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Haunted: A Novel Paperback – April 11, 2006
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“Reading a Palahniuk novel is like getting zipped inside a boxer’s heavy bag while the author goes to work on you, pounding you until there is nothing left but a big bag of bones and blood and pain.”
—The Miami Herald
“To Palahniuk’s credit, there is something here to appall almost every sensibility. The author has a singular knack for coming up with inventive new ways to shock and degrade.”
—The New York Post
“Frequently entertaining [and] often appalling. . . . There are paragraphs here—entire pages, in fact—that are as disgusting as anything I’ve ever read. Truly vivid and harrowing (and often quite funny).”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Summer reading for people who like their lit doused in bodily fluids.. . . Haunted has an anarchic sensibility that hurdles over the top.”—Time Out New York
“Chuck Palahniuk is one of the most intriguing writers of our time. [Haunted ] is a blend of stories that are among the most horrifying, stomach-churning and mind-blowing tales ever encountered.” —Tucson Citizen
“Chuck Palahniuk’s rightful place is among literary giants. He combines the masculinity of Ernest Hemingway, the satirical bent of Juvenal and the attitude of Lenny Bruce.” —Greensboro News & Record
“To Palahniuk’s credit, there is something here to appall almost every sensibility. The author has a singular knack for coming up with inventive new ways to shock and degrade.” —New York Post
“Funny, always on the edge of reality and bloodied by the profound horror of narcissism.” —Playboy
“Place this bet in your time capsule: Chuck Palahniuk’s novels will be required reading in American literature classes 100 years from now.” —The Fort Myers News-Press
“Palahniuk is as unique and colorful as ever.” —The Onion
“Searing and honest. ...His nasty detail and unimaginably horrible scenarios will give some people nightmares. This creepy ?ction masterpiece could be the de?nitive novel of our time for its genre.” —The Cincinnati News Record
“Chuck Palahniuk appears to be going around the bend. ...A satire of reality television–an effective one–but also an homage to horror stories and a meditation on pop culture.” —The Seattle Times
“The most original work of ?ction this year.” —The Guardian (London)
“Chuck Palahniuk is up to his old tricks. ...His prose is, as always, gorgeous.” —Entertainment Weekly
“One part Canterbury Tales, one part Lord of the Flies, and 100 percent classic Palahniuk. ...[His] grisliest book yet.” —Broward—Palm Beach New Times
About the Author
CHUCK PALAHNIUK is the author of fourteen novels—Beautiful You, Doomed, Damned, Tell-All, Pygmy, Snuff, Rant, Haunted, Diary, Lullaby, Choke, Invisible Monsters, Survivor, and Fight Club—which have sold more than five million copies altogether in the United States. He is also the author of Fugitives and Refugees, published as part of the Crown Journey Series, and the nonfiction collection Stranger Than Fiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest. Visit him on the web at chuckpalahniuk.net.
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Admittedly, the book from the first chapter made my stomach turn and I almost gave it up. I forced myself to continue. I found that a well woven story developed and I could not put it down. Hmm how would I describe it Alfred Hitchcock meets Stephen King meets Dr. Freud meets Dr. Jung...... and on and on. You get the picture. I do caution that if you don't like to be disturbed nor made to think - - really think about some not-so-nice human behavior don't read this. It aint roses and sunshine, but it will make you really think. Enter at your own risk and enjoy
Haunted is written in a somewhat unusual, at least to me, style. There is an over arching story that frames a collection of short stories, each of which is preceded by a short about one of the characters. The short stories are meant act as a window into the past of each character in the framing story. For me, this style was a bit of a problem. The contextual switches between the short stories kept distracting me. That coupled with the text's graphic content forced me to read the book much more slowly and in much smaller chunks than I would have liked.
My introduction to Haunted was an article on Chuck Palahniuk's site, The Cult, titled The Guts Effect. Guts is the first of the short stories after the opening scenes of the framing story. It does a good job of setting the tone for the rest of the book and is by no means the worst of what lay within. I don't know if I can convey to you how horrific this text is without giving too much away.
I'll say it again, fair warning. This is not a book to read if you're having even the slightest hint of stomach troubles.
As a warning, this is perhaps the most disturbing novel I have ever read. At its core it is a collection of short stories with an overarching plot to give them some context. And the first of the stories, entitles "Guts" is available on Chuck's website for reading, and I would recommend you do so before taking a shot at the full novel. If you cannot make it through that story, or find yourself not enjoying it, then this is not the novel for you. Back to the book itself, the short stories for the most part are hit and miss, with some of them being really great, and others just seem to miss the mark. The inconsistent quality of these stories combined with a confusing and overall weak overarching plot is what at the end of the day makes this an okay novel rather then a good one.
As I mentioned above, each story in the novel sets out to take an everyday action or item and make a spectacular story using it. Most of these, even if dry, succeed in this aspect. And I feel that if I kept that in mind while reading the novel, I would have found a lot more of the stories to be much more engaging. The main plot of the story however, is not assisted by this fact. Sure there is a pretty decent plot twist in the story and manages to create a moment or two of shock, but overall I feel this might have served better as a strict short story collection then a novel. And if that is what you are looking for, there are quite a few good ones in here to satisfy you.