“Are you there, Satan? It’s me, Madison,” declares the whip-tongued 13-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 hardsell you Hell. He makes eternal torment, well, simply divine.
©2011 Chuck Palahniuk (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“The story scoots along like any great adventure story, as she takes on Hitler and Catherine de Medici, and it’s a delight seeing Madison find her place in life, even if it’s in death.” (Booklist)
"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." (Newsday)
I'm generally a chuck fan, but I couldn't get through this one -just not that funny or interesting or written well enough to justify my time. I do encourage you, however, to try other another chuck (except pygmy - I didn't like that one much either).
I bought this audiobook despite the poor reviews here because when you pick up a Palahniuk, you should know what you are getting into! I have
All of his books describe the ways in which people derive some kind of comfort or satisfaction in unconventional or socially unacceptable ways, and this is no less true for the dead. His books always include some form of odd sexual content, so this should not be surprising to people either - embrace it!
The narrator was excellent.
In summary, this is not a starter Palahniuk, but one for the die-hard fans for whom he can do no wrong. Fight club and choke are mandatory reading before delving into this second string stuff.
It starts out great. But as the story progresses, it feels more and more rushed. The last quarter of the book I could almost hear the editor banging on the door demanding the final draft.
With the one exception of Megan meeting Satan for the second time, its very predictable. Almost like a short story that was expanded to make a book. If you are looking for anoher Haunted or Fight Club, this is not going to get it.
High School teacher and audiophile...I listen to no fewer than four books a week. It is my escape. I listen for information, entertainment and sometimes just brain candy, so my audio library is eclectic. I offer no profound literary analysis, but I can tell you if a book is fun to listen to!
As with all Palahniuk creations, the concept is original and twisted. The "Are You There God? It's Me Margaret" format is humorous enough, but add to that the eventual takeover of hell by a chubby 13 year old who collects trophy pieces from history's most notorious and you have a seriously funny book. The narrator, however, made me re-think listening to the audio. I can understand the choice...her voice has the annoying tonal quality that one might find in a precocious early adolescent, but is just not pleasant to listen to. Though far from monotone, there is still a droning quality to the narration, on par with listening to a wasp trying to escape through the glass of your bedroom window all night long....
I dont know what I was thinking. After half liking Fight Club, I keep trying on Palahniuk and now Im convinced to stop.
First of all, if I wanted to get the chronicle of a hell dweller, I would NEVER choose to talk to a know it all bitter hollow mined 13 yr old girl who knows nothing about life. Granted, she is clever, sometimes half funny, but NOT the perspective anyone would be interested in.
After 7 chapters, this “interview with the damned “ is just a “monologue by a rich 13 yr old girl who happens to be in a funny depiction of a hell”.
It almost feels like she isn’t actually dead, just passed out and dreaming or just plainly on a drug induced hallucination with her neighborhood buddies.
Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!
I'll sum this up for you and save you a credit. A 13-yr old girl BITCHES non-stop about being in hell. Honestly, if you liked "Fight Club", there's no way in hell you'll be able to get through the first ten minutes of this. If you're a 13-yr old girl, you may find this book somewhat amusing.
I usually go head over heels for C.P.'s work. I have read almost everything he has writtin and adored Rant and Haunted...flipped over Lullaby and really enjoyed Diary.
This reads as though it was written by an inexperienced writed trying to sound like Palahniuk.
I didn't feel any connection to the characters, the story built to an anticlimax that left me feeling really flat. It actually seemed more like a book written for teenagers or Y/A.
An hour close to the end I couldn't have cared less but I kept slogging along until, nothing happened, and then, to quote Chuck out of Pygmy, (another fav) nothing kept happening.
If hell is as boring as C.P. invisions...I'd rather go to heaven.
On the other hand I would listen to the narrator. She did a good job with what she was given.
I really should have know from the description that this would not be good. This was definately a major mistake. The characters were not at all likeable. The story was just plain stupid.
I stopped after a couple of chapters. Don't know what I was thinking.
I disliked the characters so much I probably am not giving the reader a fair shot.
There was nothing redeeming about this book
I love early Chuck Palahniuk but the later stuff seems to be written to shock the reader rather than to make them think.
An excellent book that's equal parts quirky, cynical, and risqué. A fresh look at the concept of the afterlife, this book embodies those strange questions we all have about eternal damnation and warps it into a twisted jocular setting. A few plot holes in the story become apparent if you really pay attention, but an excellent listen nonetheless. Tai Sammons reads this story in the exact narrative in which it should read. Her voice resonates through the chapters in the narrative of a twisted Judy Blume, making the cynicism of the 13 year old girl in which she embodies that much more enticing.
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