The man who brought the world Fight Club is back with a gripping new book, The Invention of Sound—and a few thoughts on the End Times vibe of the Age of Quarantine.
If there’s anyone creatively prepared to take on the chaos and plagues that 2020 has brought, it’s probably Chuck Palahniuk. After all, who better to discuss the end of society as we know it than a guy who’s written about the end of civilization—or at least certain portions of it—in a sizable chunk of his dozens of novels, short stories and comic books?
Since becoming one of the most prolific voices of the disenfranchised with 1996’s Fight Club, Palahniuk has steadily maintained his status as a must-read author for those who aren’t necessarily looking for a conventional happy ending. Over the last two decades, his novels have become the literary equivalent of the record you get from a friend’s older brother upon entering high school that defines your teenage existence—each book has found new ways to tackle subject matter that your parents would never teach you about.
But beyond the stylish quips and memorable pages of sex, violence, death, destruction, drug use and a surprising amount of genital mutilation, each story boils down to relatable (if insane) characters going through ridiculous trials as a means to an end. Palahniuk’s latest book, The Invention of Sound (out September 8 through Grand Central Publishing), is no different in that it features characters like Foley artist Mitzi Ives, grieving parent Foster Gates and post-prime actress Blush Gentry each looking for the one thing that most eludes them while navigating the slimy—and occasionally deadly—underbelly of Hollywood.
“I wanted The ‘Invention of Sound‘ to reinvent what I call ‘tableau horror.’ Think of films like ‘Seven‘ or books like ‘The Da Vinci Code‘ and ‘The Alienist.’ In each story, we happen across elaborately staged scenes where someone has been slaughtered.”