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Haunted: A Novel by Chuck Palahniuk
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Haunted: A Novel (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Chuck Palahniuk

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5,556114777 (3.4)98
Member:alynnk
Title:Haunted: A Novel
Authors:Chuck Palahniuk
Info:Anchor (2006), Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:@wishlist: to read

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Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk (2005)

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English (111)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (115)
Showing 1-5 of 111 (next | show all)
One of the stories from this book is famous for making people very sick, so sick that when Chuck reads it to a group at one of his appearances, people have left, thrown up and been outraged. It's a great book but not his best, although that story and a few others from this book made the read VERY well worth it. ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
Quite simply the most disturbing book I've ever read.
  Daniel.Hale | Mar 14, 2014 |
I noticed a lot of people are assuming bad reviews are based on the fact the book is gross. I do feel this book is unnecessarily graphic, using shock as a gimmick at times, but the problem lies in the fact that these are supposed to be stories told by different people, but they are all written in the same Chuck Palahniuk voice. I do like this voice, chorus and all, but when you have several different, unrelated people telling independent stories, they should probably sound like different people. Also, the broad range from interesting to boring in the stories brings it down a notch. Three stars because I did really enjoy some stories, like Guts, despite the gore. ( )
  earthforms | Feb 2, 2014 |
I’m pretty biased toward being a fan of anything Palahniuk does. Just so you’re aware.

I struggle with short story collections. I like them to be all connected somehow, even if it’s just by theme, so at first I really liked the idea of a collection of short stories written by people at a writer’s retreat. It’s a good idea, but it’s not executed very well. The short stories are awesome! The connecting bits of narrative aren’t so much. Basically, the writers decide that they should spin what happens at the retreat to be as horrible as possible to help get a movie deal out of it after the fact. So they focus on twisting the facts and committing atrocities against themselves and each other to make for a better story. I totally got what is being said about writers procrastinating by making drama in their own lives instead of actually writing. I liked that part. But there also wasn’t enough realness in the connecting bits to keep me interested. I found myself dreading them whereas I really enjoyed the short stories, which made for an uneven reading experience.

One of the short stories contained in this collection is Palahniuk’s famous “Guts.” The one that makes people faint. This was definitely the best short story in the collection, and I can see why it became so famous. It also sets the tone for a lot of the stories in the collection. My second favorite after “Guts” was actually about an inn near a hot springs in the mountains. That one grossed me out *almost* as much as “Guts,” and also had something deeper to say, I think. All of this is to say that if you read and enjoyed “Guts,” you’ll like the short stories in this collection. They’re gross, horrifying, and stick with you.

Overall, it’s an interesting idea for unifying a short story collection. Ultimately, though, I would have liked it better as a straight-up short story collection, maybe even including the writer’s retreat as a short story by itself. This fact might make me rate the book lower, but the inclusion of so many high quality short stories keeps the book itself rating highly. Grab this if you’ve read and enjoyed “Guts.”

Check out my full review: http://wp.me/pp7vL-ZE ( )
  gaialover | Jul 18, 2013 |
Haunted is a work in the Decameron-Canterbury Tales mode, where a group of people come together and tell stories. Well, sort of. Palahniuk has 17 misfits trap themselves in a deserted theatre on a writer's workshop, together with the organiser [soon killed off] and his nurse/companion.

Instead of taking the opportunity to create meaningful prose , the candidates decide unanimously that the experience they are undergoing is the story, and resolve to make it more dramatic by reversing the conditions of their envirnoment. Air conditioning, food, running water - all are tampered with to create a shocking and harrowing account. As the book continues, so the characters resort to increasingly extreme and disturbing measures to distinguish themselves from their fellow sufferers.

At the same time, Palahniuk is telling their stories: each is given a name discriptive of their personality [eg. Comrade Snarky, Lady Baglady, Sister Vigilante] and has their own 'poem' and 'tale' It is these tales that form the central core of the book and which have caused the most controversy, because Haunted seems to be a book you love or hate.

Distubing, dark, gross-out, funny, erotic, disgusting - all these terms and more are used to label the little histories Chuck tells. Personally, although I am not a huge fan of his writing, I found this book intriguing and very morish. And I LOVED 'Guts'. ( )
  adpaton | Jul 9, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 111 (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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Epigraph
Dedication
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")
Last words
(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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:49 -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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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