ISBN: 0307391264
ISBN 13: 9780307391261
By: Chuck Palahniuk Javier Calvo

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About this book

- Una libro de terror acerca del precio de la fama. Fantasmas está formado por una veintena de historias terroríficas, todas ellas unidas por un hilo conductor que arranca en una colonia de escritores. Un puñado de escritores —o aspirantes a escritores-, acuden, tras leer un anuncio en la prensa, a un retiro para artistas, donde se supone que darán rienda suelta a su imaginación, inmersos en un escenario de paz y creación, y escribirán la obra maestra que llevan dentro. No obstante, la colonia de escritores resulta ser un lugar aislado del mundo, donde la comida, la electricidad y los suministros básicos son más bien escasos. En estas condiciones precarias los protagonistas comenzarán a escribir historias bizarras y terroríficas, lo cual a la vez, les convierte en héroes de una especie de Reality show.Fantasmas es al mismo tiempo una sátira sobre los programas de televisión conocidos como Reality , y un homenaje a los clásicos del género de terror: Los cuentos de Canterbury o Frankenstein, en esta ocasión se retrata a un grupo de personas que quieren contar sus historias, dar salida a su creatividad, a cualquier coste.

Reader's Thoughts


People who are just trying to be gross can't help but be entertaining, no matter how see-thru their intent. You can't ignore the little boy who's trying to wipe his boogers on you, and when his parents have finally collared him, with anger and gag relex fully suppressed you have to admit the whole thing was actually pretty funny. Chuck Paloonyhoonyhookiak is just trying to wipe his boogers on you. When he's done with that, he'll gladly exhaust whatever other bodily fluids happen to be available to him. His novels seem to have been steadily leading up to this: a good old-fashioned gross-out fest, a chance for him to pull out all the stops and just have fun. I settled into "Haunted", prepared for the worst/best, and got it with the first story, "Guts". This is the one that's apparently been making people faint at readings (though how anyone can actually lose consciousness simply listening to someone read something fictional, no matter how shocking, is beyond me), and it really is genuinely disgusting. Yet fun to read, a vomitrous tale well told. Unfortunately, the rest of the stories simply don't latch onto this gory glee, and, apart from a surprising and amusing tale of a hospice patient who is and isn't what he seems to be, the book becomes more and more of a slog, with a wraparound narrative peopled with irritatingly-named victims (I can't hope to adequately express how thankful I am that I'm unlikely to ever again encounter a character in literature named "Comrade Snarky") meeting their inevitably vile ends. It's ultimately a letdown, but do check out "Guts", if you're into this sort of thing.


First of all, I'd like to warn you all that the cover of this novel glows in the dark. I didn't find this out until I was more than half way done with the novel and after reading one night, but it on my bedside table, only to have the crap scared out of me when I rolled over and saw a glowing face! In Palahniuk's own twisted way he really gives a great commentary on society and the human condition through this novel. If you can get past the disgustingly gory, and yet entrancing, scenes it really holds a great message.

Lex Larson

Apparently working in a vet clinic for the better part of 5 years is precisely the recipe required to inure one to the effects of Palahniuk's writing.You'll see tons of "OMG SO GWOSS!!" reviews here, but this ain't one of 'em. I was entertained. All the blood-and-guts and bodily fluids in the world don't really gross me out. What really sickens me is people.And that's what Palahniuk does best: he writes about the dark sides of people and how precious little it takes to make those sides surface. I enjoyed turning the pages as each character tells his or her tale of how they had sunk so low. Even more fascinating was how each character manages to keep upping the suffering ante when they perceive they've not endured enough. And don't take Palahniuk's pretentious tale of Saint Gut-Free's story making people pass out at face value. I even read it three times through trying to see how that could make someone's knees buckle... because I didn't feel it. Perhaps I truly did gain something from those years of shoveling shit from kennels and picking teeth out of the tub drain and plucking bits of unidentifiable flesh from surgery floors: I gained the ability not be grossed out on a dare.


