Friday, November 14, 2014

Haunted

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 1:00 PM

Age: Adult
Category: Contemporary
Rating: 5 stars

“Some stories, you use up. Others use you up.”

Ali Thinks: “Abandon Your Life for Three Months” is the title of an advertisement for a writer’s retreat. It sounds appealing, to leave behind all responsibility and spend a quarter of the year writing that novel that should have been finished years ago. After reading Chuck Palahniuk’s Haunted, it’s clear that it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

I’m just going to put this out there: Haunted can be gross. Shockingly gross. At readings of ‘Guts,’ one of the 23 short stories in this novel, people fainted. I’m going to ask you to get past the discomfort this book will definitely cause, because Palahniuk has created a brilliant, disturbing story that just begs to be equally loved and feared by its readers.

A lot of people tend to write of Palahniuk’s books as being ‘the same’ or ‘not nearly as good as Fight Club.’ Neither of these, I assure you, is the truth. It’s true that his books have the same style, but as he wrote them all that shouldn’t be too shocking. While it’s true that there are commonalities between each of his books that I’ve read, but it never comes off as reading the same book over and over because each are so drastic in different, unorthodox ways. And this book happens to have 23 very distinct, very drastic short stories that each of the characters have written (as, this is a writer’s retreat, after all) in the midst of their extreme conditions.

I wouldn’t recommend this book to the easily disgusted or the easily offended, and I would say the same to those who take everything at face value. I would however, suggest that anyone who wants to read a life-changing book, a great book, to look no further than Haunted. Not only is it transgressive fiction and satire at its best, it’s also Palahniuk at his best.

Just a tip: if you get the glow-in-the-dark cover, don’t keep it by your bed.


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