Tuesday marked the arrival of the paperback version of Chuck Klosterman’s second novel The Visible Man. I long ago finished the hard cover version. Big fans like myself could never have waited this long to read Klosterman’s newest work. In fact, I actually WENT INTO A BOOKSTORE (which sadly but not surprisingly no longer exists) the day it came out to ensure I got a copy hot off the presses.
In an amazing coincidence (if there is such a thing as a coincidence) I had just (accidentally) read The Invisible Man and was well primed to read about a therapist who is approached by a man looking to deal with issues surrounding the fact he has the ability to be invisible. Their sessions start over the phone, continue in person (though invisible person) and things take twisted, mind-bending turns from there through the finale.
Chuck Klosterman, first and foremost an essayist, has always had an incredible knack for thinking about common things in an uncommon way. Or thinking about them SO much, SO hard that the original image or idea changes from over-exposure to his brain. That is the best part of his essays and magazine articles - and this novel. But this time he takes it too far for my taste. I loved traveling with him on The Visible Man journey, but I wasn’t thrilled with the destination.
If you aren’t familiar with Klosterman’s work, Shame On You! When you get out of your corner of disgrace please pick up Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs (if you’re currently between 28-40). If you’re into metal rock your first book from his collection should be Fargo Rock City. Everyone else should try Killing Yourself to Live. And anyone, everyone, should crack the spine of Downtown Owl, his lovely, light, atmospheric first novel. Now that you’ve got your summer reading list I suggest you get to it!