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Damned [NOOK Book]

Overview

“Are you there, Satan? It’s me, Madison,” declares the whip-tongued thirteen-year-old narrator of Damned, Chuck Palahniuk’s subversive new work of fiction. The daughter of a narcissistic film star and a billionaire, Madison is abandoned at her Swiss boarding school over Christmas, while her parents are off touting their new projects and adopting more orphans. She dies over the holiday of a mari­juana overdose—and the next thing she knows, she’s in Hell. Madison shares her cell with a motley crew of young sinners ...
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Damned

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Overview

“Are you there, Satan? It’s me, Madison,” declares the whip-tongued thirteen-year-old narrator of Damned, Chuck Palahniuk’s subversive new work of fiction. The daughter of a narcissistic film star and a billionaire, Madison is abandoned at her Swiss boarding school over Christmas, while her parents are off touting their new projects and adopting more orphans. She dies over the holiday of a mari­juana overdose—and the next thing she knows, she’s in Hell. Madison shares her cell with a motley crew of young sinners that is almost too good to be true: a cheerleader, a jock, a nerd, and a punk rocker, united by fate to form the six-feet-under version of everyone’s favorite detention movie. Madison and her pals trek across the Dandruff Desert and climb the treacherous Mountain of Toenail Clippings to confront Satan in his citadel. All the popcorn balls and wax lips that serve as the currency of Hell won’t buy them off.

This is the afterlife as only Chuck Palahniuk could imagine it: a twisted inferno where The English Patient plays on end­less repeat, roaming demons devour sinners limb by limb, and the damned interrupt your dinner from their sweltering call center to hard-sell you Hell. He makes eternal torment, well, simply divine.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

This is the afterlife as only Chuck Palahniuk (The Fight Club) could have imagined it; a twisted inferno where The English Patient plays on endless repeat; roaming demons devour sinners limb by limb; and the damned interrupt your dinner from their sweltering call center to hard-sell you Hell. He make eternal torment, well, simply divine. Perhaps Palahniuk's most accessible novel and, believe it or not, gentler than most.

Sessalee Hensley

Janet Maslin
…a book full of tastelessly hilarious gallows humor about a teenage girl in hell…Damned has a set-up that really speaks to [Palahniuk]. He clearly likes writing in the voice of a caustic 13-year-old. He appreciates that hell has great visual potential. And he fully exploits the idea that a girl raised by a movie star (her mother) and producer (her father) with bankrupt show-business values would actually find hell kind of homey…the novel is too funny to be ignored.
—The New York Times
Jess Walter
And now, from the Well, What Did You Expect file: Chuck Palahniuk imagines a great hell. His matter-of-fact underworld is the charming setting of Damned, a slight but very funny coming-of-age (after-you're-dead) novel, which the publisher describes with rare book-jacket precision as "the Inferno by way of The Breakfast Club…Palahniuk's descriptions of hell are inspired, crafted with great comic flair
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Move over, Dante, there's a new tour guide to hell: Madison Spencer, the 13-year-old narrator of Palahniuk's cliché-ridden latest bulletin of phoned-in outrage. After self-asphyxiating, Madison wakes up in hell and quickly finds, as she's put to work prank-calling people at dinnertime, that her new home is not much different from Saturday detention in The Breakfast Club. Embarking on a field trip with some new friends, Madison fights demons, raises an army of the dead, and storms the gates of Satan's citadel. At the same time, she flashes back to her unhappy life as the daughter of a self-absorbed movie star mother and a financial tycoon father who collect Third World orphans. Unfortunately, Palahniuk's hell turns out to be a familiar place, filled with long lines, celebrities, dictators, mass murderers, lawyers, and pop culture references and jokes repeated until they are no longer funny. In the end, the author seems to be saying that the real hell is the banality of our earthly lives, an observation that itself seems a little too banal to power this work of fiction. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
Praise for Damned:

