Review: Damned

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.

About author

Brittney Soban

Brittney is a writer, reader and general lover of all things that end up printed on a page. With a few published poems and a lot of unpublished stories and novels she spends her days doing a nine to five job while wishing she was home working on the worlds she loves to create. As “punishment”, her and her brothers were banned from watching television for a week, leading to Brittney deciding that the free books at the library were better than TV and, in a very Matilda fashion, she took home loads of books every day and has never looked back. A reader of all types of literature, she will read practically anything put in front of her as long as something within it, no matter how small, sparks her interest. Give her high fantasy, science fiction, mystery, it doesn’t matter, but her love does lie within the fantasy and YA genres. A series junkie on top of everything else, she picks and chooses when to begin a series based on how many standalone books also await her attention in her to be read pile. Once she starts a series she will read every installment available back to back until she finishes a series or is forced to wait for the next publication. Called a book dragon by her boyfriend, the term is fitting as she owns more books than anything else and is quite sure her obituary will state she died under an avalanche of books. She truly wouldn’t have it any other way.

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