Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk is a novel made up of stories: Twenty-three of them, to be precise. Twenty-three of the most horrifying, hilarious, mind-blowing, stomach-churning tales you’ll ever encounter—sometimes all at once. They are told by people who have answered an ad headlined “Writers’ Retreat: Abandon Your Life for Three Months,” and who are led to believe that here they will leave behind all the distractions of “real life” that are keeping them from creating the masterpiece that is in them. But “here” turns out to be a cavernous and ornate old theater where they are utterly isolated from the outside world—and where heat and power and, most important, food are in increasingly short supply. And the more desperate the circumstances become, the more extreme the stories they tell—and the more devious their machinations become to make themselves the hero of the inevitable play/movie/nonfiction blockbuster that will surely be made from their plight.
Haunted is on one level a satire of reality television—The Real World meets Alive. It draws from a great literary tradition—The Canterbury Tales, The Decameron, the English storytellers in the Villa Diodati who produced, among other works, Frankenstein—to tell an utterly contemporary tale of people desperate that their story be told at any cost. Appallingly entertaining, Haunted is Chuck Palahniuk at his finest—which means his most extreme and his most provocative.
“Reading a Palahniuk novel is like getting zipped inside a boxer’s heavy bag while the author goes to work on you, pounding you until there is nothing left but a big bag of bones and blood and pain.”
—The Miami Herald
“To Palahniuk’s credit, there is something here to appall almost every sensibility. The author has a singular knack for coming up with inventive new ways to shock and degrade.”
—The New York Post
“Frequently entertaining [and] often appalling. . . . There are paragraphs here—entire pages, in fact—that are as disgusting as anything I’ve ever read. Truly vivid and harrowing (and often quite funny).”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Summer reading for people who like their lit doused in bodily fluids.. . . Haunted has an anarchic sensibility that hurdles over the top.”—Time Out New York
“Chuck Palahniuk is one of the most intriguing writers of our time. [Haunted ] is a blend of stories that are among the most horrifying, stomach-churning and mind-blowing tales ever encountered.” —Tucson Citizen
“Chuck Palahniuk’s rightful place is among literary giants. He combines the masculinity of Ernest Hemingway, the satirical bent of Juvenal and the attitude of Lenny Bruce.” —Greensboro News & Record
“To Palahniuk’s credit, there is something here to appall almost every sensibility. The author has a singular knack for coming up with inventive new ways to shock and degrade.” —New York Post
“Funny, always on the edge of reality and bloodied by the profound horror of narcissism.” —Playboy
“Place this bet in your time capsule: Chuck Palahniuk’s novels will be required reading in American literature classes 100 years from now.” —The Fort Myers News-Press
“Palahniuk is as unique and colorful as ever.” —The Onion
“Searing and honest. ...His nasty detail and unimaginably horrible scenarios will give some people nightmares. This creepy ?ction masterpiece could be the de?nitive novel of our time for its genre.” —The Cincinnati News Record
“Chuck Palahniuk appears to be going around the bend. ...A satire of reality television–an effective one–but also an homage to horror stories and a meditation on pop culture.” —The Seattle Times
“The most original work of ?ction this year.” —The Guardian (London)
“Chuck Palahniuk is up to his old tricks. ...His prose is, as always, gorgeous.” —Entertainment Weekly
“One part Canterbury Tales, one part Lord of the Flies, and 100 percent classic Palahniuk. ...[His] grisliest book yet.” —Broward—Palm Beach New Times
From the Trade Paperback edition.