"Haunted" 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 the people who have all answered the ad headlined 'Artists Retreat: Abandon your life for three months'. They 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 ...
"Haunted" 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 the people who have all answered the ad headlined 'Artists Retreat: Abandon your life for three months'. They 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 theatre where they are utterly isolated from the outside world - and where heat and power and, most importantly, food are in increasingly short supply. And the more desperate the circumstances become, the more desperate the stories they tell - and the more devious their machinations become to make themselves the hero of the inevitable play/movie/non-fiction blockbuster that will certainly be made from their plight. "Haunted" is at one level a satire of reality television. 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.
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The writer stands way out over others in his ability not only to create a wildly imaginative story but also posesses the incredible writing skills necessary to make the story come alive. So superbly written that the characters and the action in "Haunted" appeared to take place right before my very eyes. I've made it a goal to read every novel he has written, and am already way into "Rant" which is again making me want to hail this one-of-a-kind writer. I encourage all who read this book to recommend it to others. Chuck Palahniuk should be a household name.
Apr 3, 2007
Guts-wrenchingly good stories
Palahniuk's "Haunted" is a wonderfully twisted collection of short tales about the real and imagined ghosts haunting the lives of a group of colorful characters on the writer's retreat from hell. The themes of man's inhumanity to man (or more precisely man's inhumanity to him/herself) and need for conflict and suffering are interestingly illustrated. However, in the end it is the short tales that will burrow into your brain with unforgettable mental images that will keep readers coming back for more. A word of warning, Palahniuk's prose is not for the weak of stomach or faint of heart.
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