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Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk
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Haunted (2005)

by Chuck Palahniuk

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6,280134934 (3.41)116
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English (130)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (135)
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
REVIEWED: Haunted: A Novel
WRITTEN BY: Chuck Palahniuk
PUBLISHED: 2006

HAUNTED is a collection of short stories that, interrelated, compose the greater make-up of a full-size novel, as each story is the flashback of one of the characters. Chuck Palahniuk is best known as the author of “FIGHT CLUB” which became the Fincher masterpiece movie in 1999. HAUNTED is often lauded on the “best of” lists of modern horror literature. Coupled with the fact that I’m a Palahniuk fan, and I was excited to jump into this. Unfortunately, this book just didn’t work that well for me.

The plot revolves around a group of writers who become locked inside an abandoned movie theatre by their mysterious benefactor. However, instead of trying to escape, they each decide that the more horrific they make their own circumstances, then the greater story they will have to tell (and, by proxy, notoriety) once they are rescued. Thus, they destroy their own food, sabotage the heating and plumbing, and invent villains amongst themselves, almost like a “Lord of the Flies” for adults.

Each character’s flashback is a short story of itself, and Palahniuk doesn’t hold back when going through the gambit of the most perverse and horrific scenarios one would dare to imagine. Indeed, in the book’s afterword Palahniuk details how on a book tour, there was a rash of people who fainted after he read excerpts of the stories.

Although the book is a satirical view of culture and human motivation, I feel the author sacrificed absorbing writing for shock and absurdity. It’s very intelligent, but also felt “preachy,” and though the characters represented all different backgrounds, they mostly were each cut from the same cloth: selfish, troubled, and redundant.

What else can I say? Palahniuk is a master, and the critics adore this book. I just found it too self-serving and not the escape into imagination that I usually seek when reading fiction literature.

Three-and-a-Half out of Five stars ( )
  Eric_J._Guignard | Jul 26, 2018 |
I have liked all the books I have read by this author, so I decided to give this one a try. It was really difficult to read and disturbing, but also resonated really well in an emotional sense. It was very eye-opening to the condition of man, and human suffering and relationships, and what we are willing to do to get to the top of our game in our own lives, regardless of the cost to others. It's incredibly descriptive and gory, and the first short story has made people pass out during live readings. Words have never really had the ability to gross me out like that, but this one truly did. Read at your own risk! ( )
  MissWordNerd | Jul 14, 2018 |
My second of his in a short space of time, but I'm glad I read this, after the bla-ness of Fugitives & Refugees. This was sick, thought provoking, wonderfully dark, and really well written. I loved its format more than anything - how it was short stories but as part of a bigger picture. I just know some of them are going to come back to me for years - I'll forget that I read them in this book, & forever be convinced I knew someone who knew someone who knew someone who had their intestines sucked out of their anus whilst wanking at the bottom of a swimming pool... ( )
  SadieBabie | Jun 23, 2018 |
I think I will save my comments for later... ( )
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
One of the most disturbing things I have ever read. Ever. CP can write some seriously gruesome stuff! ( )
  SoubhiKiewiet | Mar 20, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
Palahniuk's always been hammy, but in the past, speedster plots and glossy prose salvaged the sitcom shallowness. Here, Haunted's wonky framing device tries to hold together 23 tales (and 21 accompanying poems) that would've best been served without garnish.
 
If books had aromas, this one would reek of "old potatoes melting into a black puddle under the kitchen sink."
 
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First words
This was supposed to be a writer's retreat. It was supposed to be safe.

An isolated writer's colony, where we could work,
run by an old, old dying man named Whittier,
until it wasn't.

And we supposed to write poetry. Pretty poetry.
This crowd of us, his gifted students,
locked away from the ordinary world for three months.
Quotations
The difference between how you look and how you see yourself is enough to kill most people. (Mrs. Clark in “Post Production: A Story by Mrs. Clark")
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385509480, Hardcover)

Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk is a novel made up of stories: Twenty-three of them, to be precise. Twenty-three of the most horrifying, hilarious, mind-blowing, stomach-churning tales you’ll ever encounter—sometimes all at once. They are told by people who have answered an ad headlined “Writers’ Retreat: Abandon Your Life for Three Months,” and who are led to believe that here they will leave behind all the distractions of “real life” that are keeping them from creating the masterpiece that is in them. But “here” turns out to be a cavernous and ornate old theater where they are utterly isolated from the outside world—and where heat and power and, most important, food are in increasingly short supply. And the more desperate the circumstances become, the more extreme the stories they tell—and the more devious their machinations become to make themselves the hero of the inevitable play/movie/nonfiction blockbuster that will surely be made from their plight.

Haunted is on one level a satire of reality television—The Real World meets Alive. It draws from a great literary tradition—The Canterbury Tales, The Decameron, the English storytellers in the Villa Diodati who produced, among other works, Frankenstein—to tell an utterly contemporary tale of people desperate that their story be told at any cost. Appallingly entertaining, Haunted is Chuck Palahniuk at his finest—which means his most extreme and his most provocative.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:57 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Twenty-three stories chronicle the experiences of people who have answered an ad for an artist's retreat, believing that they will find a peaceful refuge, only to find themselves isolated and trapped in a cavernous old theater.

» see all 5 descriptions

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