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Publisher's Summary

A father searching for his missing daughter is suddenly given hope when a major clue is discovered, but learning the truth could shatter the seemingly perfect image Hollywood is desperate to uphold.

Gates Foster lost his daughter, Lucy, 17 years ago. He's never stopped searching. Suddenly, a shocking new development provides Foster with his first major lead in over a decade, and he may finally be on the verge of discovering the awful truth. 

Meanwhile, Mitzi Ives has carved out a space among the Foley artists creating the immersive sounds giving Hollywood films their authenticity. Using the same secret techniques as her father before her, she's become an industry-leading expert in the sound of violence and horror, creating screams so bone-chilling, they may as well be real. 

Soon Foster and Ives find themselves on a collision course that threatens to expose the violence hidden beneath Hollywood's glamorous façade. A grim and disturbing reflection on the commodification of suffering and the dangerous power of art, The Invention of Sound is Chuck Palahniuk at the peak of his literary powers - his most suspenseful, most daring, and most genre-defying work yet.

©2020 Chuck Palahniuk (P)2020 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"This dark, humorous tale sparkles with the inventive details - including a scream powerful enough to crumble buildings - and provocative insights on the 'commodification of pain' and what it means to turn 'people's basic humanity into something that could be bought and sold.' The result is a wry, devilish delight." (Publishers Weekly)

"Palahniuk expertly balances skewering of cultural institutions with profound insights into the nature of authenticity and the myriad ways we become damaged. The sheer abundance of creative ideas buoyed aloft by the vibrancy of the prose signal a master storyteller energized by delight in his own ingenuity....After his foray into literary advice, Consider This (2020), Palahniuk's heralded return to fiction will galvanize his many avid readers." (Booklist)

What listeners say about The Invention of Sound

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good one chuck

I have read all of Chuck's books, this is my favorite one since doomed. seems more like a classic chuck than some of the more recent stuff

8 people found this helpful

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Short but Sweet..ly Disturbing

There must be something wrong with me ha because this guy’s novels disturb the hell out of me, but I seriously can’t get enough. This one was no different, albeit shorter than I’d wish. Great narration. Great story. Chuck strikes again.

7 people found this helpful

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Great Palahniuk

Excellent story writing. This story is on par with earlier Palahniuk books like Rant and Survivor. There were times that the narrator didn't pause between scene changes in the beginning. It is only mildly annoying, but gets worked out further in. If you're a fan of Chuck's, this book is required!

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A Pretty Good Palahniuk

While not at the same level of his best work, this novel is better than some of his most recent work. The story is solid and doesn't rely too much on being shocking or gross. Don't worry, it's twisted enough to satisfy fans. But it has more to it than that, which I appreciate.

3 people found this helpful

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Self Indulgent

Chuck lost his focus many books ago. His self indulgent writing just to show how clever he is, which is not really that clever, is tiring and hard to follow. This book is no different. This is just another book where he thinks he has a unique idea and he makes obvious observations that is supposed to shock. The characters are not likable. Chuck does not know more than his audience. He just rambles on splitting stories into rabbit holes that causes the reader to get lost and confused and then pulls them back in when a character’s name is said. Chuck is a caricature of himself. A falsehood of a style that shot him to stardom with Fight Club and then a handful of books after that. I cannot get through this book. I am done.

2 people found this helpful

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Palahniuk at his finest

I would say up front; if you can’t handle images of violence against children, skip this one.

Two character dance around each other with LA as a backdrop. One is a murderous drug addict; the other is an angry vengeful vigilante.

This book explores how and why we allow people to be hurt for our amusement. Why do we enjoy narratives that include horrific acts? Who is harmed in the making of these movies?

I couldn’t help but wonder how much this book is a take down of Hollywood after the revelations of Harvey Winstien and men of his ilk. It seems a good chunk of part two is a fantasy revenge against an industry that allows people (especially women and children) to abused and forgotten in the name of entertainment.

2 people found this helpful

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Not Palahniuk's Best

Where I usually hang on every word of Palahniuk's books I found my mind wandering.

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  • M
  • 09-20-20

Chuck is Back!

This book is apropos of chucks first 10 books. Not Pygmy, not Adjustment day, not Smut, this book reaches back to Chucks early work like Haunted and Lullaby. Creepy, wrenching, pure squeamish, The Invention of Sound takes the journey of a child-lost father and the Hollywood sound effects scene. It is amazingly quotable and, from start to finish, is full of Pure Chuck Dred. 5/5 welcome back Mr. Palahniuk.

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The naration of the book, pull down the story

The narator spits out the phrases, like there is no connection between them.
Chuck brought the same collection of broken characters as usual, but the ending doesn't have the usual catharsis. In fight club, the main character found peace when he realized that he was Tyler Dude also, in Suffocation when the main character lie was exposed. Here Forster, the main character remains angry

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return to form

This is a return to Classic Palahniuk, and Jefferson Mays does a wonderful job with the active, aggressive noir prose.

1 person found this helpful