Austin, Texas. Therapist Victoria Vick is contacted by a cryptic, unlikable man who insists his situation is unique and unfathomable. As he slowly reveals himself, Vick becomes convinced that he suffers from a complex set of delusions: Y__, as she refers to him, claims to be a scientist who has stolen cloaking technology from an aborted government project in order to render himself nearly invisible. He says he uses this ability to observe random individuals within their daily lives, usually when they are alone and vulnerable. Unsure of his motives or honesty, Vick becomes obsessed with her patient and the disclosure of his increasingly bizarre and disturbing tales. Over time, it threatens her career, her marriage, and her own identity.
Interspersed with notes, correspondence, and transcriptions that catalog a relationship based on curiosity and fear, The Visible Man touches on all of Chuck Klosterman’s favorite themes: the consequence of culture, the influence of media, the complexity of voyeurism, and the existential contradiction of normalcy. Is this comedy, criticism, or horror? Not even Y__ seems to know for sure.
©2011 Chuck Klosterman (P)2011 Simon & Schuster, Inc.
The reading of Victoria threw me off. She seemed to decide that her character would take pensive pauses while speaking. This happened throughout the entire book. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that there was a pause in every sentence she spoke. She even paused to collect her thoughts when reading. She paused as if... trying to think of... the right word... even when the word was... common.
Overall, the book was interesting. I enjoy Klosterman's social commentary. The story was interesting enough, even though it was forced. I do not enjoy stories in which the characters have no redeeming qualities. That is why I always bail on the anti-hero television shows that are popular today. Y is an arrogant loser who uses his intelligence to justify completely unacceptable behavior. Victoria is a door mat who does not use her intelligence for any purpose. Everybody is worse off than when the story started. The end.
There was the potential for some statement to be made about surveillance by the NSA and the need for a right to privacy, but if it was intended at all, the author left it as just an inference. I kept feeling like the story would lead me somewhere, but it never did.
I just listened to The Visible Man during my Thanksgiving travels and can't stop thinking about it. Klosterman's essays are usually quite funny and entertaining, but the two novels I have listened to (this and Downtown Owl) are filled with sadness and isolation in a most entertaining way. While some of Y's stories are funny, the overall story seems to be an haunting observation of self.
The alternating narrators were utterly fantastic, and the variations in Y's voice based on his current state were chilling.
The ending feels pretty open, like a Twilight Zone episode or a Stephen King short story, which I always enjoy.
I'm currently listening to it a second time, not too unusual for me, and I am hooked.
This book has interesting ideas, but the end was a dud for me.
Snuff by Terry Prachet
I like the two different voices for this book, as it was definitely a two sided story.
It made me think about different points of view.
The main idea was interesting, but the application of that idea was not as fulfilling as it could have been, and the ending fell flat for me.
I listened through to the very end. This book goes nowhere with a very interesting premise.Don't waste you time on this one.
I'm sure it is a good story, but I couldn't get past what seemed anti-social traits of the main character to finish the story. Just not to my liking.
The story, the performance of the readers, and the ability of Klosterman to reach out to a new medium for him, but still retain his sensibility.
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