Damned

Damned

by Chuck Palahniuk

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

“As gleefully, vividly, hilariously obscene as you'd expect. . . . Irreverent and hugely entertaining." —NPR

From the bestselling author of Fight Club comes a dark and brilliant satire about adolescence, Hell, and the Devil.  
 
Madison is the thirteen-year-old daughter of a narcissistic film star and a billionaire. Abandoned at her Swiss boarding school over Christmas, she dies over the holiday, presumably of a marijuana overdose. The last thing she remembers is getting into a town car and falling asleep. Then she's waking up in Hell. Literally. Madison soon finds that she shares a cell with a motley crew of young sinners: a cheerleader, a jock, a nerd, and a punk rocker, united by their doomed fate, like an afterschool detention for the damned. Together they form an odd coalition and march across the unspeakable landscape of Hell--full of used diapers, dandruff, WiFi blackout spots, evil historical figures, and one horrific call center--to confront the Devil himself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307476531
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/02/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 92,821
Product dimensions: 5.32(w) x 7.84(h) x 0.78(d)

About the Author

CHUCK PALAHNIUK’s eleven best-selling novels—Tell-All, Pygmy, Snuff, Rant, Haunted, Lullaby, Fight Club, Diary, Survivor, Invisible Monsters, and Choke—have sold more than five million copies in the United States. He is also the author of Fugitives and Refugees, published as part of the Crown Journey Series, and the nonfiction collection Stranger Than Fiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Hometown:

Portland, Oregon

Date of Birth:

February 21, 1962

Place of Birth:

Pasco, Washington

Education:

B.A. in journalism, University of Oregon, 1986

Read an Excerpt

I.

Are you there, Satan? It’s me, Madison. I’m just now arrived here, in Hell, but it’s not my fault except for maybe dying from an overdose of marijuana. Maybe I’m in Hell because I’m fat--a Real Porker. If you can go to Hell for having low self-esteem, that’s why I’m here. I wish I could lie and tell you I’m bone-thin with blond hair and big ta-tas. But, trust me, I’m fat for a really good reason.

To start with, please let me introduce myself.



How to best convey the exact sensation of being dead . . .

Yes, I know the word convey. I’m dead, not a mental defective.

Trust me, the being-dead part is much easier than the dying part. If you can watch much television, then being dead will be a cinch. Actually, watching television and surfing the Internet are really excellent practice for being dead.

The closest way I can describe death is to compare it to when my mom boots up her notebook computer and hacks into the surveillance system of our house in Mazatlan or Banff. “Look,” she’d say, turning the screen sideways for me to see, “it’s snowing.” Glowing softly on the computer would be the interior of our Milan house, the sitting room, with snow falling outside the big windows, and by long distance, holding down her Control, Alt and W keys, my mom would draw open the sitting room drapes all the way. Pressing the Control and D keys, she’d dim the lights by remote control and we’d both sit, on a train or in a rented town car or aboard a leased jet, watching the pretty winter view through the windows of that empty house displayed on her computer screen. With the Control and F keys, she’d light a fire in the gas fireplace, and we’d listen to the hush of the Italian snow falling, the crackle of the flames via the audio monitors of the security system. After that, my mom would keyboard into the system for our house in Cape Town. Then log on to view our house in Brentwood. She could simultaneously be all places but no place, mooning over sunsets and foliage everywhere except where she actually was. At best, a sentry. At worst, a voyeur.

My mom will kill half a day on her notebook computer just looking at empty rooms full of our furniture. Tweaking the thermostat by remote control. Turning down the lights and choosing the right level of soft music to play in each room. “Just to keep the cat burglars guessing,” she’d tell me. She’d toggle from camera to camera, watching the Somali maid clean our house in Paris. Hunched over her computer screen, she’d sigh and say, “My crocus are blooming in London. . . .”

From behind his open business section of the Times, my dad would say, “The plural is crocuses.”

