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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extreme and excellent collection of short stories
Palahniuk is a modern author and ‘Haunted’ is a very modern book. Filled with some of the most violent and graphic imagery I have read, this book is only for those with a strong constitution.
‘Haunted’ contains a set of short stories linked together by a group of would-be writers who have sacrificed 3 months of their life to a mysterious...
Published on 12 Jan 2006 by Sam Tyler

versus
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intermittently enjoyable
Pros - Well written short stories; interesting characters and unusual ideas mixed with sharp writing.
- Horrifying subject matter fulfills the book's promise to disgust and scare.
- Experimental novel structure feels ground breaking and reflects the theme well

Cons - Overarching story line is less interesting than the short stories
- All stories...
Published on 29 Jun 2011 by highlandreview


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertainingly macabre, 17 Jun 2007
This review is from: Haunted (Paperback)
I'm halfway through this book as we speak, and although I'm finding it entertaining, it's something of a challenge. I absolutely love the short stories... of course, the Guts one really does stick in the mind, but I was equally disturbed/riveted by the stories of the Earl of Slander and Mr Whittier. However, the main narrative of the actual story is difficult to follow, and the characters seem distant as none of the personality presented in their own stories comes across when they interact. The characters seem interchangeable and are merely vehicles for the dialogue, meaning many of them seem pretty redundant. I'm reading this book as a collection of stories rather than a novel and am really enjoying it as such. I learnt early on to dismiss the poems as a waste of time. I have no idea what's going to happen in the end (and I can't say I care) but the characters' own stories are macabre, grotesque and deeply disturbing and I am absolutely loving them.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Writers' Retreat- Abandon your life for three months, 2 Jun 2005
This review is from: Haunted (Hardcover)
Haunted is a collection of 24 fictional short stories devised by the crazed and perverted mind of Chuck Palahniuk (Paula-Nick). Each story is special in many ways and ranging from touching to downright disgusting. Anyone easily offended or suffer from a weak stomach should definetly avoid this book. For example, the story simply titled "Guts" opens the book and has been making people faint and vomit around the world simply by reading it or having it read to them.
The darkest story however is "Exodus" and I won't even try and explain what it is about or I may not be able to have this review shown.
In some of Palahniuks previous books towards the end he seems to be out of steam and slowly glides towards the story's climax. Now in Haunted Chuck has 24 short stories so he can end it when he likes in order for the story to have its full effect.
Overall a very entertaining book and with the ability to make us stop and examine our own lives (read the story Slumming).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Individual parts greater than the sum?, 12 Oct 2006
By 
This review is from: Haunted (Paperback)
This was my first Palahniuk book and on the whole (fnarr fnarr) I was impressed.

An excellent set of short stories about life, desperation, mortality and swimming pools each of which has a twist (as short stories do).

Held together as a part of a larger tale wherein a group of success obesessed, would be writers are taken to, and locked in a deserted house, so that they can write their stories away from distraction but quickly turns into a horror story (Big Brother meets 'Saw').

In many ways a morality tale about a lack of communication in society, the one thing that lets the book down is the story.

Now that sounds stupid but bear with me.

The individual tales are great, well worth reading on their own. But the plot that binds them together is the weak point. I think Palahniuk basically had a series of short stories, stuck them together under one coverall tale and sent it off to his publisher.

That leaves you with an above average book with excellent sections which is annoying more than anything.