Warning: The cover of this edition glows in the dark. Do not place on your bed stand unless you want to have a heart attack. I speak from experience.There are 21 short stories in Haunted. Some of them are amazing such as the notorious "Guts". Others are so-so. A couple of them are just boring. All of them are written to shock yet the brevity of the tales keeps both writer and reader focused. If this was a short story collection, I would rate it a strong three stars.Unfortunately it is not. Palahniuk has fashioned this book into a novel. One clearly modeled after The Tales of The Decameron except as written by a 21th century Marquis De Sade. The 19 protagonists are revealed from the beginning as vicious and stupid and we are never given a reason to care about them. Page after page they make insane and idiotic decisions that have no basis in any logic or reality and no purpose but to shock. Some may say that is the point, the author has created a bizarre and surreal horror setting as an analogy. That's fine but what is the author saying? My conclusion is absolutely nothing. Palahnuik's cynicism is so over the top it destroys any attempt at meaning.Perhaps I don't get "it". Yet anyone who perused my book list knows I'm not easily offended. This is the third book by this author I've read. The only reason I read three is because Pahalnuik is one hell of a writer at least technically. And from the short stories in this book I know he can pack a punch when he wants to. But this will probably the last Palahnuik book I will subject myself to.


Hmmm, this is a toughy. I made the mistake of reading a couple of reviews on Haunted while I was halfway through the novel. Needless to say, it didn;t change the way I felt. I can't help but notice that readers of Haunted go to two different extremes in their reviews. Let's face it - you're either a Palahniuk fan or you're not. Anyone that has read a Palahniuk novel before knows what they are getting themselves into. You are going to feel gritty, you're going to feel dirty and you're going to hate and love each of his characters within the same sentence. Here's the beauty. (Yes, there's beauty in this book.) Anyone can write about gore, dismemberment, 'Guts', and a whole slew of unappetizing subjects, BUT no one can put you in the moment like good ol' Chuck. No one can make you put down a book and stare into space, recounting the horrific moment you just read over and over again, trying to put yourself in this situation and actually liking it. That's the beauty of a Palahniuk novel- you might need to take a break from him from time to time, but you'll always find yourself coming back.


This is honestly the worst book I have ever read. I finished it, only because of my amazement at how bad it was and how it never deviated from that.I was intrigued by the premise: a group of writers volunteer to go on a retreat to write their masterpiece. The book has a chapter of plot, followed by either a poem or short story from one of the participants. Sounds cool!The book falls apart immediately. All of the stories/poems are obviously written by the same person. They share themes, style, and emotion. Plus, they all suck, not to mention some are gross, just for the sake of being gross. Furthermore, all of the losers on this retreat so desperately want fame, they start sacrificing themselves to make a more heroic tale of their seclusion. My only hope was that it would turn out to be ONE GUY with multiple personalities fighting writer's block. THAT would have been cool, but no, it wasn't.Don't read this book!

Daniel Vaccereli

Chuck Palahniuk is one of those sad stories, I think -- a guy with an ear for language, who is pretty funny, who then went on to just write the same book AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN and now it's tragic. Always the same set-up for the jokes, always the same kind of repetition, always the same tone. Meh, I say. Meh. I'm gonna go read some J.G. Ballard.

MJ Nicholls

This enormous hardback, with hideous shocked-doll peepers peeping out the gothic stencilling and black laminate paper, foregrounds the content rather well. It’s a tongue-in-cheek homage to Poe and co, mingled with some of that postmodern irony so beloved by the people in marketing who run our lives through bar charts.As a stylist, I respect that Palahniuk isn’t lazy, putting his trademark transgressive style away in novels like Pygmy, a hilarious and brilliant little comedy that hit the mark nicely. This book feels like Chuck on autopilot, and though I admired the structure initially, the repetitiveness of the ‘present-poem-short’ sequence became banal, and as Dan pointed out, the stories written by the characters have the same voice and tone as Chuck.There are some engaging pieces here—several like a bloodier, blunter Ballard— others mordant satirical attacks on fame, artistic ambition and so on. (Easy targets). Others are blatant shock fodder or forced attempts to shock that become embarrassing. The main narrative involves hologram characters chopping off their fingers and toes, and as such doesn’t sustain a 400-page novel as much as the stories do. In the end, it seems as though a point was being made, but it got lost somewhere in all the dismemberment. Let’s call it an ambitious failure and move on.


