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Showing 1-10 of 286 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 466 reviews
on May 31, 2017
I laughed non-stop through the book. Today, I spent two hours on the phone with a bank's customer service and knew Maddy worked for them. I liked Damned more than Fight Club, and look forward to reading Doomed. I'll never clip my toenails again without thinking about this book.
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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.
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on July 22, 2013
If there's one thing Palahniuk does well it's taking the characters that become "supporting" in most stories and focuses them as the main characters in his book. This shows us the gritty details of their life that often times become overlooked.

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.
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on June 12, 2017
I'm a big Palahniuk fan, but this book really didn't move me like some of his earlier work. I felt like this was geared more for a younger audience so teens and young adults might enjoy this book.
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on October 6, 2013
What to say about Dammed... or Chuck Palahniuk... 1st off this is one of my all time favorite books by one of my all time favorite authors. I have already preorded the sequel, Doomed. If you have ever seen Fight Club the movie and enjoyed it you will love any of his books. Yes this as well as all his other works have a dark, twisted side but also humorous. And always a great story that reels you in, you will pick up and not want to put down until finished. To enjoy this book you must have a darker sense of humor. Yes its about a little girls adventure to and through Hell. Talks of God. In no way pokes fun of either, folks remember its fiction. If you like the workings of James Frey (famous for a million little peices) or Augusten Burroughs (famous for running with scissors) I think you would love this book! Some parts will gross you out while others will have you laughing hysterically. I personally recommend exploring all 3 of the mentioned authors not just the books that made them household names but all of them. I personally have read every book ever written by these guys. Again Chuck P has some amazing books but this is my favorite which is got 5 stars. Love you love you love you Chuck Palahniuk!
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on June 24, 2013
This is a story of a 13 year old girl's time in hell and the people she meets while she is there. Palahniuk spoofs several things in popular culture in this story by taking them to their illogical extreme. Madison is a privileged if ignored preteen with two self absorbed A-list celebrity parents with a habit of collecting underprivileged third world children. Their indifference lands her in hell and as she describes her experience there the unfortunate details of her life are slowly reveled. This story is told in a king of odd off beat way with both satire and humor. Over the course of the story Madison meets several other people who are dealing with life in hell in their own particular way. If you like Palahniuk's writing style, you will like this book. While I did not enjoy it as much as his other books in that it seemed a little more heavy handed in its satire, it was still an entertaining story.
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on December 3, 2011
It's funny how a novel about Hell is what we all needed for Chuck Palahniuk to return from his three book slump of the past few years. I enjoyed Snuff more than others, but still was dissapointed. Pygmy was decent, but I was not a fan of the broken english. I enjoyed the style of Tell-All, but there wasn't much plot or story behind it.

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..."
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on August 24, 2016
Not quite the top-shelf quality I've come to expect from Palahniuk, but definitely worth reading. In his reimagination of the underworld, Chuck Palahniuk hits some great notes. Constantly prodding at the silliness of dogma, this story can still be entertaining to those who hold religious beliefs. This book will have you imagining numerous grotesque confabulations you would have never thought up, while other times you just want to skip ahead because you already know what the preteen brat is going to say.
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on November 8, 2011
It was... you know... eh. Don't get me wrong, well written, with some solid Palahniukian things to say about... things and stuff. But overall? Shoot, I don't know.

I didn't really go into this book with any kind of expectation. It seems two camps have emerged in the Chuck Palahniuk fandom world - the group that's tired of that "Chuck" voice that every main character seems to have and wishes he'd branch out, and the group that's tired of Chuck trying to branch out and do something that doesn't read like a Chuck book. I fall in between I suppose. I liked PYGMY until the end, but my problem with that book didn't have to do with the voice or the "Chuckitutde" of it, more with the copout of an ending.

I guess this is Chuck's curse, to have all of his work forever compared to his first, great breakthrough. Either it's not enough like it, or it's too much like it. I think my problem with DAMNED is, Chuck's heart just doesn't seem to be into it. To put it another way, this felt like book writing instead of story telling. Felt like fiction manufacturing instead of yarn spinning. By the time I got to the TO BE CONTINUED... at the end, I really didn't even have the energy to be annoyed. I laughed a few times, kind of got to like the Madison character, wondered why all the candy in Hell didn't melt, but mostly just felt really noncommital by the end.

All I really want is to read a good, entertaining story. That's all I'm looking for at this point. If I get something more out of it, then that's just the unexpected gravy atop the mashed potato. (The yellow kind they served with school lunch, that seems so delicious and magical now that I haven't had it for 20 years.) It's not you, Chuck, it's me. Will I read the sequel(s)? Yeah, most likely. But, again, I won't go into it with any kind of expectations. I grew up rooting for the Chicago Cubs. I've learned not to have expectations. I am broken.
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on December 28, 2011
I am a big fan of Palahniuk's Fight Club and Choke, but I did not like Damned very much at all. The narrator and main character, thirteen-year-old Madison Spencer, was unlikeable, unbelievable, and sometimes annoying; the plot was bogged down by too many flashbacks and pointless, repetitive rants; and the novel's constant assertions that the living look down upon the dead was bizarre and unconvincing. There were some interesting ideas and some good imagery here, but mostly I was bored, impatient, and put off by the unsympathetic main character. If you're going to read it, don't read it as your first Palahniuk book. He is better than Damned.
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