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3.9 306
by Chuck Palahniuk

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Haunted is a novel made up of twenty-three horrifying, hilarious, and stomach-churning stories. They’re told by people who have answered an ad for a writer’s retreat and unwittingly joined a “Survivor”-like scenario where the host withholds heat, power, and food. As the storytellers grow more desperate, their tales become more extreme

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Haunted 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 306 reviews.
avanders More than 1 year ago
This was my first Palahniuk. I had heard that this book was incredibly disturbing and was, of course, intrigued. The book was disturbing, I suppose, but I would not add the modifier "incredibly." The book is, however, graphic and detailed and delves into the more deranged parts of the human mind. Although I had not read Palahniuk before, I have of course seen Fight Club, and I understand that Palahniuk takes extreme situations and explores human interactions and reactions within those situations. Haunted does this and takes it just one step beyond "the line." The way I think of the book is as a warped reality tv show gone wrong. Imagine a group of people, psychologically messed up because of the realities inflicted upon them and because of the choices they have made. Lock them together in a building with no escape for three months and see what happens. It's like The Cube meets Saw. Palahniuk's characters are actually believable in their extreme behavior and those with weaker stomachs should refrain. The format the book takes is relatively unique. The characters in the book are identified by nicknames that somehow represent how the author is warped. Each "chapter" includes a narrative, a poem, and a story. The narrative is told from the perspective of one of the individuals locked in the building -- though we are never quite sure which aspiring author is speaking. The narrative is followed by a poem "about" the aspiring author, which hints at something the author has experienced and sheds a little light on the nickname the author has received. The poem is then followed by a story written by the character that has been discussed in the preceding poem. The story explains the primary traumatic incident (or portion of that incident) that resulted in the author's warped personality and nickname. I liked the format of the book and appreciated Palahniuk's timing. Some of the most intriguing (to me) characters' personalities and nicknames were revealed at the end of the book, which certainly kept me attached to the book -- even though it almost read more like a series of non-related short stories than a novel. In addition, although it was not immediate, I was eventually drawn into the narrative of the authors trapped in the building and felt invested in how it would all play out. The writing was great, too. I suppose the reason I'm still rambling about this, somewhat incoherently, is because I recognize the good qualities of the book, cannot think of any particularly bad ones, but still was not blown away by the book. I expected to be more disturbed, more intrigued, more saddened, more anything... but mostly I was just reading without much emotion at all. It was certainly good enough to continue reading and good enough to casually recommend, but it made no strong lasting impressions on me. Recommended for someone who likes gore and exploring the deranged ways in which humans can behave in extreme situations. THREE AND A HALF out of five stars.
SavageBS More than 1 year ago
Good book, amazing characters. Very, very disturbing stories. I loved it! I have my favorites of course and so will you, each character tells his/her story, with a few characters telling more then one story a piece. Saint Gut-Free "Guts" - hilarious and probably the most digusting story you'll ever read Director Denial "Exodus" - brilliant, brilliant writing Chef Assassin "Product Placement" - love this one Tess Clark "Post-Production", "The Nightmare Box" - this story still haunts me If you like, gruesome, graphic and sexually charged disturbing literature, you just found it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Chuck Palahniuk's got an incredibly creative mind. That's why I love reading his work. He comes up with stories that titilate the mind while churning the stomach. Unfortunately, this latest 'novel' should have remained just a collection of intriguing -- yet disturbing -- short stories. In 'Haunted,' Palahniuk tries to weave them all together by creating a storyline between each short story that features the characters in each of the short stories. Unfortunately, it's this ongoing storyline that is the weakest part of the book, as it lost this reader's interest. In addition to this ongoing storyline, there are poems about each of the characters that I could have done without before each of the short stories. While the ongoing storyline of characters 'trapped' inside a house had a couple of interesting moments, it's the short stories that truly make this book worth having in your collection.
