Carla, December 07, 2006
(view all comments by Carla)
To quote the referenced Esquire review:
"...Haunted is crap of a high order, flung fresh against the wall and obsessively smeared by a deeply troubled fellow. As his cardboard characters' internment gets more grim — no heat, no food, no exit — Chuckles performs his standard striptease: grotesque sex, murder, self-mutilation, and cannibalism..."
As a book review--as an art review of any kind--this one is deeply flawed for two reasons:
1. It gleefully trashes the novel because, it seems, the reviewer dislikes the author. Saying in any review that an author is "deeply troubled" and calling his cadre of work "his standard striptease" is unprofessional--hiding trees of pettiness in a forest of x number of words, written for an editor.
2. The second part of this quote shows that this reviewer, despite his insinuations to the contrary, is not familiar with Palahniuk's work. For example, his astounding novels Lullaby and DIary do not contain "grotesque sex...self-mutilation, and cannibalism"; the murders that do occur in Lullaby are not committed, to write in the vernacular of Haunted's characters, on-screen. Neither are they graphic in the least.
Palahniuk has a mastery of the English language, and of the interiors of the human heart. He knows it's dark in there, and wants to show you. Perhaps this referenced Esquire reviewer rejected what he saw reflected.