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Haunted - Chuck Palahniuk Feeling misanthropic today. Seems like a good time to pick up some Palahniuk.

Guts. So, this is the story that makes people puke? Eh. I mean, it's gross, but is it really any more shocking than those urban legends about Richard Gere and the gerbil? I'm still holding my dinner.

While I'm on the subject of gerbiling: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBJ3rkNq2ok

What else have you got, Palahniuk? Bring it.

A couple of passages I like:

- The air will always be too filled with something. Your body too sore or tired. Your father too drunk. Your wife too cold. You will always have some excuse not to live your life.

- Of course, everyone said they'd still write their work, their poems and stories. They'd complete their masterpiece. Just not here. Not now. Later, outside.
Our first week here, we got nothing done. Except complain.

I'm starting to wonder if maybe this book should be required reading for aspiring authors.

I'm liking the frame story more than the stories-within-the-story thus far, partly because I keep wondering who the narrator is and whether that's some mystery that will be revealed before the end. I also think the first few stories other than "Guts" are rather weak. I didn't care at all about Miss America's story, and "Foot Work" was just ridiculous. I know it was intended to be absurd, but sometimes Palahniuk is little like Mike Meyers -- he doesn't know when he's tried to milk something for more than it's actually worth. And yet, I've grown quite fond of Palahniuk over the course of four novels, even when two of them were just okay. I have a weak spot for that breed of fuck-up that is capable of flashes of brilliance, but mostly is mired in spectacular failure.


Jan. 23, 2011 - I'm just not feeling this one. Palahniuk is sacrificing character to surrealistic gimmick with this one, but this is a story that should be more character-driven than anything else he's ever written. Meh.