ClarkP More than 1 year ago
Haunted is an amazing book. It hooked me from the start, I just had to know how the book was going to end. This book is disturbing, shocking and appalling. But the fact that this book is so deranged is exactly what makes it enjoyable. Chuck Palahniuk has some serious talent for writing, I love reading his work to find out what is going on in his mind. Haunted is not for everyone, light headed/weak stomach people need to keep away from Haunted. If you enjoy reading novels outside of the 'norm,' then this is the book for you. Overall, Haunted gets an A+ grade from me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the most disgusting books i've ever read. It was Great!!! The detail this man uses when describing the scenes is second to none. A must read for the sick and twisted. Again, great work!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was suggested to me by a friend who told me it was 'one of the most disturbing, profound, and peculiar' things he had ever read. Upon completing the book yesterday, I would have to agree. I am no expert on Mr. Palahniuk's novels, so I have very little to compare it to, as others have. I am an avid reader, however, which is probably why the book only earned four stars, not five, from me. While the plot was easy enough to follow, the stories overwhelmed the underlying plot line to such an extent that it came off as flimsy and under-developed. No where was this more evident than in the ending, where the flow of the novel is interrupted for a hasty attempt at a twist conclusion that left much to be desired. Oh - but the stories they were fantastic. I read each one experiencing the feeling you get during an intense thriller flick, knowing something horrible was about to happen, and knowing it was going to be worse than anything you could think up. Containing the type of descriptions that hit home and left you queasy without being overly verbose like other gory tales, the feeling generated by this book is beyond words. The psychological element was greater in these short little stories than in any other novel I've read in recent memory. I will say, on that note, that this book is not for those offended by books that are perverse, violent, or bleak, because Haunted is all three and then some. From its doomsdaying commentary on human nature, to its graphic descriptions of violence, to its sheer bluntess about fetishes and sexual perversion, it is bound to offend someone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book several times and it NEVER gets old!
DrewGeoff More than 1 year ago
Let's cut right to the chase: Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk is a highly disturbing book. By the end of the book, if your brain hasn't figuratively been taken out of your head and thrown into an industrial fan, you must be hard as steel. This book will make most people want to run to the bathroom and vomit up three days worth of meals. And that is EXACTLY why I loved it. Haunted is definitely not for the faint of heart, but it isn't supposed to be. The whole point of the book is to disgust, pervert, and to push the boundaries of what is acceptable way off of a cliff. Palahniuk knows exactly what he is doing by writing this book by pushing the boundaries way past what society may deem as acceptable and appropriate, and sends a clear message on the evils of censorship. One might see it as a sort-of modern-day version of The Canterbury Tales, with one sick thing happening after another. Some people may not understand the message behind this book, which is why they give it such a low rating. If you're not into gratuitous violence, if you turn away from car wrecks on television and prefer romantic comedy movies to Japanese horror films, this is certainly not the book for you. If, however, you're not afraid of sick and twisted Palahniuk-style, this book is definitely one to read. By the way, definitely read the Afterword. Puts it all into perspective.
Allison Land More than 1 year ago
creative. poignant. unique. just wow.
veddergirl187 More than 1 year ago
This book started off really interesting and different and I was very excited to read it. In the middle, it fizzled out and I found myself only wanting to read the short stories, not the original story. If you like Chuck's work, you might enjoy this, but I was disappointed.
FocoProject More than 1 year ago
More than a novel, this book is a collection of short stories strung together by a single storyline revolving around 20 or so characters and a very messed up situation. If you have read any of Chuck Palahniuk¿s work, then you know that the man has an uncanny ability to find something really twisted and make it funny or take something funny and make it all screwed up. Either way you look at it, you get plenty of both in here.