"As gleefully, vividly, hilariously obscene as you'd expect. . . . Irreverent and hugely entertaining." —NPR

"Brilliant. . . . Palahniuk's descriptions of hell are inspired, crafted with great comic flair. . . . A winning and funny book." —The Washington Post

"Hilarious. . . . The Judy Blume book from hell, just as Mr. Palahniuk intended." —The New York Times
 
"When it comes to drawing up a vision of hell, there are few American writers better suited to the job than Chuck Palahniuk." —Los Angeles Times

"Damned is gross, sick, nasty, silly, all the things you want from the merry madman of American letters, Chuck Palahniuk. How can you not be instantly transfixed by an opening like this?: 'Are you there, Satan? It's me, Madison. I'm just now arrived here, in Hell, but it's not my fault except for maybe dying from an overdose of marijuana.' And so begins the kind of goofy, but hypnotically endearing tale of a 13-year-old girl who, completely lost in life, finally starts to discover herself in Palahniuk's demented version of the afterlife....With Damned, [he] opens the fire hose to full bore again, stripping away the veneer on American society and showing us the yucky parts we don't want to see."—Chris Talbot, AP

"[T]horoughly original...satiric and horrifying, enough so you'll want to repent after you read."—Christian DuChateau, CNN

"Some Fight Club trademarks—youthful disaffection, violence, gross-out humor, a dystopic setting, cultural satire as an extreme sport, a decent helping of third-act pathos—can be seen in...Damned.  Even prepubescent Madison Spencer, the protagonist of Damned, has traits that could be seen as Tyler Durden-esque. She's disaffected from society (i.e., those still alive), she kicks serious butt and is a cultural critic who becomes an unlikely leader....It's hard to pitch the broadly satirical Damned as a useful replacement narrative of life after death, but it's a rollicking adventure of Swiftian proportions, a Valleyfair of the Underworld that, incidentally, shows an overweight teenage girl bringing Satan himself down a peg."—Claude Peck, Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"Damned is typical of Palahniuk's work: a scathing satire that is unfiltered, caustic and smart....[His] descriptions of hell are priceless."—Rege Behe, Pittsburgh Tribune Review

"Even just its first few chapters reveal several layers of satiric humor, social commentary, Grand Guignol violence and heartbreaking insight....The narrator's blend of snark, precocious wit and unconcealed vulnerability and need is a combination as refreshing as the book is hard to put down."—Bill O'Driscoll, Pittsburgh City Paper 
 

Library Journal
Smart but awkward, chubby Madison gets fried on marijuana and dies the night her Brangelina-like parents are accepting Oscars. She finds herself as one-fifth (the Ally Sheedy) of a new Breakfast Club, this one trapped in Hell rather than detention. Alongside the cheerleader, jock, nerd, and punk, Madison gains confidence battling history's villains and mythology's demons, wandering the bad candy-strewn landscape in search of Satan, whom she has decided is not such a bad guy. She also works as a telemarketer, enticing the diseased to join her in an afterworld that she likes better than life. VERDICT As in Tell-All, Palahniuk takes a high concept and kills it with a meandering plot and an unsatisfying conclusion. His humor occasionally scores, but the best jokes are repeated until they become more annoying than funny. Thirteen-year-old Madison reads like a snarky grad student, while other characters barely register. The oceans of bodily fluids in this Hell could serve as a symbol for Palahniuk's wasted talent. Longtime fans will be left wishing for his return from limbo. [Seven-city tour; see Prepub Alert, 4/11/11.]—Neil Hollands, Williamsburg Regional Lib., VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385533140
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/18/2011
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 33,201
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

CHUCK PALAHNIUK’s eleven best-selling novels—Tell-All, Pygmy, Snuff, Rant, Haunted, Lullaby, Fight Club, Diary, Survivor, Invisible Monsters, and Choke—have sold more than five million copies in the United States. He is also the author of Fugitives and Refugees, published as part of the Crown Journey Series, and the nonfiction collection Stranger Than Fiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.


