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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.

Critic Reviews

“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 Ratings

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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  • gioffrt
  • Sicklerville, NJ United States
  • 07-10-15

Good story, interesting perspective

I liked this book. Kinda reminded me of Are you there God its me Margaret gor adults.

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Not as good as Fight Club

The narration is alright and the story is a bit comical. The story of maddie spencer and a good one.

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  • Katrina
  • MUNDELEIN, IL, United States
  • 03-12-15

Had shimmers of a good story

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.

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Interesting

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.

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Different than I pictured, but better.

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.

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Satan, it's me...

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It's an interesting listen, considering its about a kid running around in hell.

Do you think Damned needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

It has one, although I didn't enjoy it as much as this one. still worth the listen,

Any additional comments?

Tai Sammons did an excellent job bringing the character to life.

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  • Aden
  • LAFAYETTE, CO, United States
  • 10-01-14

Damned If You Do...

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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  • J
  • Port Moody, BC, Canada
  • 07-08-14

Funny adventures in hell.

Would you listen to Damned again? Why?

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.

What about Tai Sammons’s performance did you like?

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.

If you could take any character from Damned out to dinner, who would it be and why?

The Devil. He would drive so I could drink.

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Palahniuk delivers in fashion

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.

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I don't see what all the fuss is about...

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.