Getting an early jump on Halloween, I decided to read Chuck Palahniuk's infamous new novel, Haunted, in which writers trapped at an isolated retreat tell their dark and horrific stories, all the while sabotaging their own rescue in hopes of creating a story dramatic enough to get them books and made-for-TV movies about the ordeal. Several people are reported to have taken ill during Palahniuk's notoriously graphic public readings.

It's definitely a page-turner, but my initial reaction wasn't very enthusiastic. The short stories are uneven, while the frame narrative isn't very convincing. Still, a week after reading it, I find myself thinking about some of the more memorable stories - not necessarily the most gruesome, but definitely the most eerie. Perhaps it's a more compelling collection than I first thought.

-Summer Block

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