By: Chuck Palahniuk
Release Date: October 18th, 2011
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
When you think of Chuck Palahniuk I’m sure most people think of perhaps his most well known work, Fight Club, which I understand, given how well written it is and what a hit the move became. But, let’s look at another work of his that is just as sharp and witty to read as Fight Club. I might not have loved it as much, and it seems many fans agree, but still the book is worth the read if you can get into it.
Let me begin by saying this, the narrator, Madison, is a thirteen year old girl. If you hate first person stories told from that view point just stop now. The entire book is like this and it is just as whiny, sarcastic and dramatic as you’d expect from a thirteen year old that suddenly found herself in hell.
I found that the way Palahniuk start’s each chapter by saying “Are you there, Satan? It’s me, Madison,” reminded me (apparently intentionally so) of the Judy Blume novel Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. It made me giggle, at the very least, at the start of each chapter. The rest of the chapter wasn’t always as entertaining and was sometimes downright ridiculous.
Now, let’s get into the weird things about this book. And trust me, there are a lot. There is demonic sex moments with said thirteen year old because, ya know, why not? She’s in hell anyway and she might as well have some fun and stop a demon rampage all at once. Another weird thing is that (again, intentionally apparently) that Madison’s cast of friends are similar to the Breakfast Club. Again, weird.
Something I found entertaining about this story is that Madison begins to run hell. I mean that literally. She takes her job of getting people to come to hell very seriously and she does so via telemarketing. I’m serious. With her army of friends committing mortal sins to join our narrator in hell Maddy ends up defeating bullies in hell (think the worst people in history, you’ll see them there).
I’ll say this, the book is entertaining and good for a laugh. Is it the best thing out there? No. Should you read it? Yes but only if you’re looking for dark humor with a touch of horror.