This was quite a disgusting book to read, my first Chuck Palahniuk, and probably my last. I think the premise of this macabre parody of human endeavour is that we are in this life to suffer and die, that earth is only a processing plant for Paradise (or Venus, as it is portrayed in the book?).I think this premise is as old as the Bible, but what a way Plahniuk chooses to tell us this: replete with olfactory emissions, rotting bodies, barf,shit, blood (lots of it) dismembered body parts, sucked-out guts, cannibalism, mass emigration ( i.e. extermination) and every other rotten thing he can think of. I was reminded of the Marquis de Sade and Hitler in an orgy, trying to see who could outdo the other.A group of off-beat writers are lured into a writers retreat where they are locked up (or they lock themselves up, believing it will add to their mystique) for three months and asked to recount their stories. In between, their numbers start to decrease as their stories and their life at the retreat blur. Their behaviour becomes more bizzare and after awhile the format of narration-poem-story becomes repetitious. I skipped some of the stories because they all end in some form of bizarre entrapment.I continued reading the book because I was partly curious as to why a writer would choose these devices, why a publisher would publish this material, and most of all, why readers would read this stuff, making Palahniuk a best selling author - are we a bunch of closet coldhearted, bloodthirsty voyeurs? Is this what literature has to descend to in order to be read?The characters are wooden cardboard cut-outs, who feel no pain or sympathy for either themselves or for their fellow writers. They mutiliate themselves or their colleagues, starve, incarcerate and murder for celebrity and money. Most importantly, they do not seem to have any souls.I wondered how the survivors remained alive without food, heat, and having lost so much blood and so many body parts. Despite all this suffering, intended to resemble our stay on earth, I suppose, at the end of the book, the survivors remain trapped in their self-imposed prison, still waiting for their fame and fortune to arrive.The writing is jerky and indirect. I wondered if Palahniuk was trying to imitate an assortment of wannabe writers and their styles - a slippery slope, because one wonders if the author himself has gaps in his writing ability.There was just too much sickening and inhuman behaviour going on that after 250 pages, I had to skip to the final chapter. There definitely has to be a better way to communicate this premise...

Lady Danielle

I... I... I just.... WTF?!?!?!Stopped on page 25 I can't finish this. I... this book is weird and disgusting and gut wrenching. I decided to read this book because I read in a group comment that it was the weirdest thing they've ever read. So I decided to give it a try... no. Just fucking no.Stories about some kid sodomising himself with a fucking carrot and some Vaseline; a teenager jacking off with some candle wax -- THROUGH HIS PISS HOLE. The storyteller jacking off in a pool hovering over the pool's suction shit so it's basically eating his ass whilst he jacks off and next thing you know it's sucking up his guts and he has to eat his asshole out to save himself. Occasional sentences about doing what the French do or some weird shit...No.Stop.What the fuck. "My goal was just to write some new form of horror story, something based on the ordinary world. Without supernatural monsters or magic. This would be a book you wouldn't keep next to your bed." -- Chuck PalahniukMr Palahniuk, this isn't horror, this is some vile shit, sir. Vile, vile, shit. I get you wanted horror without supernatural monsters or magic, but these stories are not it!. Read some of Stephen King's works for some real ordinary world horror -- Misery, for example. That's some nerve-racking stuff. That's horror. This... (shakes my head). My eyes felt as though they were about to pop out my head whilst I was reading. Excuse me, going to brush my eyeballs and brain to remove the images and thoughts I've just read.The author was right about one thing:This is a book I will not be keeping next to my bed.

