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~ Kathy M.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Recent Reads: "Haunted" by Chuck Palahniuk

by Chuck Palahniuk
c. 2005

I just do not know what to say about this book.  Stephen King has nothing on Chuck Palahnuik, as far as gross stories go.  It took me forever to finish, because I dreaded opening it back up again.  I think instead of being named "Haunted", it could have easily been named "Horror".

Still, it is ingenuous.  The idea of the story, the way that the book is laid out, and the way that the author's mind worked to come up with the stuff that he did is incredible.  Talk about doing in-depth research.  It is often funny as well.

What happens is that twenty three people sign-up to disappear on a writers retreat, and are taken to an old theater in the city for three months.  They are locked inside with an old man named Mr. Whittier.  Though they are each supposed to write the next hit bestseller,  they instead turn in on themselves and the group to make their ordeal more horrifying than it really needed to be. 

Without giving anything away (don't worry the stories are so weird that nobody else could even guess what they are about without reading them), each participant wanted to be a hero when found.  Each participant also had a reason to disappear from the face of the earth for three months and these are shared with us. 

So, I really don't know what to tell you as far as a recommendation.  This book is not for the faint of heart.  I could see myself using the format for my own book though; blending a series of short stories to bring the characters together.  I can say it is a good book.  I can tell you that I will NEVER read it again.  I can warn that if you decide to read it, there are so many dark parts that it might bring you down for awhile. 

I got curious about Mr. Palahnuik, and learned that he is from Oregon and Washington.  Here are a couple of links if you want to check him out further:

~ Kathy M.

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Arkansas Patti said...

Mercy, not sure I could have gotten past the cover.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Sometimes it's good to read outside your comfort zone. I don't do this as much as I should, and I do tend to avoid the truly horrifying stories, so I probably won't pick this up. For me the benefits of reading it would possibly be outweighed by the negatives. I liked how you took what you could use in your own writing from the experience of reading this, and I appreciated your honesty!

Melissa Bradley said...

I love reading outside of my zone. Chuck's novel Fight Club is what introduced me to him. I'm intrigued by this one, though, since it's been a while since I've read him. Nothing like writers turning on each other LOL.

I'm currently reading Savages by Don Winslow. It's basically a very violent, very funny look at the marijuana trade in So Cal, I'm loving it so far.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Patti, that cover was bugging me bad ... I had to post something new so that I wouldn't keep seeing it, lol.

Kathy, there was so much negative in this book. Yucky stories.

Melissa, I might want to read his other works; he is a great writer.

Thanks for stopping by, my friends. I read all kinds of books, and love Stephen King, but this one was hard to finish.

Kathy M.

No Copying!


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