Book Review: Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk

I worry for Chuck Palahniuk. I worry that a stack of his books are sitting on a decoupaged coffee table on the hollow floor of a christian fanatic's single wide--I imagine the nicotine running down the wall like back alley tavern spit. I worry that the christian is fingering a pistol trigger like a lover's pink rosebud, and thinking. My biggest worry for Mr. Palahniuk is a fanatic thinking, dwelling. Thinking of the author, and not fondly.

That being typed, I'm not that christian. Haunted was a lot of things, none pleasant or staid. It was original yet filthy. But, rather than reach for a gun, or a loofah, I'll let it sink into my skin, saturate.

The novel is told, through a succession of stories, by characters the likes of Comrade Snarky and the Baroness Frostbite (many more). They have been lured to a writer's retreat to conjure their masterpiece, but this retreat is no Macdowell Colony. There'll be no private cabins, box lunches or elicit affairs. A sealed ornate theater becomes a prison and later a charnel house. But a fun charnel house, if you consider progeria mercy-fucks, horrible masturbation accidents, and "anatomically correct" child dolls fun. Luckily, I'm sick that way.

Mr. Palahniuk's is a world that preaches ideas--for real, I'm not joking--despite the disturbing quality to the book, there is something to be said about its fame and money grubbing characters devolving (literally), human life is only as valuable as the face time it can elicit, the amount of money the story can be sold to the studios. That drama is more important than humanity?

There is a legitimate horror story lurking within the pages, brought to you by Mrs. Clark, the elected villain. Her tales are truly scary (The Nightmare Box was my favorite).

Or, maybe, Chuck Palahniuk just wants us to puke, bottle it, let it mold over, and then, when the bile is gray and dead, eat it up. God bless him.

Next Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


Sarah Ann said…
Interesting review! I finished Haunted earlier today and wanted to see what other bloggers were saying about it. Like you, "The Nightmare Box" was also my favorite story, and I found "Guts" the most disturbing. This one did make me fairly sick to my stomach! I wrote my own review for it at Dreamworld Book Reviews - Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk.