Wintersalen Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    On the Table | November 9, 2014

    Tracey T.: IMG New Cookbooks for October and November: Potluck Time!



    October/November is a favorite time in our offices. These are the months when scads of cookbooks are released, a deluge of cookbooks, a tornado of... Continue »

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$9.95
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
2 Burnside Literature- A to Z
2 Hawthorne Literature- A to Z

More copies of this ISBN

The Visible Man

by

The Visible Man Cover

ISBN13: 9781439184462
ISBN10: 1439184461
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the provocative cultural commentator and author who "makes good, smart company" (The New York Times) comes an imaginative page-turner about a therapist and her unusual patient — a man who can render himself invisible.

Austin, Texas therapist Victoria Vick has been contacted by a man who believes his situation is unique. But as he reveals himself to her slowly and cryptically, she becomes convinced that he suffers from a complex set of delusions. Y_, as she refers to him, is a scientist who has been using cloaking technology from an aborted government project to render himself nearly invisible. He uses this ability to sit and observe individuals in their daily lives, usually while they are otherwise alone. Unsure of exactly what, or how much, to believe, Vick becomes obsessed with her patient and his disclosure of increasingly bizarre and disturbing tales. Ultimately, Vick's interactions with Y_ threaten her career, her marriage, and her well-being.

Interspersed with notes, correspondence, and transcriptions that catalog a relationship based on uncertainty, curiosity, and fear, The Visible Man touches on all of Klosterman's favorite themes — from interaction with pop culture and the influence of media to issues of voyeurism, normalcy, and reality — and is sure to delight his ever-growing legion of fans.

Review:

"Klosterman's (Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs) deadpan humor is on full display in this tour de force exploration of intimacy and voyeurism. Austin-based therapist Victoria Vick takes on new client 'Y____,' as she calls him, a brilliant, cruel, troubled, and cagy man who refuses to see her in person or explain why he wants help. Y____ claims to be a rogue government scientist in possession of a stolen body suit and a light-trapping skin cream that render him ostensibly invisible. Sneaking into people's homes is merely 'a scientific endeavor,' he insists. Victoria is skeptical of Y____, but his creepy, riveting monologues about his observations draw her under his spell. Y____'s invasions are marvelously detailed; aware of the 'dim, undefined' shadow cast by his secret suit, he avoids 'walking in front of south facing windows during the afternoon.' Klosterman layers on the formal virtuosity by presenting his novel as an early draft of a book about Y____ that Victoria has assembled from notes, voice mails, and session transcripts. Although the narrative resolution lacks the inventiveness Klosterman brings to the form (Y____'s motives are disappointingly conventional), this novel is still strikingly original, a vibrant mix of thriller, sci-fi, and literary fiction genres. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Chuck Klosterman is the New York Times bestselling author of Eating the Dinosaur; Downtown Owl; Chuck Klosterman IV; Killing Yourself to Live; Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs; and Fargo Rock City, winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. He has written for GQ, Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Spin, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Believer, A.V. Club, and ESPN.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

lilianxcheng, May 13, 2012 (view all comments by lilianxcheng)
This was an intense read. The premise itself is compelling: an "invisible" man who goes around observing people. Yes, it sounds like he has some serious issues, but he is also the perfect anti-hero. Even if he is breaking into people's houses, and messing with stranger's minds, he is one intriguing guy--and he knows it well. If that's not enough to keep you flipping those pages, I don't know what will.

I picked up this book on a whim since I've read about half of Klosterman's nonfiction book, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto a few years ago (it was a fascinating and humorous, read but I had to return it to the library and haven't gotten back to it since.) Even in novel form, Klosterman still delivers his unique brand of wit and insight.

Although I found the novel addicting, I had to keep putting it down to digest what I just read.

Pace:
Perfect. There's enough explaining going on so you aren't left with a plethora of questions. But not too much scientific talk to make you fall asleep. Klosterman wrote in the perfect failsafe to counter that. Everything that sounds like a hassle to explain (such as the science behind the cloak) is gleaned over with "You won't understand anyway, so I won't even try."

Characters:
There are only really two characters that show up from beginning to end: the therapist Victoria Vick (aka Vic-Vick) and Y__ (the patient). It is obvious that Victoria is completely unhinged by Y__. Y__ is a genius, but also a egotistical jerk; he talks in a condescending tone, and he often disregards Victoria during their sessions. He knows he what he wants, and he sees through Victoria's intentions to analyze his every action. He is bold, and isn't afraid to "correct" Victoria, as if he turned the tables and he was the actual therapist in the house. He knows he is intelligent and constantly tells Victoria, that she can't possibly understand him--and he is right.

Even though I knew this guy was committing a crime by sneaking into people's houses, I liked Y__. Despite his questionable methods, he had a compelling motive: to observe people as they are. According to Y__, only people who live alone are truly themselves, anyone else is constantly presenting "versions" of themselves to others. Reading this made me think about myself, and I wonder what Y__ would think if he saw my "true" self, the me who sings along to embarrassing pop songs and constantly talks to herself in the privacy of my room (I promise I am not insane.) Surprisingly, none of the people Y__ observed talked to themselves...except this one delusional guy.

But while Y__'s character is developed, Victoria sounds like a stubborn therapist bent on categorizing Y__. At times, she is a frustrating character who has serious issues of her own.

There are times where I had to remind myself that The Visible Man was a work of fiction, that the characters weren't exactly trustworthy either. Y__ is a seeing a shrink, that's a gigantic red flag right there. I kept wondering why I wasn't skeptical of Y__, why wasn't I questioning the validity of this implausible situation like Victoria was, and why did I want to believe everything that spewed from his mouth. In many ways, I saw Y__ as Klosterman's alter-ego, wit, eloquence, attitude and all. And it was irresistible.