Well written, dark, gritty and funny, it hasn't deterred me from his other books.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Squeamish? Me?, 29 July 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Haunted (Hardcover)
Having read all of the authors other books (and loved them), I was so excited to read his latest offering. I opened it up, eagerly devouring every word...and then...i had to put it down...I'm not squeamish in any way, love the darker side of Chucks work, but this...was awesome! 'Guts' is one of the short stories that are tied together by the overall narrative of this book, and the first one the reader will encounter. The first section had me laughing away, an amusing tale of 'self abuse' gone wrong. The second section..I'm a girl, it still wasn't so bad..but then..as i read on, and the shock of realisation dawned over me..'oh..dear...god...no'. I was not surprised to hear that people fainted at every single reading the author did, at the precise moment he said the words 'corn and peanuts'. I put the book down after that, went and got some fresh air, but 5 minutes later had to pick it back up, and did not put it down again until I had finished it! Loved it. A great dark read, but be warned..not everyone will be able to get past that first story. And knowing what happens next...that may not be a bad thing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Churn your stomach, 31 May 2008
By 
Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Haunted (Paperback)
Chuck Palahniuk is most known as the author of Fight Club, the book that became the movie with Brad Pitt and Ed Norton; and overnight Palahniuk had a cult following. Erie, scary, and terrifying; if I had to use three words to describe this book, that would be it. Robert A. Heinlien the classic Science Fiction author once quipped "One man's theology is another man's belly laugh." Of this book I would state, "One man's perversion is another man's pleasure." This book will hit both, depending on who you are and your sensibilities.

This book is a collection of short stories, written by characters who are on a writer's retreat. They all responded to an ad to "give up three months of your life and create the masterpiece you have always said you would". Each of the 18 respondents had an idea of where they would be going - to a large country estate, a camp in the woods; yet the reality is they get locked into an old ornate theatre house. They have food, shelter, and facilities, yet all doors are locked, all windows bricked over and no way out.

From there the book becomes a cross between Fear Factor, Survivor and your most feared horror story. We see the depths to which people will descend to achieve fame and riches. Palahniuk, during the current book tour, was reading the first story called `Guts' and to date there have been 63 people who have passed out with many people being injured falling into book cases in book stores. This book will at times, turn your stomach, but will give you an understanding of the darkest side of human nature.
Readers beware! This book is like the fight club movie on super steroids.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fight Club on Steriods, 21 Mar 2008
By 
Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Haunted (Hardcover)
Chuck Palahniuk is most known as the author of Fight Club, the book that became the movie with Brad Pitt and Ed Norton; and overnight Palahniuk had a cult following. Erie, scary, and terrifying; if I had to use three words to describe this book, that would be it. Robert A. Heinlien the classic Science Fiction author once quipped "One man's theology is another man's belly laugh." Of this book I would state, "One man's perversion is another man's pleasure." This book will hit both, depending on who you are and your sensibilities.

This book is a collection of short stories, written by characters who are on a writer's retreat. They all responded to an ad to "give up three months of your life and create the masterpiece you have always said you would". Each of the 18 respondents had an idea of where they would be going - to a large country estate, a camp in the woods; yet the reality is they get locked into an old ornate theatre house. They have food, shelter, and facilities, yet all doors are locked, all windows bricked over and no way out.

From there the book becomes a cross between Fear Factor, Survivor and your most feared horror story. We see the depths to which people will descend to achieve fame and riches. Palahniuk, during the current book tour, was reading the first story called `Guts' and to date there have been 63 people who have passed out with many people being injured falling into book cases in book stores. This book will at times, turn your stomach, but will give you an understanding of the darkest side of human nature.
Readers beware! This book is like the fight club movie on super steroids.

(First Printed in Imprint 2005-06-03 as 'Fight Club author gets Haunted')
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Palahniuk book ever!, 22 Dec 2008
This review is from: Haunted (Paperback)
I have read all his books and this is without a doubt my favorite. Palahniuk shows off what he is really good at - short storys. Everyone of which is in their own right haunting, deeply disturbing, and unforgettable. The ties that make up the whole are also just as well crafted, drawing you into a sense of paralysis and paranoia that is unrivaled by any other book that i have read. I finished it over a year ago but it has never fully left my mind. If you like Palahniuk and haven't read this then do it now.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay..., 28 July 2006
By 
xenofan "xenofan" (Kansas, USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Haunted (Paperback)
Being a fan of the macabre, and anything plain dark and disturbing, this pretty much appealed to me. 22 short stories from the gut-wrenching to the just plain obscure. This does pretty much what it boasts - though to be honest, I just didn't find it worthy of the high praise many seem to be giving it. Weaved through these 22 short stories is the story of 22-would-be-writers that sacrifice 3 months of their lives to attend a writer's retreat - but things are not as they seem, and as food becomes scarce, the toilets block and the heating fails, events take on a macabre turn for the worst and accounts of self-mutilation are not the worst you can expect.