Probably my mom would cackle then, hitting her Control and L keys to lock a maid inside a bathroom from three continents away because the tile didn’t look adequately polished. To her this passed for way-wicked, good fun. It’s affecting the environment without being physically present. Consumption in absentia. Like having a hit song you recorded decades ago still occupy the mind of a Chinese sweatshop worker you’ll never meet. It’s power, but a kind of pointless, impotent power.

On the computer screen a maid would place a vase filled with fresh-cut peonies on the windowsill of our house in Dubai, and my mom would spy by satellite, turning down the air-conditioning, colder and colder, with a tapping keystroke via her wireless connection, chilling that house, that one room, meat-locker cold, ski-slope cold, spending a king’s ransom on Freon and electric power, trying to make some doomed ten bucks’ worth of pretty pink flowers last one more day.

That’s what it’s like to be dead. Yes, I know the word absentia. I’m thirteen years old, not stupid--and being dead, ye gods, do I comprehend the idea of absentia.

Being dead is the very essence of traveling light.

Being dead-dead means nonstop, twenty-four/seven, three hundred sixty-five days a year . . . forever.

How it feels when they pump out all of your blood, you don’t want me to describe. Probably I shouldn’t even tell you I’m dead, because no doubt now you feel awfully superior. Even other fat people feel superior to Dead People. Nevertheless, here it is: my Hideous Admission. I’ll fess up and come clean. I’m out of the closet. I’m dead. Now don’t hold it against me.

Yes, we all look a little mysterious and absurd to each other, but no one looks as foreign as a dead person does. We can forgive some stranger her choice to practice Catholicism or engage in homosexual acts, but not her submission to death. We hate a backslider. Worse than alcoholism or heroin addiction, dying seems like the greatest weakness, and in a world where people say you’re lazy for not shaving your legs, then being dead seems like the ultimate character flaw.

It’s as if you’ve shirked life--simply not made enough serious effort to live up to your full potential. You quitter! Being fat and dead--let me tell you--that’s the double whammy.

No, it’s not fair, but even if you feel sorry for me, you’re probably also feeling pretty darn smug that you’re alive and no doubt chewing on a mouthful of some poor animal that had the misfortune to live below you on the food chain. I’m not telling you all of this to gain your sympathy. I’m thirteen years old, and a girl, and I’m dead. My name is Madison, and the last thing I need is your stupid condescending pity. No, it’s not fair, but it’s how people do. The first time we meet another person an insidious little voice in our head says, “I might wear eyeglasses or be chunky around the hips or a girl, but at least I’m not Gay or Black or a Jew.” Meaning: I may be me--but at least I have the good sense not to be YOU. So I hesitate to even mention that I’m dead because everyone already feels so darned superior to dead people, even Mexicans and AIDS people. It’s like when learning about Alexander the Great in our seventh-grade Influences of Western History class, what keeps running through your head is: “If Alexander was so brave and smart and . . . Great . . . why’d he die?”

Yes, I know the word insidious.

Death is the One Big Mistake that none of us EVER plans to make. That’s why the bran muffins and the colonoscopies. It’s how come you take vitamins and get Pap smears. No, not you--you’re never going to die--so now you feel all superior to me. Well, go ahead and think that. Keep smearing your skin with sunblock and feeling yourself for lumps. Don’t let me spoil the Big Surprise.

But, to be honest, when you’re dead probably not even homeless people and retarded people will want to trade you places. I mean, worms get to eat you. It’s like a complete violation of all your civil rights. Death ought to be illegal but you don’t see Amnesty International starting any letter-writing campaigns. You don’t see any rock stars banding together to release hit singles with all the proceeds going to solve MY getting my face chewed off by worms.

My mom would tell you I’m too flip and glib about everything. My mom would say, “Madison, please don’t be such a smart aleck.” She’d say, “You’re dead; now just calm down.”

Probably me being dead is a gigantic relief to my dad; this way, at least, he won’t have to worry about me embarrassing him by getting pregnant. My dad used to say, “Madison, whatever man ends up with you, he’s going to have his hands full. . . .” If my dad only knew.

