Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
on 5 January 2014
I first read the story "Guts" at university, when my writing lecturer gave it to us to read for homework. Next class, when he asked us how we all found it, he was grinning like a jackal. He wanted to know how many of us fainted whilst reading it.
According to the afterword, 70+ people fainted as Chuck Palahniuk read that story in public spaces around the world. I believe him.
Most of the stories in this collection are a little revolting, or just sad or upsetting. All of them are very well written and fascinating in a grim way.
"Haunted" is presented as a novel filled with short stories and poems. The poems are largely redundant, and frankly not very good, but only take up a couple of pages each. As I said, the stories are fantastic. The novel element, being the thing that holds it all together, isn't too interesting and is really just a framing device.
I probably would have enjoyed this more if I'd just read the stories, and not the "novel" part. In the back of the book there's an index of stories with page numbers.
As it is, this is a great collection weakened by a "clever" concept, so I can't really give it more than 7/10, based purely on the strength of the individual stories.
7 / 10
Author of "Half Discovered Wings"