So, the overall tale of the would-be-writers on the writer's retreat is nothing more than just "how can it possibly get any worse?" --- "Oooooh, THAT's how!" The story continues to shock, disgust and disturb, leaving at times, some interesting thoughts and outlooks on life to churn over.

The short stories range in quality. Some are just plain gross. Some are utterly pointless. Many forgetable. A few were shocking and disturbing. A couple I thought were okay. Again leaving me with a few thoughts and ideas to churn over afterwards. I wouldn't care to bother to read them again. For a lot of the book, I was bored. Especially at the start. The first story "Guts", is a real shocker but things lagged and bored me after that until about the 10th story.

Amongst all of these are 22 short poems, which I utterly found to be pointless and meaningless. Only one of them I liked, and that was only because a particular line in it made me chuckle.

Overall, this book was all fairly forgetable. Sadly, so many stories I read and then 10 minutes later, couldn't really recall what it was I'd just read.

This is the first book by Chuck Palahniuk that I've read. It was written to be extreme and disturbing, and it certainly achieved that. I found that the stories didn't "stay" with me long after I'd read them becamse some felt pointless, and in all of them, the characters were just flat and I couldn't connect or sympathize with them in any way.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gut wrenching...... but funny, 6 Mar 2008
This review is from: Haunted (Paperback)
As a contemporary writer Chuck Palahniuk is about as talented as is imaginable. Haunted unfortunately is not one of his best works. In saying that, you shouldn't be put off as even mediocre Palahniuk is better than 95% of most modern writers' best offerings. He is an author who isn't frightened to force upon you his own sense of taste, which at times borders on shocking; this however is something to be celebrated.

Haunted is pure Palahniuk horror/fantasy and in the many short stories contained in the novel the form is perfectly presented drawing you into what is essentially a rather sick voyeurism trip. Each of the characters, all essentially hateful for one reason or another, are allowed to give account of their "short story" and this is effectively the vehicle on which the book rides. During the accounts were exposed to the writer's dark humour which is difficult not to appreciate especially when the context with which it is given is fully recognised. It's often said that the Americans are low on irony compared to us British. Palahniuk has irony down to a tee my dears.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excruciating, 5 Sep 2005
By 
M. Padgett "MikeOnStrike" (Sandal, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Haunted (Hardcover)
I have to admit, I am still about 40 pages off finishing this monster and I wish I didn't have to be at to work right now!
You might expect that a bunch of seemingly disparate short stories might coninually interrupt some of the best things about Chuck's rattling train-ride style: his extraordinary way of imparting his obviously vast and scattered research in the most blasé of his characters' voices, his daunting preference for riffing off on the kinds of subjects most people want to avoid, his mantra-like repetitions.
But the writer is as eminently quotable and consistent as ever. Even though he has 24 distinct mouthpieces here, the big in-joke is that in the stories of each (the same number as those extant of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, I think), the tone is essentially the same refreshinglyly egocentric, relentless voice of Tyler Durden, of Tender Branson, of the writer at his best.
I still find it surprising that Chuck picks up on so much about the world and its bizarre patterns that I have thought about or almost have, though with infinitely more vernacular eloquence.
One other small thing: I work in IT and Chuck is still the only author I have found who can handle snippets of technology well when the attempts of others often jar badly!
A writer for this generation, one of only a few, who dissolves or restores your faith in humanity, depending on how you read it!
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Haunted
Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk (Paperback - 4 May 2006)
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