From the Hardcover edition.

Biography

Readers of Chuck Palahniuk's novels must gird themselves for the bizarre, the violent, the macabre, and the just plain disturbing. Having done that, they can then just enjoy the ride.

The story goes that Palahniuk wrote Fight Club out of frustration. Believing that his first submission to publishers (an early version of Invisible Monsters) was being rejected as too risky, he decided to take the gloves off, so to speak, and wrote something he never expected to see the light of day. Ironically, Fight Club was accepted for publication, and its subsequent filming by directory David Fincher earned the author an obsessive cult following.

The apocalyptic, blackly humorous story of a loner's entanglement with a charismatic but dangerous underground leader, Fight Club was the first in a series of controversial fiction that would keep Palahniuk in the spotlight. Since then, he has crafted strange, disturbing tales around unlikely subjects: a disfigured model bent on revenge (the revised Invisible Monsters) ... the last surviving member of a death cult (Survivor) ... a sex addict who resorts to a bizarre restaurant scam to pay the bills (Choke) ... a lethal African nursery rhyme (Lullaby) ... and so the list continues.

Although Palahniuk makes occasional forays into nonfiction, (e.g., Fugitives and Refugees and Stranger than Fiction), it is his novels that generate the most buzz. His outré plots and jump-cut storytelling are definitely not for everyone—some have likened them to the horrible accident you can't tear your eyes away from—but even critics can't help but be impressed by his flair for language, his talent for satire, and his sheer originality. Newsday wrote, "Palahniuk is one of the freshest, most intriguing voices to appear in a long time. He rearranges Vonnegut's sly humor, DeLillo's mordant social analysis, and Pynchon's antic surrealism (or is it R. Crumb's?) into a gleaming puzzle palace all his own."

Palahniuk has said that he has heard a lot from readers who were never readers before they saw his books, from boys in schools where his books are banned. This might be the best evidence that Palahniuk is a writer for a new age, introducing a (mostly male) audience to worlds on the page that usually only exist in technicolor nightmares.

Good To Know

Palahniuk (pronounced paul-a-nik) worked as a diesel mechanic for a trucking company before he became an author, jotting story notes for The Fight Club under trucks he was supposed to be working on.

Palahniuk's family has had a sad history of violence: His grandfather killed his grandmother and then committed suicide; later in life, his divorced father was murdered in 1999 by a girlfriend's ex-husband. The killer was convicted and sentenced to death in October, 2001. Palahniuk's book, Choke, was driven by an attempt to look at how sexual compulsion can destroy (see essay below for more).

When not working on his novels, Palahniuk has written features for Gear magazine, through which he befriended shock rocker Marilyn Manson; and is reportedly working on a script of the Katie Arnoldi novel Chemical Pink for Fight Club director David Fincher.

While writing, Palahniuk has said he listens to Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, and Radiohead.

To a reader who asked in a Barnes & Noble.com chat why the novel Invisible Monsters was not released in hardcover, Palahniuk responded: "My original request was not to have any of my books released as hardcovers b/c I felt guilty asking for over $20 for anything I had done. With Invisible Monsters I finally got my way."

Invisible Monsters was inspired by fashion magazines Palahniuk was reading at his laundromat, according to an interview with The Village Voice. "I love the language of fashion magazines. Eighteen adjectives and you find the word sweater at the end. 'Ethereal. Sacred.' I thought, Wouldn't it be fun to write a novel in this fashion magazine language, so packed with hyperbole?"

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    1. Also Known As:
      Charles M. Palahniuk
    2. Hometown:
      Portland, Oregon
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 21, 1962
    2. Place of Birth:
      Pasco, Washington
    1. Education:
      B.A. in journalism, University of Oregon, 1986
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

I.