When my goldfish, Mister Wiggles, died we flushed him down the toilet. When my kitten, Tiger Stripe, died I tried the same deal, and we had to call a plumber to snake the pipes. What a big mess. Poor Tiger Stripe. When I died, I won’t go into the details, but let’s say some Mr. Pervy McPervert mortician got to see me naked and pump out all my blood and commit God only knows what deranged carnal high jinks with my virginal thirteen-year-old body. You can call me glib, but death is about the biggest joke around. After all the permanent waves and ballet lessons my mom paid for, here I am getting a hot-spit tongue bath from some paunchy, depraved mortuary guy.

I can tell you, when you’re dead, you pretty much have to give up your demands about boundaries and personal space. Just understand, I didn’t die because I was too lazy to live. I didn’t die because I wanted to punish my family. And no matter how much I slag my parents, don’t get the idea that I hate them. Yes, for a while I hung around, watching my mom hunched over her notebook computer, tapping the keys Control, Alt, and L to lock the door of my bedroom in Rome, my room in Athens, all my rooms around the world. She keyboarded to close all my drapes after that, and turn down the air-conditioning and activate the electrostatic air filtration so not even dust would settle on my dolls and clothes and stuffed animals. It simply makes sense that I should miss my parents more than they miss me, especially when you consider that they only loved me for thirteen years while I loved them for my entire life. Forgive me for not sticking around longer, but I don’t want to be dead and just watching everybody while I chill rooms, flicker the lights, and pull the drapes open and shut. I don’t want to be simply a voyeur.

No, it’s not fair, but what makes earth feel like Hell is our expectation that it should feel like Heaven. Earth is earth. Dead is dead. You’ll find out for yourself soon enough. It won’t help the situation for you to get all upset.



II.

Are you there, Satan? It’s me, Madison. Please don’t get the impression that I dislike Hell. No, really, it’s way swell. Tons better than I expected. Honestly, it’s obvious you’ve worked very hard for a very long time on the roiling, surging oceans of scalding-hot barf, and the stinking sulfur smell, and the clouds of buzzing black flies.



If my version of Hell fails to impress you, please consider that to be my own shortcoming. I mean, what do I know? Probably any grown-up would pee herself silly, seeing the flying vampire bats and majestic, cascading waterfalls of smelly poop. No doubt the fault is entirely my own, because if I’d ever imagined Hell it was as a fiery version of that classic Hollywood masterpiece The Breakfast Club, populated, let’s remember, by a hypersocial, pretty cheerleader, a rebel stoner type, a dumb football jock, a brainy geek, and a misanthropic psycho, all locked together in their high school library doing detention on an otherwise ordinary Saturday except with every book and chair being blazing on fire.

Yes, you might be alive and Gay or Old or a Mexican, lording that over me, but consider that I’ve had the actual experience of waking up on my first day in Hell, and you’ll just have to take my word for what all this is like. No, it’s not fair, but you can forget about the fabled tunnel of bright, spectral-white light and being greeted by the open arms of your long-deceased grandma and grandpa; maybe other people have reported that blissful process, but consider that those people are currently alive, or they remained living for sufficient time to report on their encounter. My point is: Those people enjoyed what’s clearly labeled a “near-death experience.” I, on the other hand, am dead, with my blood long ago pumped out and worms munching on me. In my book that makes me the higher authority. Other people, like famous Italian poet Dante Alighieri, I’m sorry to say, simply hoisted a generous helping of campy make-believe on the reading public.

Thus, disregard my account of Hell at your own peril.

First off, you wake up lying on the stone floor inside a fairly dismal cell composed of iron bars; and take my stern advice--don’t touch anything. The prison cell bars are filthy dirty. If by accident you DO touch the bars, which look a tad slimy with mold and someone else’s blood, do NOT touch your face--or your clothes--not if you have any aspiration to stay looking nice until Judgment Day.

