Book Review: Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk

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, and they ruthlessly plot to make themselves the hero of the reality show that will surely be made from their plight. This is one of the most disturbing and outrageous books you’ll ever read, one that could only come from the mind of Chuck Palahniuk.


I’ve been a fan of Chuck Palahniuk since I read Fight Club years ago and at least once a year I reread it. He’s a talented writer with a unique narration. Anyone who loves his style of writing is compelled to move forward through the story.

I had high expectations when I picked up Haunted. Chuck’s unique voice was a small downfall for this story in my mind. I enjoyed it for what it was: a collection of twenty-three stories. But as far as each story being told from different character’s viewpoints… I didn’t see it. It was a collection of Chuck Palahniuk’s short stories. And as far as the description stating, “one of the most disturbing and outrageous books you’ll ever read”… not for me. There are far more disturbing books by lesser known authors out there.

These little gripes are just that – little gripes. It was well written and kept my attention for the most part. The main story of twenty-three characters felt repetitive, but the individual stories did have their own unique story to tell. There are a few areas that make you cringe, but overall, I laughed. That’s just me. I find humor in the most inappropriate places. It was a good read but not my favorite from Palahniuk. 

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