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.
©2005 Chuck Palahniuk; (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
"[The stories] consistently, powerfully transcend their macabre premises to showcase the heart beating beneath the horrors." (Publishers Weekly)
"Written with the incisive brutality that accounts for Mr. Palahniuk's intense popularity." (The New York Times)
It's difficult. Either Chuck Palahnuik is the only writer out there who tells it like it is.. like it REALLY is; or he is a new breed of ubershock scribe with the uncanny ability to transform spite and bitterness into an art form.
Town square preacher, or puke-splattered crazy in a bar? I guess it boils down to what you look for in a book. It's certainly not his best. The concept is original, and you will want to read it through. It's exciting and imaginative. It's way out there. Way out there! But it doesn't have the intense thermo-nuclear pulse of, say, FightClub.
Best way to sum it up is this. If Jane Austin occupies your bedside locker... probably best to skip it; if you like your whiskey raw, what the hell... go for it!
This is one I first picked up years ago but only got about 40 or so pages in before losing interest and, to be honest, it was a bit of a struggle to get through it again.
The concept was exciting - Chuck writing a portmanteau horror-ish book, a group of writers gathered together to create their masterworks all slowly going mad - but too often I found myself getting annoyed by it. With that said, several of the short stories were excellent (in particular I loved Mother Nature's story about the dark side of alternative therapies and the one about the life-saver doll) but the main problem was with the parts which joined the stories together.
There were too many characters and I was kept distanced from caring about any of them because of their monikers. I'm well used to the Chuck-isms of strange character habits but this is often in opposition to the 'normal' world - in Haunted there is nothing BUT Chuck-isms and it was just too much. It felt at times like Tom Morello's guitar playing, you appreciated the creativity but every now and again just want to shout at him to do a normal guitar solo!
This was the Palahiuk book I felt needed an editor to be whacking him across the head and telling him to cut 1/3 of it out, to cut half of the characters out, and to tone down the Chuck-isms. There was so much potential there for a cracking book but I think it just went too far and lost touch with what Chuck is often good at and that is using strangeness to highlight things which affect all of us.
Painful, painful, painful - It just didn't work for me. Some gruesome descriptions but there's an underlying theme that I for one just didn't get. I was bored and willed for the end to come -
"Life's too short for bad books....."
I felt I needed a shower after this book. It's a deeply black comedy, very nasty in places. It's a satire on how people manipulate the media , and how the media manipulates people to justtify their respective existences. It just went on too long, and I felt it revelled in its crudeness, stretching the joke too far. Probably would have appealed to me more if I had read it as an adolescent.
Not so much horrific as just too far fetched and a bit difficult to be intrested enough to put in the effort of following the story. Some of the storys within the story are quite good but in my opinion not really worth using a credit on, there are better books out there and some of them are by this author.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.