And do NOT eat the candy you’ll see scattered everywhere on the ground.

The exact means by which I arrived in the underworld remain a little unclear. I recall a chauffeur standing curbside somewhere, next to a parked black Lincoln Town Car, holding a white placard with my name written on it, MADISON SPENCER, in all-caps terrible handwriting. The chauffeur--those people never speak English--had on mirrored sunglasses and a visored chauffeur cap, so most of his face was hidden. I remember him opening the rear door so I could step inside; after that was a way-long drive with the windows tinted so dark I couldn’t quite see out, but what I’ve just described could’ve been any one of ten bazillion rides I’ve taken between airports and cities. Whether that Town Car delivered me to Hell, I can’t swear, but the next thing is I woke up in this filthy cell.

Probably I woke up because someone was screaming; in Hell, someone is always screaming. Anyone who’s ever flown London to Sydney, seated next to or anywhere in the proximity of a fussy baby, you’ll no doubt fall right into the swing of things in Hell. What with the strangers and crowding and seemingly endless hours of waiting for nothing to happen, for you Hell will feel like one long, nostalgic hit of déjà vu. Especially if your in-flight movie was The English Patient. In Hell, whenever the demons announce they’re going to treat everyone to a big-name Hollywood movie, don’t get too excited because it’s always The English Patient or, unfortunately, The Piano. It’s never The Breakfast Club.

In regard to the smell, Hell comes nowhere near as bad as Naples in the summertime during a garbage strike.

If you ask me, people in Hell just scream to hear their own voice and to pass the time. Still, complaining about Hell occurs to me as a tad bit obvious and self-indulgent. Like so many experiences you venture into knowing full well that they’ll be terrible, in fact the core pleasure resides in their very innate badness, like eating Swanson frozen chicken potpies at boarding school or a Banquet frozen Salisbury steak on the cook’s night out. Or eating really anything in Scotland. Allow me to venture that the sole reason we enjoy certain pastimes such as watching the film version of Valley of the Dolls arises from the comfort and familiarity of its very inherent poor quality.

