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Damned Audiobook

Damned

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Publisher's Summary

“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.

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (941 )
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4.1 (864 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 10-01-16
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 10-01-16

    I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^

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    "More Purgatory than Hell or Heaven."

    “What makes earth feel like hell is our expectation that it should feel like heaven.”
    ― Chuck Palahniuk, Damned

    Reading this wasn't Heaven (brilliant) and it certainly wasn't Hell (horrible). It was just kinda purgatory, luke warm. Read almost as an obligation. Perhaps, I've grown too old. Perhaps, CP has grown too old. The shock is gone. All shock is gone?

    There is also a bunch of Hell fiction out there. I still prefer Steven Peck's A Short Stay in Hell and of course Dante's (not Dan Brown's) Inferno. This one is a mixture of the Breakfast Club meets Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret with a dash of Jane Eyre for spice. It certainly is transgressive in parts (her first battle with a demon in hell was, um, interesting), but it also is a bit uneven, and actually boring in parts.

    So, not my favorite Palahniuk novel but also not my least favorite. Not bad enough to keep me from reading the rest of Palahniuk's pile, just not good enough that I'll read them tomorrow. Hell part 2 (Doomed) can wait.

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Graeme Sydney, Australia 05-21-16
    Graeme Sydney, Australia 05-21-16 Member Since 2011
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    "See you in hell!"

    I'm a fan of Chuck and I'll admit straight up this isn't one of his best books. I still found it quite a good read though and got through it in 3 or 4 days of squirming, tawdry fun with one of my favourite authors.
    While the first half of the book meanders along with seemingly little point, it does build to a solid ending (even though there is a sequel) and has a few classic Chuck moments along the way. There is even a hint of a heart in this book as opposed to some of his earlier "anarchic" works. The book plays with the concept of hope, and not always with disdain.
    Madison is a 13 year old girl who at the beginning claims to have died of a marijuana overdose and arrives in hell. As with many Palahniuk tales, the book then digs back through time to tell you the real story about how Madison really died and arrived in hell. Madison goes on to become a telemarketer (did you know most telemarketers are employed in hell?) and quickly becomes responsible for an increase in the numbers of people being damned to eternity in hell as she befriends a collection of terminally ill old people and children and convinces them to get life over and done with and to look her up in hell.
    The story ends with a scene that has similarities to the ending of Stephen King's "Carrie", except with way more grossness and humour.
    As with all Chuck books, Damned is not a book for the prudish and easily offended - and descriptions of the contents of Hell's oceans and rivers, waterfalls etc are graphic and gross. There is also a typically WTF sex scene featuring a giant demon and a decapitated boy which you can see coming but can't look away from when it arrives.
    I've given the narration 5 stars as it was excellent - Tai Sammons was the perfect choice.
    Is there a point to the twisted tale I have just read?
    Here's a quote from towards the end of the book - "To anyone reading this who isn't already dead, I wish you luck, honestly I do. You just keep swallowing your vitamins. Keep jogging around reservoirs and avoiding second hand cigarette smoke. Cross your fingers! Maybe death won't happen to you."

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kmacatak 06-14-12
    kmacatak 06-14-12

    laconic

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    "try another chuck"

    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).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn Ottawa, ON, Canada 02-20-12
    Glenn Ottawa, ON, Canada 02-20-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Typical Palahniuk"
    What did you like best about Damned? What did you like least?

    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


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    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!


    What about Tai Sammons???s performance did you like?

    The narrator was excellent.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bradley 11-26-11
    Bradley 11-26-11

    Foady

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    "Just not what I was hoping for..."

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Elgin, IL, United States 11-22-11
    Lisa Elgin, IL, United States 11-22-11

    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!

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    "Great Story..."

    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....

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hector Newark, New Jersey, United States 10-26-11
    Hector Newark, New Jersey, United States 10-26-11
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    "Dont get this book!"

    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.

    12 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    aaron los angeles, CA, United States 10-24-11
    aaron los angeles, CA, United States 10-24-11 Member Since 2017

    Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!

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    "Nowhere near his best work..."

    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.

    13 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J.G. L.A. 10-30-11
    J.G. L.A. 10-30-11 Listener Since 2010

    Julia

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    "Damned Boring."

    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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracey Schaumburg, IL, United States 10-23-11
    Tracey Schaumburg, IL, United States 10-23-11
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    "I should have known"
    Would you try another book from Chuck Palahniuk and/or Tai Sammons?

    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.


    Has Damned turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes


    What aspect of Tai Sammons’s performance would you have changed?

    I disliked the characters so much I probably am not giving the reader a fair shot.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    There was nothing redeeming about this book


    11 of 19 people found this review helpful

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