The Invention of Sound Book Review

Title: The Invention of Sound

Author: Chuck Palahniuk

Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Horror

Rating: 5 out of 5.

One Word Review: Heart-piercing

Warning: This book contains fictional scenes that depict child violence and sexual violence.

Once again, Chuck Palahniuk pushes our boundaries in his newest horror novel: The Invention of Sound. I’m a long-time Palahniuk fan. His work isn’t for everyone. He explores sensitive and controversial topics, which is why you’ll often find some negative reviews of his books. Palahniuk’s creativity and writing style often keep you confused until the very end when he skillfully brings everything together. But I’ve never read a Palahniuk book that I didn’t love, including this one.


Seventeen years have passed since Lucy went missing. Her father, Gates Foster, never stopped searching for her. New information leads Foster to Mitzi Ives, a second-generation sound inventor known for producing famous horror and violence sounds for Hollywood productions. The truth of what happened to Lucy will make your skin crawl.

Book Review

Like a fishhook, it sank barbs into the audience and became part of them.” – The Invention of Sound, Chuck Palahniuk

This quote perfectly describes the effect Palahniuk’s work has on me. Each book changes me.

What I liked: The violence depicted in this book has a purpose. It’s used to explore underlying controversy. I read a few reviews that cited “gore porn” as a reason they didn’t like or finish the book, and I disagree with such assessment. The violence is strategically used to move the story forward and to push the reader to question whether such a Hollywood conspiracy could exist. The violence isn’t the entertainment.

I enjoyed the characters, particularly Mitzi. Her internal conflicts are complex, and Palahniuk masterfully developed her. I wanted to help her all while rooting for her demise.

What I didn’t like: I can’t explain what I didn’t like without spoilers. All I can say is I don’t understand why Foster is okay with the future he chose at the end. I thought he had a strong moral compass.

Should you read it?

If you have already read Palahniuk’s work before, I highly recommend picking up this book. However, if you are new to his novels, I recommend starting with another book like Fight Club, Choke, or Invisible Monsters. Then, work your way into this one unless you are comfortable with reading violence.

But don’t just take my word for it. See what other readers thought:

© 2020-2021 Alexys Carlton. All Rights Reserved.

Published by Alexys

Hi, I’m Alexys. I love to write. I enjoy the process of finding the best words to express my points, emotions, and imagination. Alexys Writes is my personal blog, a place where I write about whatever I want and share it with you, my dear reader.

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