- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (October 2, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307476537
- ISBN-13: 978-0307476531
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 481 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Damned Paperback – October 2, 2012
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Praise for Damned:
"As gleefully, vividly, hilariously obscene as you'd expect. . . . Irreverent and hugely entertaining." —NPR
"Brilliant. . . . Palahniuk's descriptions of hell are inspired, crafted with great comic flair. . . . A winning and funny book." —The Washington Post
"Hilarious. . . . The Judy Blume book from hell, just as Mr. Palahniuk intended." —The New York Times
"When it comes to drawing up a vision of hell, there are few American writers better suited to the job than Chuck Palahniuk." —Los Angeles Times
"Damned is gross, sick, nasty, silly, all the things you want from the merry madman of American letters, Chuck Palahniuk. How can you not be instantly transfixed by an opening like this?: '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.' And so begins the kind of goofy, but hypnotically endearing tale of a 13-year-old girl who, completely lost in life, finally starts to discover herself in Palahniuk's demented version of the afterlife....With Damned, [he] opens the fire hose to full bore again, stripping away the veneer on American society and showing us the yucky parts we don't want to see."—Chris Talbot, AP
"[T]horoughly original...satiric and horrifying, enough so you'll want to repent after you read."—Christian DuChateau, CNN
"Some Fight Club trademarks--youthful disaffection, violence, gross-out humor, a dystopic setting, cultural satire as an extreme sport, a decent helping of third-act pathos--can be seen in...Damned. Even prepubescent Madison Spencer, the protagonist of Damned, has traits that could be seen as Tyler Durden-esque. She's disaffected from society (i.e., those still alive), she kicks serious butt and is a cultural critic who becomes an unlikely leader....It's hard to pitch the broadly satirical Damned as a useful replacement narrative of life after death, but it's a rollicking adventure of Swiftian proportions, a Valleyfair of the Underworld that, incidentally, shows an overweight teenage girl bringing Satan himself down a peg."—Claude Peck, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
"Damned is typical of Palahniuk's work: a scathing satire that is unfiltered, caustic and smart....[His] descriptions of hell are priceless."—Rege Behe, Pittsburgh Tribune Review
"Even just its first few chapters reveal several layers of satiric humor, social commentary, Grand Guignol violence and heartbreaking insight....The narrator's blend of snark, precocious wit and unconcealed vulnerability and need is a combination as refreshing as the book is hard to put down."—Bill O'Driscoll, Pittsburgh City Paper
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.
Top customer reviews
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This book is a satirical roller-coaster ride, taking on adolescence, religion, the media and just about every other aspect of society. Palahniuk pulled no punches in his descriptions of Madison's parents, and he is equally blunt creating his other characters. 👍
This was the first of his books I have read, but it won't be the last. Now it's on to the sequel, Doomed.
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
It has been almost fifteen years or so since Chuck began writing Fight Club: A Novel, and he has changed a lot over his career. In some ways, for the worse. In some, for the better. But overall, "Damned" by Chuck Palahniuk is a hopeful promise for the future, a good return path for Chuck to start up his excellence again.
Damned is the story of little Madison, a young woman who wakes up one day to find herself damned to hell. As she prays... er, well, that's not the right word. As she solicits the idea of Satan to come and tell her what she did wrong, to give her meaning to her life, Madison tells the reader a story that stretches from her youngest memories to the most current event in the timeline. In Hell, she meets various characters, and most of them seem to get their own big "moments". Also, Hitler has a cameo.
I'm not going to lie, Damned is as funny as Palahniuk's earlier Choke. Although Madison is in a desperate situation, eternally damned to puberty and no "ta-tas", she has a lot of humor through her language and her tone. Like a lot of other Palahniuk protagonists, Madison is a rampant intellectual, so be prepared to learn a few things along the way, too.
As much as I would like to keep singing praises, I do need to address the problems of this book. There are definately scens that could have lasted about seven paragraphs shorter than they did. A lot of seemingly trivial events are stretched out to fill whol chapters, making each individual episode hit-or-miss. Also, I know this is paying homage to "The Breakfast Club", but there are parts where it seems like a downright rip-off (i.e. the whole supporting cast up until, like, page 200).
In the end, though, Damned is a solid entry in the career of Chuck Palahnkiuk, the first in a trilogy of novels concerining this Maddie Spencer. Apparently, the next one will be purgatory and the final entry in heaven. Oooohhh. The prospect of a modern Dante's Inferno strikes me as interesting. In the mean time, sit back, relax, and enjoy this novel. As the last words of the book say:
"To be continued..."
The basic plot is that Chuck Palaniuh likes the movie The Breakfast Club, and he hates the movie The English Patient. The plot is brought to you on the back of a 13 year old misguided virgin damned to Hell.
There were lots of quotable quotes from this book, some as long as half a page. The wit and satire are fun.
I did notice that this book seemed pretty overtly racist to me. Racist in a Palahniuk kind of way, which means it's so over-the-top deadpan funny that it just comes off as being hilarious instead of racist.
It's a short easy to read book like all of his others. I greatly enjoyed it.
In this book Palahniuk challenges himself by writing through the eyes of a middle school celebrity child. The plot is simple, girl goes to hell and tries to get out. Like most Palahniuk books, the commentary on our culture is the real reason you read it. Palahniuk reveals the darker parts of our culture and of us, and points out things that make you go "Wow, I never thought of it like that". It's definitely a book that will make you think with many quotes to pull from when you experience them throughout your life.
After seeing the initial reviews on here I was hesitant but I thought, "Well, Chuck, if it's like the last three then I'm not automatically buying your novels anymore." I'm glad to say he has won me back.
Damned isn't vintage Chuck, it's no Fight Club or Invisible Monsters, and maybe there isn't a solid plot but I enjoyed reading it. It interested me, and the vision of Hell is certainly unique. I liked seeing Madison's growth in the afterlife. It ends with "to be continued," and I hope he means it because I'd like to see the story go on.