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Damned

Damned Book Cover Damned
Damned, Book 1
Chuck Palahniuk
Fiction
Anchor Books
2012-10-02
247

As thirteen-year-old Madison tries to figure out how she died and ended up in Hell, she learns how to manipulate the corrupt system of demons and bodily fluids.

 

Review:

To be upfront, I am not typically a fan of Chuck Palahniuk’s writing, but this one’s description caught my eye so I decided to give it a try.  I’m glad I did, because I generally loved it.

The main character, 13-year-old Madison, evolves throughout the story from a rather clueless girl to one who gradually becomes more self-aware.  The writing style is meant to mimic how a girl her age may write, and for the most part it played out nicely.  However, after a while some of the repetition began to grate on my nerves like one of the demons in the book.  We got the point, Mr. Palahnuik. It really marred what was otherwise a pleasant read and is the sole reason I gave it three stars instead of four.

The other characters were excellent.  All surprising and well-rounded, they did a great job of making the novel thought-provoking as opposed to one-dimensional. Archer and Goren were particular were favorites of mine.

The list of ways to get you a one way ticket to eternal damnation had me laughing every time one came up.  I challenge anyone not to wonder if you are gambling with their soul the next time they commit one of the atrocities.

As is so common in a Palahniuk novel that I don’t think it bears even a thought of a spoiler warning, it all comes down to the ultimate existential crisis.  This one is the best I have ever read, not only from the author, but from possibly any author. It definitely left me wanting more in spite of the previously mentioned repetition. Lucky for me, there is a sequel, “Doomed”.

Content Warning:

This book was listed as young adult, and that designation makes me quite sure that I either entered an alternate dimension or the one who decides such things came to work drunk.  It is NOT, by any stretch of the imagination, a book meant for younger readers.  There is quite a bit of profanity, extremely graphic sexual imagery, and an overall perverseness that would make most school librarians have a stroke.  You have been warned.