Are you there, Satan? It’s me, Madison. I’m just now arrived here, in Hell, but it’s not my fault except for maybe dying from an overdose of marijuana. Maybe I’m in Hell because I’m fat--a Real Porker. If you can go to Hell for having low self-esteem, that’s why I’m here. I wish I could lie and tell you I’m bone-thin with blond hair and big ta-tas. But, trust me, I’m fat for a really good reason.

To start with, please let me introduce myself.


How to best convey the exact sensation of being dead . . .

Yes, I know the word convey. I’m dead, not a mental defective.

Trust me, the being-dead part is much easier than the dying part. If you can watch much television, then being dead will be a cinch. Actually, watching television and surfing the Internet are really excellent practice for being dead.

The closest way I can describe death is to compare it to when my mom boots up her notebook computer and hacks into the surveillance system of our house in Mazatlan or Banff. “Look,” she’d say, turning the screen sideways for me to see, “it’s snowing.” Glowing softly on the computer would be the interior of our Milan house, the sitting room, with snow falling outside the big windows, and by long distance, holding down her Control, Alt and W keys, my mom would draw open the sitting room drapes all the way. Pressing the Control and D keys, she’d dim the lights by remote control and we’d both sit, on a train or in a rented town car or aboard a leased jet, watching the pretty winter view through the windows of that empty house displayed on her computer screen. With the Control and F keys, she’d light a fire in the gas fireplace, and we’d listen to the hush of the Italian snow falling, the crackle of the flames via the audio monitors of the security system. After that, my mom would keyboard into the system for our house in Cape Town. Then log on to view our house in Brentwood. She could simultaneously be all places but no place, mooning over sunsets and foliage everywhere except where she actually was. At best, a sentry. At worst, a voyeur.

My mom will kill half a day on her notebook computer just looking at empty rooms full of our furniture. Tweaking the thermostat by remote control. Turning down the lights and choosing the right level of soft music to play in each room. “Just to keep the cat burglars guessing,” she’d tell me. She’d toggle from camera to camera, watching the Somali maid clean our house in Paris. Hunched over her computer screen, she’d sigh and say, “My crocus are blooming in London. . . .”

From behind his open business section of the Times, my dad would say, “The plural is crocuses.”

Probably my mom would cackle then, hitting her Control and L keys to lock a maid inside a bathroom from three continents away because the tile didn’t look adequately polished. To her this passed for way-wicked, good fun. It’s affecting the environment without being physically present. Consumption in absentia. Like having a hit song you recorded decades ago still occupy the mind of a Chinese sweatshop worker you’ll never meet. It’s power, but a kind of pointless, impotent power.

On the computer screen a maid would place a vase filled with fresh-cut peonies on the windowsill of our house in Dubai, and my mom would spy by satellite, turning down the air-conditioning, colder and colder, with a tapping keystroke via her wireless connection, chilling that house, that one room, meat-locker cold, ski-slope cold, spending a king’s ransom on Freon and electric power, trying to make some doomed ten bucks’ worth of pretty pink flowers last one more day.

That’s what it’s like to be dead. Yes, I know the word absentia. I’m thirteen years old, not stupid--and being dead, ye gods, do I comprehend the idea of absentia.

Being dead is the very essence of traveling light.

Being dead-dead means nonstop, twenty-four/seven, three hundred sixty-five days a year . . . forever.

How it feels when they pump out all of your blood, you don’t want me to describe. Probably I shouldn’t even tell you I’m dead, because no doubt now you feel awfully superior. Even other fat people feel superior to Dead People. Nevertheless, here it is: my Hideous Admission. I’ll fess up and come clean. I’m out of the closet. I’m dead. Now don’t hold it against me.

Yes, we all look a little mysterious and absurd to each other, but no one looks as foreign as a dead person does. We can forgive some stranger her choice to practice Catholicism or engage in homosexual acts, but not her submission to death. We hate a backslider. Worse than alcoholism or heroin addiction, dying seems like the greatest weakness, and in a world where people say you’re lazy for not shaving your legs, then being dead seems like the ultimate character flaw.

