A couple of years ago, I had no idea Fight Club was originally a book. After loving the book, I was kind of surprised learning writer, Chuck Palahniuk had written a really acclaimed horror story. Curiosity got the better of me and I had to check out Haunted. Haunted is a strange book to talk about, but I can say I haven’t read many like it if any. The core premise is simple: a group of weirdos is drawn to a three month long writer’s retreat by a rich old guy named Whittier and they are told to bring what matters most to them. They are brought to a secluded place, locked away with a limited supply of food and no kind of contact with the outside world. What ensues is a catalog of desperation becoming madness as they run out of food, become deprived of sleep, water and utter sanity as they create their own stories that gives us a window into the lives of our “victims”. These stories are, excuse my language, are fascinating as they are fucked up. There is a story of a dude who lost part of his small intestine in a pool filter, a professional foot fetishist, a woman who named her cat after her dead cat, and a dude who told some real nasty lies about a former child star to name a few. I warn you, do not read this book if you have weak constitutions or get freaked out easy, don’t read this book.
While I didn’t love every single short story or every free form poem, this maybe one of the best books I’ve ever read. By the end, I legitimately felt different then when I started and that maybe the best compliment I can give. The overall story is disturbing but relate-able as are many of the short stories. Palahniuk’s writing style is a lot easier to get into this time around then Fight Club; in fact I was pretty engulfed by how well everything flowed. Haunted is a great read I highly recommend if you want to read something really different but really deep. May the gaming gods bring you glory.