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Damned by Chuck Palahniuk
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Damned (2011)

by Chuck Palahniuk

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This is a book that should be read by church members, but will probably never be read there. It goes over our philosophy of hell and what is its meaning in the 21st century. Great read. Funny through out and not once did I want to write him a letter complaining about his theology. He is very accurate in his sins of our current culture. ( )
  Gregorio_Roth | Dec 5, 2014 |
This is a book that should be read by church members, but will probably never be read there. It goes over our philosophy of hell and what is its meaning in the 21st century. Great read. Funny through out and not once did I want to write him a letter complaining about his theology. He is very accurate in his sins of our current culture. ( )
  Gregorio_Roth | Dec 5, 2014 |
It had been touted as “Dante’s Inferno meets The Breakfast Club.” This description was the reason I picked it up! However, it was a little too literal. In the book we meet Madison, a caustic 13 year old girl, only-child to Hollywood stars, who had the misfortune of expiring much too soon. She, the seemingly awkward wallflower, bands together a group of other young, damned souls: the pretty girl, the rebel, the jock, and the nerd…see, literally the same group of angsty teens from the 1985 John Hughes flick!

It's written in the first-person voice of Madison herself and was easy enough to read, but at times maybe too easy. The plot itself is one held together with a thin thread, in my opinion. Yes, we get from start to finish, but something about all the in-between left me questioning it’s chapter’s layout.

There were more than a few lines that made me laugh out loud, but most of it was read wanting to get through it all quickly. It’s not the grotesque, detailed imagery of environments and settings truly fit for the darkest depths of Hell that got me, I had expected that from Palahniuk, who’s ‘shock and disgust’ writing style I had come to like. It was more Madison’s own prose. In the beginning, it was cute and funny…but half-way in it grew to be tiring and monotonous.

In the end, I was more happy with finishing it than with how it ended. I’m not sure if I would recommend this to anyone for any other reason than gross-out factor alone. ( )
  agvuerdua | Dec 4, 2014 |
Although this still hasn't topped my first Palahniuk - Rant - I definitely felt a sense of the familiar madness descending as I plunged headfirst into this novel. Basically, Damned is the testimony of a thirteen year-old dead girl called Madison, who wakes up in a cell in Hell and proceeds to take Hades by storm, befriending a demon (and a bunch of other teenage inmates), defeating Hitler, finding she has a knack for telemarketing (one of the two career options in Hell - the other being dodgy porn webcam sites) and generally becoming a bit of a celebrity in the Underworld. Meanwhile, we slowly piece together bits of her life and death, while Madison hunts for Satan to try to find out exactly why and how she ended up here. It's all very bizarre, a bit gross, vaguely jumbled and occasionally shocking - and I raced through it, as usual. Very tentatively recommended - Palahniuk is definitely not for everyone! ( )
  elliepotten | Oct 24, 2014 |
While this book did include some interesting and funny takes on subject matter such as death and religion I found a lot of it childish and while Palahniuk can usually pull off vulgarity as a key part of a story a lot of the gross and absurd scenes seemed completely unnecessary in this novel. ( )
  morgantaylor | Oct 10, 2014 |
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Are you there, Satan? It's me, Madison.
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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.
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.
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 deja 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.
Another detail to remember about Hell ... whenever you ask why anyone is damned for all eternity, she'll tell you "jaywalking" or "carrying a black purse with brown shoes" or some such pretty nonsense. In Hell you'd be foolish to count on people displaying high standards of honesty. The same goes for earth.
Don't get me wrong. Hell isn't so dreadful, not compared to Ecology Camp, and especially not compared to junior high school. Call me jaded, but not much compares to having your legs waxed or getting your navel piercing done at a mall kiosk.
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As thirteen-year-old Madison tries to figure out how she died and ended up in Hell, she learns how to manipulate the corrupt system of demons and bodily fluids.

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