending me a copy for review!



36 thoughts on “The Invention of Sound by Chuck Palahniuk

  1. Haha, well if there is one thing I know: it’s that I’m definitely falling in the category of weird!😂😂 The premise does sound very interesting, but I also admit that what you describe about the narrative at times leaving readers confused as to what’s going on, has me slightly worried. Then again, if you say that’s alleviated again by the rest, I might give this one a go😊 As usual this was once again a terrific review, and convincing enough to have me add it to my to to read list😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hahahah there’s so much to learn about humankind through their weirdness after all! 😀 I think it all comes down to how intrigued you are by the premise and if you’re used to what Chuck Palahniuk usually writes, to decide if this is one for you or not hahah I’m glad to hear that I convinced you enough to want to try it though! Thanks for reading, Michel! 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, this sounds like a journey into Hell for readers, but also an intriguing one, and I believe it will illustrate the reason why it’s much easier to deal with imaginary monsters than with the darkness many hide under their skin… From your words it does not look like an easy read, but I’m certain it might prove very fascinating. Thank you so much for sharing this! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for posting another great review, Lashaan.

    I want to apologize about my last comment, while trying to come up with something interesting to say, now that I re-read it, seemed kind of insensitive and brash, so if it came off that way – I apologize!! 🤠

    Have a marvelous day. -S.D.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One thing I like about his books are the covers! They’re always catchy! I guess I’m gonna give this a miss seeing how it can get a little confusing in the middle 😅 Glad you enjoyed this, Lashaan! Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve yet to read anything by Palahniuk though Fight Club has been highly recommended to me (both book and movie). Do you think I’d be better off starting my Palahniuk journey with that, or something like this one? And if you think Fight Club would be a better place would you tackle the book first then the movie, which would be my first inclination, or the reverse? Great review, by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d always recommend Fight Club first to anyone who wants to read Mister Palahniuk’s books and then to move on to other of his hits! If you haven’t seen the movie already and can be patient about it, then I’d recommend checking out the book first but the movie will give you a whole different viewing experience, however. I like to see those two as two distinct tales too, especially in how it all ends. Hope you get around to trying your first Palahniuk soon, my friend! 😀 Thanks for reading!


  6. As much as I enjoyed the movie Fight Club, I’ve never been tempted to read anything by this author (notice how I cleverly skirted around the issue of actually trying to spell his name without a copy/paste?) and no review for any of his works, by anyone, have ever tempted me. Not even this one 😀

    Glad you enjoyed it so much but it’s a hard pass for me…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Worried about the second part that you mentioned.
    I remember this book jumping out at me at Barnes and Noble a while back. Too much pink on the cover. But a cool watermelon concept. It seems to be “too popular” for me to want to pick up. I’m not a fan of hype.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t really think that it’s “too popular” though. I find that writer Chuck Palahniuk has been on a pretty bad streak lately; I’ve been hearing from many other readers that he didn’t really have much of a groove too. I could also tell from his Fight Club 3 graphic novel that earned a good ol’ 1 star from me.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s