It’s as if you’ve shirked life--simply not made enough serious effort to live up to your full potential. You quitter! Being fat and dead--let me tell you--that’s the double whammy.

No, it’s not fair, but even if you feel sorry for me, you’re probably also feeling pretty darn smug that you’re alive and no doubt chewing on a mouthful of some poor animal that had the misfortune to live below you on the food chain. I’m not telling you all of this to gain your sympathy. I’m thirteen years old, and a girl, and I’m dead. My name is Madison, and the last thing I need is your stupid condescending pity. No, it’s not fair, but it’s how people do. The first time we meet another person an insidious little voice in our head says, “I might wear eyeglasses or be chunky around the hips or a girl, but at least I’m not Gay or Black or a Jew.” Meaning: I may be me--but at least I have the good sense not to be YOU. So I hesitate to even mention that I’m dead because everyone already feels so darned superior to dead people, even Mexicans and AIDS people. It’s like when learning about Alexander the Great in our seventh-grade Influences of Western History class, what keeps running through your head is: “If Alexander was so brave and smart and . . . Great . . . why’d he die?”

Yes, I know the word insidious.

Death is the One Big Mistake that none of us EVER plans to make. That’s why the bran muffins and the colonoscopies. It’s how come you take vitamins and get Pap smears. No, not you--you’re never going to die--so now you feel all superior to me. Well, go ahead and think that. Keep smearing your skin with sunblock and feeling yourself for lumps. Don’t let me spoil the Big Surprise.

But, to be honest, when you’re dead probably not even homeless people and retarded people will want to trade you places. I mean, worms get to eat you. It’s like a complete violation of all your civil rights. Death ought to be illegal but you don’t see Amnesty International starting any letter-writing campaigns. You don’t see any rock stars banding together to release hit singles with all the proceeds going to solve MY getting my face chewed off by worms.

My mom would tell you I’m too flip and glib about everything. My mom would say, “Madison, please don’t be such a smart aleck.” She’d say, “You’re dead; now just calm down.”

Probably me being dead is a gigantic relief to my dad; this way, at least, he won’t have to worry about me embarrassing him by getting pregnant. My dad used to say, “Madison, whatever man ends up with you, he’s going to have his hands full. . . .” If my dad only knew.

When my goldfish, Mister Wiggles, died we flushed him down the toilet. When my kitten, Tiger Stripe, died I tried the same deal, and we had to call a plumber to snake the pipes. What a big mess. Poor Tiger Stripe. When I died, I won’t go into the details, but let’s say some Mr. Pervy McPervert mortician got to see me naked and pump out all my blood and commit God only knows what deranged carnal high jinks with my virginal thirteen-year-old body. You can call me glib, but death is about the biggest joke around. After all the permanent waves and ballet lessons my mom paid for, here I am getting a hot-spit tongue bath from some paunchy, depraved mortuary guy.

I can tell you, when you’re dead, you pretty much have to give up your demands about boundaries and personal space. Just understand, I didn’t die because I was too lazy to live. I didn’t die because I wanted to punish my family. And no matter how much I slag my parents, don’t get the idea that I hate them. Yes, for a while I hung around, watching my mom hunched over her notebook computer, tapping the keys Control, Alt, and L to lock the door of my bedroom in Rome, my room in Athens, all my rooms around the world. She keyboarded to close all my drapes after that, and turn down the air-conditioning and activate the electrostatic air filtration so not even dust would settle on my dolls and clothes and stuffed animals. It simply makes sense that I should miss my parents more than they miss me, especially when you consider that they only loved me for thirteen years while I loved them for my entire life. Forgive me for not sticking around longer, but I don’t want to be dead and just watching everybody while I chill rooms, flicker the lights, and pull the drapes open and shut. I don’t want to be simply a voyeur.

