Chuck Palahniuk | Damned

by - November 20, 2012

By: Chuck Palahniuk. 

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.

First Lines: Are you there, Satan? It’s me Madison. I’m just now arrived here, in Hell, but it’s not my fault except maybe dying of marijuana. Maybe I’m in Hell because I’m fat – a Real Porker. If you can go to hell for having a 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. 

My thoughts about it: Damned is interestingly funny, and witty book that throws sarcasm, and humor when you least expect it. It’s a thirteen year old coming-of-age, and realization about life. But instead of living it like other thirteen year olds, Madison spends it in Hell and shares her colorful description about it, and accounts there. It was a good pick because it has an honest ring to the accounts of the dead girls thoughts about her life before she was damned. It was unapologetic for being honest, and  frank and was not at all bashful. It’s sarcasm, and one liners is hilariously obscene -- but in a good way. It is a light read, nothing too fancy about. The thoughts of Madison where colorfully written as if she’s alive much as she was dead. Though at one point, I grew tired of her being too defensive about the words she used, and about her knowing-more-than-girls-her-age-does. I get it. Madison’s a real prize catch but she's dead. I get it that she's dead. But besides the punches of humor quipped by this mature thinking thirteen year old dead girl, this book is about the living, and reminding us how short life is, and that death is forever. It pushes the idea of having to live a life worthy to spend reliving for the rest of your afterlife. A short read. I would not mind traveling with an eBook copy of this, because the printed one would take up space when you can just finish this one in one setting. READ AS: You won't be putting this book down too often until you're done with it.

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