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Damned 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 143 reviews.
LostAnvil More than 1 year ago
I was seriously looking forward to reading this novel and it did not disappoint one bit. Palahniuk's dense sentences always grab me and I love his structure and his style, always have and likely always will. It gives a great glimpse of the world of Palahniuk without the difficulty of, let's say, his book "Rant" (one of my favorites). A must read if you are a fan of any of his works, but also a great place to start for those who have never read anything of his.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Started kinda slow.....but then! The climax! Very good book! Entertaining! Funny! Well written.
J3v0n More than 1 year ago
Hella Funny Damned is about 13 yr old Madison winding up in Hell when she dies and as soon as she realizes this the dark, twisted humor starts from beginning to end. Leaving behind the hell that was her pre-adolescent, abnormal life for Hell, Madison and her friends embark on a journey to obtain an audience with Satan. Like I said, the humor is present from beginning to end. Whether its performing cunnilingus on she-demon, tele-marketing Hell as THE afterlife retirement, or beating the crap out of Hitler and other maniacs that had a cult following throughout history, you'll be laughing your a$$ off. Also Madison's back story is told through flashbacks that are equally funny like Madison's celebrity parents' inadvertent determination to mess up her life, Madison's incestuous feelings to her adopted brother, or her awkward social interactions at an all girl boarding school. The ending of this book has an amazing twist to it but I won't ruin it for you. If you can look beyond the Satanic and disgusting imagery, you'll actually find a very funny story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the newest book of Palanhiuk's series I've read most recently and really enjoyed it compared to Pgymy or Snuff. It was hard for me to put it down. Would recommend to those who dig Chuck.
Yurusumaji More than 1 year ago
This is my first Palahniuk book and I didn't walk away disappointed. This book has moments where I got a little irritated with the redundancy, though no sooner had I felt that way the redundancy finally ended. The Psezpolnica scene had me rolling. There really isn't a major plot going on here, but it does manage to keep you wanting to figure out what's going to happen next. I was pretty underwhelmed by the end of this novel, though. We get a big reveal, but then the book refuses to deal with that big reveal and we're left hanging there.
arjacobson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Damned by Chuck Palahniuk (New York: Doubleday, 2011. 247pp)Also posted at wherepenmeetspaper.blogspot.com Chuck Palahniuk is an American essayist and novelist most known for his novel Fight Club. As a postmodern, minimalist author, he is most widely known for his satirical works, as well as transgressional fiction and horror. He lives in Pasco, Washington. Letters to Satan¿Are you there, Satan? It¿s me Madison. Don¿t take the following as a scolding. Please regard what I¿m about to say as strictly constructive feedback. On the plus side, you¿ve been running one of the largest, most successful enterprises in the history of¿well, history. You¿ve managed to grow your market share despite overwhelming competition from a direct, omnipotent competitor. You¿re synonymous with torment and suffering. Nevertheless, if I may be bluntly honest, your level of customer service skills really sucks¿ (79).In a bizarre Breakfast Club meets Dante Alighieri¿s Inferno , Chuck Palahniuk¿s Damned documents the life-after-death of a thirteen-year-old girl, Madison, who has been sentenced to life in the eternal fires of hell. I read the Inferno is high school and subsequently Dante¿s Purgatorio and Paradiso. I thought Palahniuk might bring a funny odd twist to the hell-fire franchise in this work, and I was somewhat right. Hell, in Palahniuk¿s world, is unconventional to say the least.Thirteen and DeadEach chapter in Damned begins with a letter to Satan, like the one above. After this introduction, Madison usually describes part of her past life as a daughter of a narcissistic film-star mother and a billionaire father. Abandoned at her Swiss boarding school while her parents attend the academy awards (her mother is presenting), she and her boyfriend take residence in a hotel room and smoke a lot of marijuana. A lot. She smokes so much marijuana that she dies of an overdose, ending up in hell, an ironic place where The English Patient plays on repeat nonstop. She shares eternal damnation with a jock, a punk rocker, a nerd, and a cheerleader. Much like the classic understanding of damnation, none of these characters really appreciate hell.