Carac Allison

I'm not a squeamish reader. I actively seek out books that get labelled as "disgusting" and "horrific". And I have a great deal of respect for Chuck Palahniuk.But.But.But I did not enjoy "Haunted" in the least. I lost count of how many readers recommended this title to me. I actually think that's why it took me so long to get around to reading it--I had very high expectations.The framing structure of the work is clever. And the words crackle.But.But.But I don't think the stories are very good. There. I typed it.The one that starts the book off is infamous. I found it plain silly. It didn't shock me because I didn't believe any of it. I'm sure the author can reference real pool incidents where creative masturbators severally damaged their insides. But that just means it happened. It doesn't make it believable or interesting.The stories that followed didn't do much better. Overall the title reads like a literary "Saw" but the individual bits felt like leftovers from one of Palahniuk's good books like "Fight Club" or "Snuff" or "Survivor".Carac


easily the most disgusting book i've ever read. There's an afterword at the end where he talks about how books are the only medium where you have free range to tell the story however you want to tell it, to say whatever you want to say. Whereas in movies, you're trying to hit a certain audience and your work is censored and edited to a certain extent. Books alow you to travel to this deep, dark secret private place inside yourself. That's why he writes. A very compelling explanation. I think one of the major themes of the books is that we are all haunted. We all have our own demons and that the truth is much more terrifying than fiction.Perhaps the scariest thing about Haunted is this:Late one night while i read i noticed i was starting to nod off. I placed the book on my bedside table and turned out the light. As i laid my head down on the bed i noticed a large blurry glow out of the corner of my eye. Sitting up, I took my glasses from the table and as i slid them up my nose i let out a little scream. A big, bug eyed ghost like face was staring back at me. None other than the face on the cover of Haunted. Word of advice: keep the book in a drawer at night.


I really enjoyed Diary by Chuck Palahniuk as well as the movie Fight Club. Haunted, not so much. The overall critique of reality TV by way of a reality writer's retreat that worked like a nihilistic Survivor or American Idol was promising. But the book's design of being carried by the short stories of the writers on retreat left the book uneven and less satisfying. A few of the stories rose to the task, but overall the book didn't quite live up to its promising premise.The book did leave an impression with a disgusting short story the author swears caused 73 people to faint at readings he has done in promoting the book while it was in progress. The tales of masturbation gone horribly wrong didn't make me want to faint. I just wondered if I wanted to bother to keep reading. I did and found that I might have been better to stop sooner. But I don't actually regret finishing the book as the whole is better than the sum of its parts.


Don't be fooled, I may have chosen 5 stars for this novel, but not because I loved it. This book is dynamic.This novel looks so innocent and harmless, sitting there with it's ghostly lavender and white cover and "Fight Club" was great, I'll give it a read.This novel will stretch you to breaking point and beyond what you have ever read before. To give an example, when Chuck Palahniuk gives a public reading of the short story "Guts", the ambulance shows up before the end of it. People have fainted, vomited and moaned in disgust over this story. I was not able to read through the whole chapter, I felt very dizzy. And I think this is only chapter two. Things go awry when these strangers gather for a writing retreat and the rest seems like an experiment in how horrible people can possibly be to each other.The format is an overarching story about the downward spiral of the retreat and peppered with the short stories of the attendees. The end short story is the best, if you can make it that far.There is no "Love-hate" icon for this story. This book is horrifying in the experience; not unlike an STD it stays with you and you have to learn to live with the experience you had with it.I want to recommend it, but I'm afraid it's like going to bed with someone and not telling them you have AIDS. The reason you don't want to tell them is that you want to share the misery. You'll feel blindsided even if you are prepared for it. I suppose this would be extreme reading; but is somewhat of an underground cult-classic. Bring it up with the artistic circles or geeks alike and you will have found at least one or more persons who's read "Guts" at least.All in all Palahnuik has realized and exercised the right to be as explicit as possible, because books don't come with a Parental Advisory or MPAA rating.I gave my copy away, but I downloaded the audio...


I was really excited about this one after being disappointed with "Lullaby" and "Diary." Basically, it's a book of short stories each by a fictional author, each introduced by a poem about the writer, and linked together by mini-chapters about the writers' retreat they are all on. Trapped in a house and running out of food, they write, record, and videotape their experience, certain that when they are finally rescued, they will all become media darlings destined for reality tv fame, if any of them survive, that is. The first story, "Guts," had a reputation for making listeners pass out when Pahlaniuk read it aloud at book signings. My friend Jim and I also took great pleasure in reading that story aloud to oblivious victims. I think he even read it to his mom. My other favorite story is the one about the life-like dolls at the police station, just totally unbelievable. One critic complained that this book was "too over the top," and it's like, dude, what the fuck do you think the point was?

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