Ending:
There is a naked guy who blindly swings a hammer around.

The ending is one of the reasons that made the book excruciating; it was as if Y__ suddenly turned into a different person. He was no long the passive, composed guy I met earlier, but a stalker. A seriously creepy stalker. Imagine Edward-looking-at-Bella-sleep kinda of creepy stalking because hat's exactly what it was.

I was often conflicted when I reached the denouement.
While I wanted to finish the book to start another novel, I still wanted to devour more of Y__, his personality, his insight, everything. Every time I thought I saw the last of him, there's also a part of me that wanted him to appear again--and he did. At that point I was mad at Klosterman, Y__ was popping in and out of the novel like nobody's business. Although I felt Y__'s appearances a bit creepy, I also wanted him to keep showing up because he was so...interesting. I didn't want to read about Victoria, I wanted Y__. Victoria can just stay in her office.

Notable Quotes:
I am surprised how quotable this book is, I wish I read it on my Kindle so I could've highlighted him all instead of frantically flipping through the book as I am doing right now.

"So Bruce used the Internet to normalize his abnormal existence. As long as Bruce was engaged with his computer, it was not unusual to check and recheck his in-box, or to write and rewrite a single e-mail...One can easily fold obsessive self-absorption into the process of online communicating."

"...I think it took a mostly sad man and made him mostly happy. The degree of authenticity doesn't matter. Right?"

"She didn't even understand what freedom meant. There are convicted murderers with more freedom than Valerie."

"Most of the world is invisible. I wanted to see the visible man. That's what's happening here. That's really all it is."

On the back cover, Publishers Weekly calls The Visible Man "[A] tour de force exploration of intimacy and voyeurism...Strikingly original, a vibrant mix of thriller, sci-fi, and literary fiction genres," to which I wholeheartedly agree.

Without a doubt, this book will definitely be haunting me for at least a week, while I struggle to grasp the enormity of the situation this book just thrust upon me. If someone took a philosophy textbook and fused it with the entertainment value from a novel, and sprinkled it with wit, humor and attitude The Visible Man would be the result.

This book is easy to devour, but it also leaves the reader with much more to ponder about even after the last page is turned. This is extraordinary stuff.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
William Kennedy, October 4, 2011 (view all comments by William Kennedy)
Chuck Klosterman's second foray into fiction shows significant growth from his debut novel "Downtown Owl," which I found to be dull, repetitive, and pointless. I've been a fan of Mr. Kolsterman's essays for some time and find his insights into all things pop culture amusing and incisive. So, I was anxiously awaiting "Downtown Owl" when I heard he was publishing a novel. That book simply lacked his trademark wit and clarity of prose. For a metal head from North Dakota, he certainly can write. For those of you who share my disappointment with "Owl," rest assured. "The Visible Man" is far better.

Rather than rehash the plot, which you'll find summarized somewhere on this page, I will say that the book is a strange and wonderful trip with a man (a potential lunatic) who finds that being unseen provides him with an enormous amount of freedom. He shares his story with a somewhat incredulous therapist who wonders why this man has contacted her...and those reasons are later made surprisingly clear. For those who plan on reading the book, I will not say anymore beyond this; when all is said and done, the plot reminded me a bit of another Chuck...Palahniuk and his fan favorite novel "Rant." There is a fair amount of genre bending in this novel as well and the results might surprise even Klosterman's most ardent fans.

I am pleased that Klosterman chose to focus on a small cast of characters - mainly the man and his therapist, thereby enhancing the narrative and keeping tightly wound. This book is recommended for those of you who like your fiction fun, and well written. This novel is both.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Jonathan F, September 30, 2011 (view all comments by Jonathan F)
Told through transcripts of therapy sessions, emails, and other notes, Klosterman pushes the boundaries of what we consider a novel, while also writing an exciting and suspenseful story. Anyone who has enjoyed his observation of culture and society from his essays will love Klosterman's similar approach in this novel. Vacillating from the humorous to the bizarre to the uncomfortable, it also raises interesting questions about human nature and interactions. A wholly original novel!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781439184462
Author:
Klosterman, Chuck
Publisher:
Scribner
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20111004
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in

Other books you might like

  1. The Art of Fielding
    Used Trade Paper $7.50
  2. Nightwoods
    Used Hardcover $4.95
  3. Wildwood
    Used Hardcover $12.95
  4. The Dovekeepers
    Used Hardcover $4.95
  5. The Romantic Movement: Sex,... Used Trade Paper $6.50
  6. Damned
    Used Trade Paper $10.50

Related Subjects


Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Featured Titles
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books

The Visible Man Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Scribner - English 9781439184462 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Klosterman's (Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs) deadpan humor is on full display in this tour de force exploration of intimacy and voyeurism. Austin-based therapist Victoria Vick takes on new client 'Y____,' as she calls him, a brilliant, cruel, troubled, and cagy man who refuses to see her in person or explain why he wants help. Y____ claims to be a rogue government scientist in possession of a stolen body suit and a light-trapping skin cream that render him ostensibly invisible. Sneaking into people's homes is merely 'a scientific endeavor,' he insists. Victoria is skeptical of Y____, but his creepy, riveting monologues about his observations draw her under his spell. Y____'s invasions are marvelously detailed; aware of the 'dim, undefined' shadow cast by his secret suit, he avoids 'walking in front of south facing windows during the afternoon.' Klosterman layers on the formal virtuosity by presenting his novel as an early draft of a book about Y____ that Victoria has assembled from notes, voice mails, and session transcripts. Although the narrative resolution lacks the inventiveness Klosterman brings to the form (Y____'s motives are disappointingly conventional), this novel is still strikingly original, a vibrant mix of thriller, sci-fi, and literary fiction genres. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.