¿But, to be honest, when you¿re dead probably not even homeless people are retarded people will want to trade you places. I mean, worms get to eat you. It¿s like a complete violation of all your civil rights. Death ought to be illegal but you don¿t see Amnesty International starting any letter-writing campaigns. You don¿t see any rock stars banding together to release hit singles with all the proceeds going to solve MY getting my face chewed off by worms¿ (5).Madison believes that she has the right to appeal her eternal sentence, as like one would expect, Madison simply isn¿t pleased with her ending up in hell. So, she journeys across the satanically-inspired terrain to hell headquarters, where she hopes to file said appeal. ¿We¿ve journeyed here to the headquarters of Hell because I asked about filing an appeal. My reasoning is¿if convicted murderers can linger on death row for decades, demanding access to law libraries and gratis public defenders, while scribbling briefs and arguments with blunt crayons and pencil stubs, it seems only fair that I ought to appeal my own eternal sentence¿ (94).A Journey through HellThe journey, then, becomes a gigantic satire on both hell and current human society. Madison, a spoiled, incredibly intelligent thirteen-year-old thinks she is better than everyone else. Her intricate vocabulary is a way of showing off her pride, but she admits that her only sin is smoking too much marijuana. On her journey across the candy-lined (the kinds you don¿t like such as popcorn balls and sen-sen) floors of hell they cross the swamp of partial birth abortions, the sea of discarded sperm, the dandruff desert, and so on. In a perverted homage to Gulliver¿s Travels, Madison even climbs a demon as tall as a tornado only to end up with a job in the center of hell as a
wellredhead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
interesting but a little disappointing.
23points on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I agree mostly with edenic's review below- this wouldn't be a popular book without the giant Palahniuk emblazoned everywhere. I even felt a smidge embarrassed to be reading it on the train to work! I enjoyed Palahniuk's work when I was younger, but I fear I may have outgrown it. Or this book was just a one-off bad egg. It was a fast and easy read, but not as much in the fun way that some of his other works are.
ijustgetbored on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can believe that Palahniuk did a lot of research on demonlogy before writing this book, but not that he did a lot of research about 13-year-old girls. Sure, I get that she's supposed to be stereotype-defying, but there's a line between typecast-busting and flat-out unbelieveable. Madison falls into the latter category. At times impossibly worldly, at others incredibly naive and childlike, speaking in an inauthentic voice and making allusions that don't really jive with any sort of believable personality construct, Madison is often more annoying than clever and funny.As for her cohorts, some are well-developed, some are just forgettable. The punk, Archer, really comes into his own near the end of the novel, but the nerd (whose name I kept forgetting; he was that thin) and Patterson exist only to fill their scripted Breakfast Club places in the novel. Babette is hard to pin down as one thing or another; I don't know if this is a deliberate narrative device or poor characterization (and the fact that I'm still on the fence about it shows that more could have been done with her character). Madison's parents are terrific, even if their roles are played pretty much off-stage.The way Palahniuk conceives hell is alternately very clever, over-the-top revolting, well-researched, and predictable. The endless lists and bureucratic requirements of what can land you there are extremely amusing, and the catalogs of who is damned are entertaining (Heaven must be pretty dull). I actually enjoyed the vigorously-detailed decriptions of demonology-though-history, though that may not be to everyone's taste. I'm not squeamish, but some of the descriptions were a little over-the-top for me: let's see how gross we can get! A little juvenile, really. And scenes like the one where Madison wallops Hitler: a 13-year-old girl reducing Hitler to tears? Well, yes . . . no one is going to say they don't enjoy that. But it's not terribly sophisticated, is it? (side note: this novel was marketed to my library as YA, not adult, fiction)Toward the end, the novel starts to redeem itself as some of Madison's coherts start to flesh out a little, some new players start to arrive on the scene, Madison starts to take on a new role for herself, and-- most important of all, though I can't give it away-- the plot takes on a very interesting, unexpected, and clever twist in the manner of narrative construct. It ends "To be continued . . . " which may be farcical or serious-- could go either way-- I rather hope it's not serious, because I don't really want to invest any more time in these characters or this plot, and probably wouldn't. I'm ready to put a bow on this story and wrap it up.
kareninlove42 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first book by Chuck Palahniuk I have read, and it will not be the last! This may be one of the more entertaining books I have ever encountered. The characters are not the most charismatic, but I found my self relating to them n ways I never expected. The tie in with "The Breakfast Club" was brilliant, and the "discovery" at the end even more so! I cannot wait to read another! Thank you Mr. Palahniuk, you have given me another reason to continue performing minor evils.
MaryinHB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