No, it’s not fair, but what makes earth feel like Hell is our expectation that it should feel like Heaven. Earth is earth. Dead is dead. You’ll find out for yourself soon enough. It won’t help the situation for you to get all upset.


II.

Are you there, Satan? It’s me, Madison. Please don’t get the impression that I dislike Hell. No, really, it’s way swell. Tons better than I expected. Honestly, it’s obvious you’ve worked very hard for a very long time on the roiling, surging oceans of scalding-hot barf, and the stinking sulfur smell, and the clouds of buzzing black flies.


If my version of Hell fails to impress you, please consider that to be my own shortcoming. I mean, what do I know? Probably any grown-up would pee herself silly, seeing the flying vampire bats and majestic, cascading waterfalls of smelly poop. No doubt the fault is entirely my own, because if I’d ever imagined Hell it was as a fiery version of that classic Hollywood masterpiece The Breakfast Club, populated, let’s remember, by a hypersocial, pretty cheerleader, a rebel stoner type, a dumb football jock, a brainy geek, and a misanthropic psycho, all locked together in their high school library doing detention on an otherwise ordinary Saturday except with every book and chair being blazing on fire.

Yes, you might be alive and Gay or Old or a Mexican, lording that over me, but consider that I’ve had the actual experience of waking up on my first day in Hell, and you’ll just have to take my word for what all this is like. No, it’s not fair, but you can forget about the fabled tunnel of bright, spectral-white light and being greeted by the open arms of your long-deceased grandma and grandpa; maybe other people have reported that blissful process, but consider that those people are currently alive, or they remained living for sufficient time to report on their encounter. My point is: Those people enjoyed what’s clearly labeled a “near-death experience.” I, on the other hand, am dead, with my blood long ago pumped out and worms munching on me. In my book that makes me the higher authority. Other people, like famous Italian poet Dante Alighieri, I’m sorry to say, simply hoisted a generous helping of campy make-believe on the reading public.

Thus, disregard my account of Hell at your own peril.

First off, you wake up lying on the stone floor inside a fairly dismal cell composed of iron bars; and take my stern advice--don’t touch anything. The prison cell bars are filthy dirty. If by accident you DO touch the bars, which look a tad slimy with mold and someone else’s blood, do NOT touch your face--or your clothes--not if you have any aspiration to stay looking nice until Judgment Day.

And do NOT eat the candy you’ll see scattered everywhere on the ground.

The exact means by which I arrived in the underworld remain a little unclear. I recall a chauffeur standing curbside somewhere, next to a parked black Lincoln Town Car, holding a white placard with my name written on it, MADISON SPENCER, in all-caps terrible handwriting. The chauffeur--those people never speak English--had on mirrored sunglasses and a visored chauffeur cap, so most of his face was hidden. I remember him opening the rear door so I could step inside; after that was a way-long drive with the windows tinted so dark I couldn’t quite see out, but what I’ve just described could’ve been any one of ten bazillion rides I’ve taken between airports and cities. Whether that Town Car delivered me to Hell, I can’t swear, but the next thing is I woke up in this filthy cell.

Probably I woke up because someone was screaming; in Hell, someone is always screaming. Anyone who’s ever flown London to Sydney, seated next to or anywhere in the proximity of a fussy baby, you’ll no doubt fall right into the swing of things in Hell. What with the strangers and crowding and seemingly endless hours of waiting for nothing to happen, for you Hell will feel like one long, nostalgic hit of déjà vu. Especially if your in-flight movie was The English Patient. In Hell, whenever the demons announce they’re going to treat everyone to a big-name Hollywood movie, don’t get too excited because it’s always The English Patient or, unfortunately, The Piano. It’s never The Breakfast Club.

In regard to the smell, Hell comes nowhere near as bad as Naples in the summertime during a garbage strike.

