Synopses & Reviews
“Are you there, Satan? It’s me, Madison,” declares the whip-tongued thirteen-year-old narrator of Damned
, Chuck Palahniuk’s subversive new work of fiction. The daughter of a narcissistic film star and a billionaire, Madison is abandoned at her Swiss boarding school over Christmas, while her parents are off touting their new projects and adopting more orphans. She dies over the holiday of a marijuana overdose—and the next thing she knows, she’s in Hell. Madison shares her cell with a motley crew of young sinners that is almost too good to be true: a cheerleader, a jock, a nerd, and a punk rocker, united by fate to form the six-feet-under version of everyone’s favorite detention movie. Madison and her pals trek across the Dandruff Desert and climb the treacherous Mountain of Toenail Clippings to confront Satan in his citadel. All the popcorn balls and wax lips that serve as the currency of Hell won’t buy them off.
This is the afterlife as only Chuck Palahniuk could imagine it: a twisted inferno where The English Patient plays on endless repeat, roaming demons devour sinners limb by limb, and the damned interrupt your dinner from their sweltering call center to hard-sell you Hell. He makes eternal torment, well, simply divine.
From the Hardcover edition.
"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." The Los Angeles Times
"Palahniuk's 12th novel is just as gleefully, vividly, hilariously obscene as you'd expect — and it's also a hell of a lot of fun. [He] has always been known for his pitch-dark satire, and it's evident here in his depiction of the underworld....As a young adult novel, it's surprisingly sweet, hopeful and empowering; as a satire, it's funny, irreverent and hugely entertaining. 'Hell is other people,' mused Sartre. Leave it to Chuck Palahniuk to tell us that might not be such a bad thing after all." Michael Schaub, NPR
"And now, from the Well, What Did You Expect file: Chuck Palahniuk imagines a great hell. His matter-of-fact underworld is the charming setting of Damned, a...very funny coming-of-age (after-you're-dead) novel....Palahniuk's descriptions of hell are inspired, crafted with great comic flair and the brilliant satirical stipulation that the Christian fundamentalists are right: Hell is literal, dinosaur bones were faked by Satan and among the unspeakable demons slurping about is Robert Mapplethorpe....[A] winning and funny book, and near the end, when Maddie seems to be ascending toward a sequel (Purgatory, anyone?), you'll likely want to read that one, too." Jess Walter, Washington Post
From the author of Fight Club
, comes a dark, irreverent, hilarious, and brilliant satire about adolescence, Hell, and the Devil.
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.
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.