The overall story is almost a reality show of sort¿but not really. Twenty aspiring writers are recruited to go into a ¿writer¿s retreat¿ where they are to stay for three months, separated from the world and from society, able to entirely focused on their writing. They all come in with made up names, names that reflect something about their life (more often their flaws or mistakes rather than their strengths). Mr. Whittier, the man that organized this retreat has it all set up, picking them up in a bus while the city still sleeps. Though soon enough it becomes clear that Mr. Whittier did not really have a retreat in mind, but rather, he has selfishly set this up as an experiment for his own amusement.

Every character here has a story, and as the three months go by, each of them begin to tell their stories through the course of the three months. Stories that are sometimes touching, some times depressing and more often than not, really screwed up. And as this stories unfold within the main story, a very sick game also begins to be played, in which the victims promise to be worse than the captor that put them in the situation that they are in.

If you enjoy Chuck¿s work, then this is going to be no different, though it does lack a bit of depth when in comparison to his more established novels, when looked upon as a collection of short stories with the bonus of an all encompassing narration that ties them all together, this book is a great read.

Be warned, however that there are some pretty horrific stories told here. Some are humorous, some are cool, some are sad and as I said, most of them have moments that will make you wince. But if you have the stomach for it¿then I am sure you will enjoy this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading Chuck Palahniuk¿s novel, Haunted, I wasn¿t sure how I felt until I went back and read his Afterword, the ¿Guts¿ Affect. Very few other books needed an explanation for why they¿re written, and in my opinion, it would be somewhat pretentious if the author did explain him or herself. But, as far as Haunted goes, it was completely acceptable and almost necessary. Haunted isn¿t written as a philosophical outlook on the big questions in life, rather, a sadistic mockery of censorship that plagues entertainment in today¿s society. His honest explanation of why he wrote what he did made this book worth reading. Until I got to the afterword, I thought the book was a pure vehicle of shock value. And it is, but for different reasons. It¿s a ¿f-you¿ to the constraints that our culture puts on entertainment with substance. Instead of watching a television program that is cut and edited down to thirty digestible, manageable, corporate approved minutes, we can read a book that let¿s us explore any depth of a subject that we please. So yes, Haunted is a shock value book but, it¿s shock with a reason. Shock with depth. As much as I¿m praising this book, it¿s only because of the author. The book is definitely hard to read. The only reason I kept the pages turning is because I am a fan of gore. The story plot is somewhat disconnected, like he was trying to find a way to fit together a collection of short stories that had no relationship besides being gross. He should have just published the book as a ¿collection of short stories,¿ type of thing and left it at that. I will keep reading Chuck Palahniuk because Fight Club and Choke are two of my favorite books. But, this one isn¿t anywhere near my top 10 favorite books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I stopped reading it at the 200th page. I got over reading it really fast. I truely tried and hoped it would get better and some how catch my attention but it did not. The stories in between the main storie were not half bad but all together it was confusing, boring and not worth reading. When you cannot get to like any of the characters theres a problem. This is the first and only books i have never finished, that says something since i have read hundreds of books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was so disappointed with this book. It never was able to capture my full attention and I found myself anxious for the end. I read a lot of Chuck books and I usually love his offbeat style, but I got the impression that this was a collection of short stories he's written over time and he needed a way to bring them all together and sell them as one book. Highly lacking.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it seems as if the new novel is trying way too hard to be lots of things at once. i tried four different times to really get lost in the story and couldnt. what i want from chuck is the tense story line and direct prose of books past.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Was looking forward to this book after all the positive things I've heard. Was greatly disappointed with it. Some of the stories within the book were good but most were not. The overall plot is interesting but became very predictable and boring. Don't waste your time.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Chuck writes some amazingly deranged stories in this book. Definitely one of my favorites!
LoisDean More than 1 year ago
Holy Moly! Great Book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mind blowing. I love this authors mind. This book is great if you like psychology of the mind. What makes people do what they do and why they do it . The man in the book kind of forces then to tell there story. I don't know i just love the book and was fascinated by it.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Worst book ever!! This book didn't make any sense, I am not sure I have ever read a book I hated more
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