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Damned
Cover of Damned
Damned
Damned Trilogy, Book 1
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"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.

"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.

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About the Author-
  • Chuck Palahniuk's bestselling novels include Tell-All, Damned, Pygmy, Snuff, Rant, Haunted, Lullaby, Fight Club, Diary, Survivor, Invisible Monsters, and Choke. He is also the author of a nonfiction profile, Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon, published as part of the Crown Journeys series, and the nonfiction collection Stranger Than Fiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 2, 2011
    Move over, Dante, there's a new tour guide to hell: Madison Spencer, the 13-year-old narrator of Palahniuk's cliché-ridden latest bulletin of phoned-in outrage. After self-asphyxiating, Madison wakes up in hell and quickly finds, as she's put to work prank-calling people at dinnertime, that her new home is not much different from Saturday detention in The Breakfast Club. Embarking on a field trip with some new friends, Madison fights demons, raises an army of the dead, and storms the gates of Satan's citadel. At the same time, she flashes back to her unhappy life as the daughter of a self-absorbed movie star mother and a financial tycoon father who collect Third World orphans. Unfortunately, Palahniuk's hell turns out to be a familiar place, filled with long lines, celebrities, dictators, mass murderers, lawyers, and pop culture references and jokes repeated until they are no longer funny. In the end, the author seems to be saying that the real hell is the banality of our earthly lives, an observation that itself seems a little too banal to power this work of fiction.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 2, 2012
    A teenage girl named Madison dies of a drug overdose and awakens in hell, alongside every stereotypical character in the history of bad writing: a jock, a cheerleader, a headbanger, and, naturally, a science dweeb. The twist is that this is a hell that only Palahniuk could have imagined, and the journey to escape it is as unpredictable as anything he’s ever written. Narrator Tai Sammons delivers a stellar reading in which she captures the essence of Madison. Her dialect, delivery, and tone are perfectly suited to that of a 13-year-old who’s having a really, really bad day. Listening to Sammons’s narration is an intimate experience as her rendition of Madison pours her heart out and prays her words won’t fall only on dead ears. A Doubleday hardcover.

  • Booklist "The story scoots along like any great adventure story, as she takes on Hitler and Catherine de Medici, and it's a delight seeing Madison find her place in life, even if it's in death."
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Damned Trilogy, Book 1
Chuck Palahniuk
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