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The Invention of Sound

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781472155504

Price: £8.99

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Chuck Palahniuk returns with the chilling tale, in classic Palahniuk tradition, of a father in search of his daughter, a young woman with a secret, and a malicious recording that can make “the whole world scream at the exact same time.”

Private detective Foster Gates is a father is in search of his missing daughter, and sound engineer Mitzi harbors a secret that may help him solve the case. It’s Mitzi’s job to create the dubbed screams used in horror films and action movies. She’s the best at what she does.

But what no one in Hollywood knows is the screams Mitzi produces are harvested from the real, horror-filled, blood-chilling screams of people in their death throes–a technique first employed by Mitzi’s father and one she continues on in his memory–a deeply conflicted serial killer compelled beyond her understanding to honor her father’s chilling legacy.

Soon Foster finds himself on Mitzi’s trail. And in pursuit of her dark art, Mitzi realizes she’s created the perfect scream, one that compels anyone who hears it to mirror the sound as long as they listen to it–a highly contagious seismic event with the potential to bring the country to its knees.


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
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
Chuck Palahniuk's stories don't unfold. They hurtle headlong, changing lanes in threes and banging off the guard rails of modern fiction... With his love of contemporary fairytales that are gritty and dirty rather than pretty, Palahniuk is the likeliest inheritor of Vonnegut's place in American writing
San Francisco Chronicle
Like Edgar Allen Poe, Palahniuk is a bracingly toxic purveyor of dread and mounting horror. He makes nihilism fun
Vanity Fair
One of the most feverish imaginations in American letter
The Washington Post
Dark riffing on modernity is the reason people read Palahniuk. His books are not so much novels as jagged fables, cautionary tales about the creeping peril represented by almost everything.