“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)
A busy lady, just tryin' to fit her reading in where she can!
The title would leave you to believe this is a very serious and sinister book ; but honestly it is a very funny story about a 13 year old girl's journey of self discovery. While the landscape of hell is disgusting, the friends Madison makes are funny and help her find out how she really died.
There is no doubt Chuck Palahniuk is a specific kind of author, and his books wont be for everyone, but I think this book is worth a try.
It's an interesting listen, considering its about a kid running around in hell.
It has one, although I didn't enjoy it as much as this one. still worth the listen,
Tai Sammons did an excellent job bringing the character to life.
This was just ok. Story: Some aspects are a little creepy when you consider a late 40s man writing about a 13 year old girl. Especially the chapter about her wandering around naked at night at the boarding school and her bodily sensations. Or the nature of her death. Or the cunnilingus performed on a demon by a decapitated teenage boy. They are not offensive per se, just odd, like Pete Townsend singing about young boys. All in all, it was just ok. If John Hughes is in hell, he's probably amused by this book. I like Palahniuk, I get transgressional fiction, this was something that did not move, impress or improve me by taking the time to listen to it. Performance: it was good, not great. Occasional mispronunciations, occasional flat deliveries, but good overall. Will probably not bother with the sequel.
I almost never listen to or read books more than once, I'm either too lazy or too busy. I would recommend it as a listen though. It's not up there with the greats but it's funny and unique. The girl is wonderfully well drawn even in such a bizarre setting I felt I could recognise girls her age in her manner.
Great voice, managed to portray all the characters, even the females wonderfully and without resorting to that high pitched squeaking that so many male narrators use for women and girls.
The Devil. He would drive so I could drink.
Because his writing style is very unique, it was nice to hear this narrated. Each of his novels have a different feel to them and sometimes it takes me a few chapters to get his technique. This was a very vulgar novel and grossly entertaining. If you're a fan, it's a must read/ listen.
Before purchasing this book I had read a large amount of reviews whereby the reviewers denounced "Damned" as nothing more than a disgusting, pornographic piece of filth. This is certainly NOT the case, or at least I didn't think so. (By the way, I challenge anyone who found Palahniuk's "Damned" to be repulsive, to read William S. Burroughs' "Naked Lunch!")
The story is set around a schoolgirl who has died and regained consciousness, only to find herself in the Lake of Fire (Hell). I found Damned to be extremely humorous. The setting and tone of the story are very typical to Palahniuk's writing, and if you have enjoyed some of his stories such as "Haunted" and "Survivor" you will almost definitely find Damned to be equally entertaining.
The way the story was written like a open letter to Satan and cynical nature of the lead character. I loved the twist and the way it was played out.
Her voice was dead-on. After listening to the book i looked her up because i couldn't believe she was any older than 13. Very good performance!
Christina Ricci - Madison
This is not the voice I'd imagined. It just does not suit this character!
Can't get past the Narrator's whiny voice
Maybe. Probably. If someone I was with wanted to listen to it who had not already heard it, I'd give it another listen for sure.
I enjoyed Madison quite a bit. She was charming and witty without being overly "teen" like.
I thoroughly enjoyed the part where the punk kid had to climb into the massive goddess' vagina and give her an orgasm in order to keep her from killing his companions.
Chuck Palahniuk never surprises the reader. This book has all of the hallmarks -- a bizarre but intriguing premise, abrasive charactars, repetitive writing, horrible deeds and a fervent build up. Don't expect a masterpiece, but if you can get past the adolescent voice (both the writing and the narrator), it's about 8 hours of empty fun.
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