“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)
This is not like Fight club, so don't be blinded by it. It's boring and repetitive
Predictable and boring. Not worth the one credit at all
Performance could be improved if the girl was not so whiny
pretty much everything. It's a a gross depiction of hell and it's tasteless.
don't buy me
Yes, to Palahniuk. But this book was torture, and not in a fun way.
The idea has promise, but not since Mein Kampf have I cared less about a narrator.
eye rolling tween
Very, very few.
I tried. I really tried. But I've never given less of a crap about a protagonist, plot, or conclusion in my life. Finishing it, the last 1.5 hours, was liking pulling on a bone deep hangnail. It was the literary equivalent of an author farting in a mason jar and breathing deeply. Combined with the way too spot on annoying 13 year old voice acting, I can swear to you that every waiting room in hell plays this audiobook on a nonstop loop.
I liked this book. Kinda reminded me of Are you there God its me Margaret gor adults.
But they were all grimy much like the hell in which Madison resides. I felt like I was on a roller coaster of 'this is getting good' verses 'oh, letdown'.
Narration was good, but it'll be a while before I pick up another Palahniuk.
The book had Chuck's typical descriptive style where it was easy to imagine the narrative. This book left me wanting to learn more about the world he created and I found myself rooting for the protagonist.
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.
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