Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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.
New York Times bestselling author of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs and Downtown Owl, "the Ethicist" of the New York Times Magazine, Chuck Klosterman returns to fiction with his second novel--an imaginative page-turner about a therapist and her unusual patient, a man who can render himself invisible.
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.
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.