Top critical review
Chuck trying as hard as he can.
on June 11, 2014
Chuck Palahniuk has written some great novels. And some great short stories. And nobody can deny that Fight Club led to an amazingly well-crafted film.
But Damned, with its' cliffhanger ending and sudden character reversal, and vivid descriptions of an almost childish hell seemed like Palahniuk doing his best to shock us. To gross us out. To find a twist in the plot that would make us say, "ohhhhhh!" After slogging through page after page of descriptions of exactly the kind of disgusting toenail mountain locations you might expect from the 13-year-old main character's vision of hell, we get to the meat of the story. The part that doubled the number of stars I'm willing to give this book (and honestly, if I could do half stars, I'd throw one on the pile).
SPOILERS AHEAD. The scene where the protagonist rips Hitler's mustache off and puts it around her belt seems like the scene that inspired the rest of the book. It's vivid. Gross. Well-written. And it makes you want more. Unfortunately, it's just before the end of the novel which ends in a cliffhanger, and I'm honestly thinking that the sequel, Doomed, is going to be the first Chuck P. book I don't bother reading.
My recommendation? Go read one of his earlier books. Or Rant. Rant was great. This one ain't.