MY THOUGHTSABSOLUTELY LOVED ITSo, if Christopher Moore (think Abby Normal from Bite Me) and Judy Blume got together and wrote a book dedicated to a life lived in hell as a sort of CandyLand game with all of the twists and turns that move a player forward; where candy is currency . Each chapter starts with a note from Madison, the eleven year old protagonist address to Satan. As she accepts her death and now after life, she finds that even small infractions are enough to send you to the underworld. Honk your car horn? You get 700, once you surpass that magic number, kiss heaven good bye. Same thing for being rude, an idiot and not picking up your trash. As far as Madison can figure out, she ended up in hell because she smoke pot. There is more to the story than that, but you have to read this one to the bitter end to find out exactly how she died.The writing is so superb that I can't even describe the pleasure of each word and the placement. Most writers have one or two quotable lines, but this whole book is entirely quotable. I have read most of the author's work and this totally redeemed him in my eyes for Pygmy. I had a hard time reading that one. In no way is this book suitable for younger teens but more adventurous ones should really enjoy this. It takes young adult paranormal drama to the next level. Hell is also the location of telemarketers. Madison rules hell as she convinces people to give up their eternity for hell and become the top recruiter on her way to world domination. She does get her chance for salvation, but instead decides she is more suited to a life as a ruler.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Descriptive to the point of gagging in between chuckles. A new kind of hero
Drewano More than 1 year ago
This book really left me wanting for what could have been. One the good side the writing and descriptions are great allowing you to see his vision of hell. Likewise, some of the physical features of hell and how they got there are funny as…well hell. Additionally, the way that he ties in the currency used in hell and the one day they can walk the earth is great, and for the rules of why someone would end up in hell…let’s say we’re all damned. Unfortunately, that’s where the good ends. I didn’t find the characters that interesting or relatable but that could have been overlooked if there was a plot. For most of the time the characters aren’t really doing anything and when they were, I didn’t really see why they were doing it. Even I finished I was left asking “what was the point?” In the end I just felt underwhelmed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed his take on hell. It was something unexpected, but with his style of writing it just clicked. Madison is funny and I enjoyed reading through the lense of a slighty misguided, 13 year old girl.
rjdrennen More than 1 year ago
My first Palahniuk novel This was a fast, engaging, hilarious read.  The characters were believable, the descriptions of Hell were great, and all of the ways to get yourself a ticket to Hell had me doubled over with laughter.  I would definitely recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a disappointment. The first few chapters were mildly entertaining I will admit, but the further I read the more it felt like this is meant for someone in high school, or written by one with unimaginative low class humor and repetition. At 246 pages, I'm at 202 and struggling to continue with the language taking a sudden turn from readable, to some kind of bad old english. I even put it down and read an entirely new book to take a break, it became more obnoxious the further I read, anxious to get to the end. The story went from intro to end with no middle. Suffice it to say I will not be reading the sequel, I can't believe there is one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story is about a 13 year old who goes to hell and it's her life and he'll story. Matched up with a breakfast club type of cast, it puts some comedy into it It has very dry spills but stick to it. The ending is mind blowing but I'd rather of wanted a different ending. Good all together, recommend it.
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Tara_H More than 1 year ago
A little too strange, hard to follow even. Sounded interesting because I like si-fy type books but this one was not amazing.
MorrisMorgan More than 1 year ago
To be upfront, I am not typically a fan of Chuck Palahniuk’s writing, but this one’s description caught my eye so I decided to give it a try.  I’m glad I did, because I generally loved it. The main character, 13-year-old Madison, evolves throughout the story from a rather clueless girl to one who gradually becomes more self-aware.  The writing style is meant to mimic how a girl her age may write, and for the most part it played out nicely.  However, after a while some of the repetition began to grate on my nerves like one of the demons in the book.  We got the point, Mr. Palahnuik. It really marred what was otherwise a pleasant read and is the sole reason I gave it three stars instead of four. The other characters were excellent.  All surprising and well-rounded, they did a great job of making the novel thought-provoking as opposed to one-dimensional. Archer and Goren were particular were favorites of mine. The list of ways to get you a one way ticket to eternal damnation had me laughing every time one came up.  I challenge anyone not to wonder if you are gambling with their soul the next time they commit one of the atrocities. As is so common in a Palahniuk novel that I don’t think it bears even a thought of a spoiler warning, it all comes down to the ultimate existential crisis.  This one is the best I have ever read, not only from the author, but from possibly any author. It definitely left me wanting more in spite of the previously mentioned repetition. Lucky for me, there is a sequel, “Doomed”.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The thought of Hell is a daunting concept, full of mystery and endless possibilities. Chuck Palahnuik presents his hell head on with dark humor and unfailing satire. His descriptions of Hell are nothing less than hysterical yet will most likely leave you feeling uneasy.  Unless you are unaffected by 'seas of steaming sperm' and giant titillated demons. Palahniuk creates a world where hell doesn't seem so awful as long as you avoid getting eaten by demons and die with the appropriate walking shoes on. Damned is ridiculous and outrageous and will leave you wanting to read the sequel.