Everyone says "Shocked" or "disgusting" like this is a bad thing. When was the last time you were truly truly shocked by something? I don't mean the news, that is numbing. Palahniuk does shock like no one else. And not only that, he is a brilliant writer. If you don't finish it, you're missing out. There are some truly beautiful sequences in this book, it's not just "disgusting".
Previous reviewers have commented on the extremely graphic nature of this book, so I'll not belabor the point here. I will add that, as a pathology student who's assisted at autopsies, studied all manner of gross things, and not exactly a wilting violet, I was extremely disturbed by some of the stories in this book. Also, if you were bothered by the free download of "Exodus," you should not listen to this book under any circumstances, even if you find yourself trapped at a mysterious writer's workshop with a bunch of folks hell-bent on self destructing. "Exodus" is a children's bedtime story compared to much of "Haunted".
That having been said, I'm glad I listened to this to the end. "Haunted" is well-written and well performed. The short stories intertwine to form a larger, and increasingly compelling, narrative about the lives of the trapped characters. In the first volume, there were a couple of stories so revolting I decided to stop listening; but I found myself so involved with the overarching story that I ultimately ended up listening to the last 3 hours straight through. Very good storytelling.
Three gripes, unrelated to Palahnuik's gory prose: 1) Palahnuik can be very preachy, and beats his philosophic points until they're black and blue as one of his characters. While he's a good storyteller, Palahnuik can have a tin ear for parable, and the philosophy does not bear this repetition well. 2) Palahnuik overuses some constructions (e.g. "Still" to introduce a sentence), making different characters sound too similar. 3) Palahnuik gets important factual details wrong. This wouldn't be so bad, were it not for Palahnuik's careful correctness on closely related facts--showing that Palahnuik cared enough to do his homework, but is willing to dispense with any realities inconvenient to his storytelling. This is a sin that Palahnuik's creation Mr. Whittier would not tolerate, so I don't see why his real readers should tolerate it either.
Put your books into my ears!!!
I fully enjoyed listening to this novel. There were times where I didn't want to get out of my car because I was so enthralled. The story was well written and not for the faint of heart. I wasn't a huge fan of the narrators. They all did a decent enough job, however, I felt as if they were too old for the parts they played.
This is hard, three words.......I guess I'd have to stay with the headline. Oddly Thought Provoking!
I liked the huge variations that always end up bringing you to the same place.
I was prepared for grossness, I was prepared for vileness to an extent that I had never seen before (yep I read the reviews lol). I wasn't prepared however for the thought provoking nature of some of the stories. It does have some elements of disgustingness, There are some stories that made me quite uncomfortable at times. I had to shake my head at some of the things that were going on. However at the end of the day what I walked away with was thoughful reflection. Partly because some of the stuff is so out there that you have to wonder if there are people like that in the world. You always come around to yes unfortunatly.....at least I did. Partly because the stories, make you think about the depth of people's hate for themselves, for each other and society. You almost find yourself hoping that you can find some redeeming factor in these people and their stories. I found myself asking.......Did they get what they deserved? Or is it a case of these people were so mentally unstable and desprately looking for something they were willing to accept anything. If you don't mind being uncomfortable and a little grossed out and alot stunned at the depths of depravity these characters show you will enjoy this book. If you prefer something a little lighter for an afternoon of quiet then you probably won't. I do not agree that this book is not for people who read Koontz and Patterson as one review read. I read both of those authors as well as this one. I do think it's important that you keep it in perspective for what it is. Take it out for a spin, do some thinking on it. I am sure that you'll walk away with a different perspective than you started with.
I'll cut to the chase here. This book is everything the other reviewers say when they use terms like 'disturbing' etc. in terms of the images it leaves one with. More importantly, is what this book is not. It is not engrossing. It is not captivating. It is not a book I felt like telling anyone else to read it so we could share the experience and talk about it.
Well read, well written and horrific in the stomach churning sense, but sometimes you just have to turn it off and take a breath...
A warning should be posted with the book listing about the explicit, graphic violence and sex. Some people, including me, are not familiar with this author. The book is well written, but I was truly shocked and disgusted. I am halfway through, and I am torn between not wanting to hear anymore depravity and wanting to find out how it end and just how bad it gets before it is over.
This author is sick, twisted, extremely funny and disturbing all at the same time! I enjoyed this book very much. It isn't for the faint-hearted in terms of overt sexuality and other wonderfully lude subject matter.
The narrators complimented the story very well. I won't give too much away, but olderly-sounding women discussing oral gratification makes me giggle ... Loudly!
A dark, wonderfully awful tale of how rotten humans can be!
There have been only a few books that I've re-read immediately after fininshing, but this is definately one worth reading twice, maybe even three times. While the stories are indeed shocking and entertaining in themselves, Haunted as a whole turns out to be an immensely acerbic observation of modern society, especially our inability to rise above the need to feel victimized, even if it means becoming victims of our own selves.
This was the first book I've ever "read" by this author, but I'm already a devoted fan.
Nicely tall and intelligently open-minded
I certainly could not understand the story that was supposed to thread all the short stories together. Some of these short stories were ... very strange but not strange or witty enough for me to like them.
I certainly was haunted ... I could not even finish to listen to the book, mainly haunted in a sense of bored and not intriguing enough to stay tuned.
Nonetheless, the performance by the narrators was good.