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Extended Audio Sample Haunted: A Novel, by Chuck Palahniuk Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (39,627 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Chuck Palahniuk Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Philip Johnson | 2/3/2014

    " Huge piece of crap. Made no sense. It attempted to be intellectual in its presentation of the characters and store line with random mini stories intermixed. All it accomplished was a scattered story with unnecessary asides. I give it a "eh". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Gregory Bruchert | 1/24/2014

    " Dark, gory, and funny. I'm impressed with how Palahniuk tied multiple short stories into his entire novel and made it cohesive. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Heather | 1/23/2014

    " This was perhaps Palahniuk's worst novel for me. Thinking back on it, I can hardly remember the plot, but I remember really not enjoying it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Lauren Hopkins | 1/10/2014

    " I feel like the premise of this book was BE AS SHOCKING AS POSSIBLE! I mean, the book comes with an 'epilogue' that basically brags about how many people have passed out during public readings. Let's see, someone masturbates with a pool jet and gets his organs sucked out, a woman passes out and they eat her ass because they think she's dead but then she wakes up and takes a bite before bleeding to death, a man cuts off his penis with a cleaver and another man goes to eat it but he chokes on it and dies...could you TRY HARDER for shock value?! That being said, there are some less gruesome, more gut-wrenching stories, specifically the story of Mrs Clark and her daughter Cassandra. Other stories are simply ironic or funny. There is a message about human behavior woven throughout all of these stories, though it's one we've heard before. So...it's interesting, I suppose, and perhaps might be disgusting at times...but it's nothing as new or shocking as the author would like you to believe. Any B-horror flick does that job just as well without shoving a pseudo-message down your throat. "

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