If you ask me, people in Hell just scream to hear their own voice and to pass the time. Still, complaining about Hell occurs to me as a tad bit obvious and self-indulgent. Like so many experiences you venture into knowing full well that they’ll be terrible, in fact the core pleasure resides in their very innate badness, like eating Swanson frozen chicken potpies at boarding school or a Banquet frozen Salisbury steak on the cook’s night out. Or eating really anything in Scotland. Allow me to venture that the sole reason we enjoy certain pastimes such as watching the film version of Valley of the Dolls arises from the comfort and familiarity of its very inherent poor quality.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 131 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 131 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 28, 2011

    You Had Me at "Palahniuk Writes a Book About Hell"

    I was seriously looking forward to reading this novel and it did not disappoint one bit. Palahniuk's dense sentences always grab me and I love his structure and his style, always have and likely always will. It gives a great glimpse of the world of Palahniuk without the difficulty of, let's say, his book "Rant" (one of my favorites). A must read if you are a fan of any of his works, but also a great place to start for those who have never read anything of his.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2011

    Very Entertaining

    Started kinda slow.....but then! The climax! Very good book! Entertaining! Funny! Well written.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    Overdose of weed? Really? He couldn't come up with a better dea

    Overdose of weed? Really? He couldn't come up with a better death? Honestly, I couldn't finish the book. I was so irritated by the constant "yeah, I'm 13 but I know what ___ means" dialog. It got old really quick. Also, I felt that it was a huge rip off of the Sandman Slim series. I'd return this one if I bought the physcial book, unfortunately I bought the Nook one.

    3 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2013

    This was my first Palahnuik book and now I'm hooked. He manages

    This was my first Palahnuik book and now I'm hooked. He manages to create a believable 13 year old
    character albeit a 13 year old from the 90's. Do teenagers still know what the breakfast club even is? and
    to those who are critical of Madison's death I'll just say this. I'm pretty sure you cant die from weed
    overdose and maybe you should have finished the book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2012

    Interesting

    This is the newest book of Palanhiuk's series I've read most recently and really enjoyed it compared to Pgymy or Snuff. It was hard for me to put it down. Would recommend to those who dig Chuck.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2012

    Floundered At The End

    This is my first Palahniuk book and I didn't walk away disappointed.

    This book has moments where I got a little irritated with the redundancy, though no sooner had I felt that way the redundancy finally ended. The Psezpolnica scene had me rolling. There really isn't a major plot going on here, but it does manage to keep you wanting to figure out what's going to happen next.

    I was pretty underwhelmed by the end of this novel, though. We get a big reveal, but then the book refuses to deal with that big reveal and we're left hanging there.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2011

    Top 3 Palaniuk

    I am quite the fan of chuck. Close to Rant and Survivor this is one of my favorites out of his work.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2011

    Getting better...again

    Like many others, I am a long-time Chuck fan. His last couple let me down, but Damned is something closer to his proper form. Mostly funny. Razor-sharp at points. I recommend this read to anyone looking for something a bit out of the mainstream.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    A little too strange, hard to follow even. Sounded interesting b

    A little too strange, hard to follow even. Sounded interesting because I like si-fy type books but this one was not amazing.

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  • Posted September 4, 2014

    To be upfront, I am not typically a fan of Chuck Palahniuk¿s wri

    To be upfront, I am not typically a fan of Chuck Palahniuk’s writing, but this one’s description caught my eye so I decided to give it a try.  I’m glad I did, because I generally loved it.

    The main character, 13-year-old Madison, evolves throughout the story from a rather clueless girl to one who gradually becomes more self-aware.  The writing style is meant to mimic how a girl her age may write, and for the most part it played out nicely.  However, after a while some of the repetition began to grate on my nerves like one of the demons in the book.  We got the point, Mr. Palahnuik. It really marred what was otherwise a pleasant read and is the sole reason I gave it three stars instead of four.

    The other characters were excellent.  All surprising and well-rounded, they did a great job of making the novel thought-provoking as opposed to one-dimensional. Archer and Goren were particular were favorites of mine.

