Friday, July 2, 2010
Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk
Chuck Palahniuk has never failed at being wildly creative and original.
Haunted brings together a maniacal cast of characters who embark on a "Writer's Retreat", where they will work on writing novels, poetry, and screenplays, and be locked inside an abandoned theater for 90 days without any links to the outside world. This group of crazies have each experienced freak accidents of sorts and are given the chance to share their "horror" stories with one another.
To add spice to this already-screwy plot, the characters begin dining on each other in the style of Graham Masterton's Feast when food runs out, and we begin to learn who the mastermind is behind the retreat.
If you have experience with reading Palahniuk's other books, you will know that appearances are deceiving and not everyone is who they seem in the end. Haunted is no different, and this is part of Palahniuk's ultimate charm. The shock-value of Haunted is 10 on a scale from 1-10!
The first story entitled "Guts" as told by Saint Gut-Free will set the tone for the entire book, and is NOT for the faint of heart. Haunted falls under its own horror genre and is guaranteed to make you ill and sick to your stomach. Palahniuk is very scientific and factual with his data and research, and although he writes of some terrible freak accidents, he is pretty much dead-on as these events CAN and HAVE happened in real-life! He is frighteningly vivid and goes into explicit detail which you will either love or hate, depending on how twisted you are.
"Guts", "Exodus" and "The Nightmare Box" are my favorite stories. Even if for some reason you browse or flip through Haunted, I highly recommend stopping for a few minutes to read these. They will definitely linger in your mind (although maybe not for the best!).
To add icing to the cake that is Haunted, the novel is a satire fashioned from reality television and references classical literary works. The more educated among the bunch will be able to take note of the latter and appreciate the homage.
I've always thought Chuck Palahniuk is genius after reading his novel, Choke, which is the first book I had read by him. Given the cult-classic popularity of the movie Fight Club, it continues to amaze me how people STILL haven't a clue that it was the brilliant invention of Palahniuk!
I highly recommend reading Choke, Invisible Monsters, and Lullaby, which are my most favorite novels by Chuck Palahniuk. His most recent release is Tell-All, with a Hollywood-noir style plot.
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