Sunday, October 16, 2011

Operation Chuck: Haunted

Finished books on the left,
Books to go on the right.
Alien in the middle.
Lemuria's Damned event is on Thursday and I have several books to go before meeting Chuck Palahniuk, partying with the Lemuria staff (to the extent that I "party" as a verb...which is not much), and finishing my quest to read a whole lotta Chuck books.

Most recently completed: Haunted.  This one's a bit writer's workshop from hell, a bit Canterbury Tales, a bit critique on the pursuit of fame in America.  The framing story involves a bunch of nicknamed characters (Comrade Snarky, Saint Gut-Free, Director Denial) gathering for a writer's retreat that lasts three months.  The writers are locked in an old theater and tasked with writing their masterpieces in seclusion from the outside world.  The whole thing goes rather Lord of the Flies, though, and the situation becomes a survival of the Hollywood-savviest as writers vie for the most potential screen time in what they imagine will be the movie made of their ordeal.

Along with the framing story, Haunted weaves in poems about characters (again, think Canterbury Tales) and the short stories written by the participants.  Some are harrowing, some are vulgar, and one is the most disgusting story I've ever read.  If you've heard the tales of people fainting at Chuck Palahniuk's public readings, the story that triggered such strong reactions is "Guts."  I didn't faint, but I also didn't want to eat dinner either.  On the other hand, "Guts" is also darkly hilarious.  And nauseating.  This is not your father's Philip Roth masturbation story.

Glow in the dark.  Not good
for bedside tables at 3 am.
Another creepy thing I didn't realize about Haunted: the cover glows in the dark.  That's an image you don't want to see in the middle of the night when you already have sleep difficulties.

I think Haunted is my favorite Chuck book so far.

Next: Rant

1 comment:

  1. i hope to never read the words "father" and "masturbation" in the same sentence again.