Friday, May 20, 2005


After finishing Chuck Palahniuk's Haunted, I was a little disappointed. The first story in this collection, "Guts" was incredibly gross, but it had this potential for goriness and nastiness and creepiness that I had expected the rest of the stories to live up to and perhaps surpass. I expected something grand and fantastic (definition two) and while there was a sense of the fantastic, it didn't live up to the hype in my mind. Not after "Guts" and not after books like Survivor or Diary.

The basic structure of the book is that a group of writers sign up for a three month escape from reality so that they can write their "masterpieces" with no contact with the outside world. They are locked into a theatre and right away they start getting edgy and uncomfortable with the lack of possibility of leaving. They start telling each other stories, possibly fiction but the stories get tied into their personas. Each of these stories is the short stories of Palahniuk, but the Writer's Conference is the framing device of the collection, sort of like The Canturbury Tales, only probably without the lasting acclaim.

"Guts" was such an interesting lead off hit for "Haunted" that most of the rest of the stories felt lacking. The framing device of the conference was a little absurd in the lengths that the people went to build their masterpieces and insure their fame.

I really like Chuck Palahniuk's work, but "Haunted" was a let down.

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