    The list of ways to get you a one way ticket to eternal damnation had me laughing every time one came up.  I challenge anyone not to wonder if you are gambling with their soul the next time they commit one of the atrocities.

    As is so common in a Palahniuk novel that I don’t think it bears even a thought of a spoiler warning, it all comes down to the ultimate existential crisis.  This one is the best I have ever read, not only from the author, but from possibly any author. It definitely left me wanting more in spite of the previously mentioned repetition. Lucky for me, there is a sequel, “Doomed”.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2014

    The thought of Hell is a daunting concept, full of mystery and e

    The thought of Hell is a daunting concept, full of mystery and endless possibilities. Chuck Palahnuik presents his hell head on with dark humor and unfailing satire. His descriptions of Hell are nothing less than hysterical yet will most likely leave you feeling uneasy.  Unless you are unaffected by 'seas of steaming sperm' and giant titillated demons. Palahniuk creates a world where hell doesn't seem so awful as long as you avoid getting eaten by demons and die with the appropriate walking shoes on. Damned is ridiculous and outrageous and will leave you wanting to read the sequel.

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  • Posted November 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A mixture of Dante's Inferno and Breakfast Club. Palahniuk does

    A mixture of Dante's Inferno and Breakfast Club. Palahniuk does a great job in detailing Hell that stays with you. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    This was the fourth novel of Palahniuk's that I have read. This

    This was the fourth novel of Palahniuk's that I have read. This one was a bit of a departure from his other work. If you are a big fan of the gritty realism of Fight Club and Choke like me, you may feel like the supernatural subject mater of Damned is off putting. This still is a well written novel and has the dark humor this author is know for. Review by Curt Wiser, the author of suspense novels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2013

    Typical Chuck

    An absolutely horrifying look into the scopes of hell. Like any book by Mr. P it is not for the weak of heart. An interesting read and although a fan I might not continue with the sequel. Not my favorite.

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  • Posted March 25, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The first eighty or so pages were really enjoyable in my opinion

    The first eighty or so pages were really enjoyable in my opinion. After that, though, I noticed that I started not to enjoy it as much. I'm pretty sure most of this novel is a big critique of certain parts of our society, but sometimes the sarcasm felt flat to me. It's a pet peeve of mine when women and young girls are called derogatory names but what can you do, it's the norm, right? I didn't enjoy it as much as his other novels that I've read so far. I'm actually surprised that there's a sequel. I might or might not check it out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    Awesome

    I loved it

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    Holy wasted sperm batman!

    I really enjoyed this book, as I do most of Chuck's. Its true what other posts said that it could of been better, but overall a fast, fun read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    Typically incredible!

    A great read.

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  • Posted January 7, 2013

    If you like Chuck Palahniuk, you will enjoy this book. It is not

    If you like Chuck Palahniuk, you will enjoy this book. It is not as good as some of his other novels, but it is still an entertaining read.

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  • Posted August 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Hella Funny Damned is about 13 yr old Madison winding up in Hel

    Hella Funny

    Damned is about 13 yr old Madison winding up in Hell when she dies and as soon as she realizes this the dark, twisted humor starts from beginning to end. Leaving behind the hell that was her pre-adolescent, abnormal life for Hell, Madison and her friends embark on a journey to obtain an audience with Satan. Like I said, the humor is present from beginning to end. Whether its performing cunnilingus on she-demon, tele-marketing Hell as THE afterlife retirement, or beating the crap out of Hitler and other maniacs that had a cult following throughout history, you'll be laughing your a$$ off. Also Madison's back story is told through flashbacks that are equally funny like Madison's celebrity parents' inadvertent determination to mess up her life, Madison's incestuous feelings to her adopted brother, or her awkward social interactions at an all girl boarding school. The ending of this book has an amazing twist to it but I won't ruin it for you. If you can look beyond the Satanic and disgusting imagery, you'll actually find a very funny story.

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