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Damned (Damned #1)

3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  26,344 ratings  ·  2,580 reviews
Thirteen year old Madison has problems: she's overweight, ignored by her movie star parents, and in love with her adopted brother. She's also dead. But not just dead. Madison is in Hell. Chuck Palahniuk's latest, Damned, takes us on Madison's journey through Hell, as she navigates the Hillocks of Discarded Nail Pairings and the River of Vomit, meeting everyone from Charles ...more
Hardcover, 247 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Jonathan Cape (first published 2011)
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October 2011

Look out, Chuck Palahniuk fans! It's a Chuck Palahniuk book! Chuck Palahniuk's Damned, the newest Chuck Palahniuk book (by Chuck Palahniuk!) is classic Chuck Palahniuk, a wonderful addition to Chuck Palahniuk's collection of Chuck Palahniuk books, and a must-read for Chuck Palahniuk fans who love Chuck Palahniuk and his Chuck Palahniuk books!

Meet Madison, Chuck Palahniuk's newest creation, a dead thirteen-year-old girl trapped in Hell after overdosing on marijuana (or did she? Chuck
If a thirteen year old dead girl in Hell stops a rampaging Godzilla-sized demon by sexually pleasuring it, would you consider that necrophilia, bestiality or kiddie porn?

I’m not sure either, but these are the kind of questions that can come up when you read a Chuck Palahniuk novel.

Madison is the very smart but overweight daughter of a rich and famous Hollywood power couple that finds herself dead and in Hell after experimenting with marijuana. Turns out that all the whacko Christian fundamenta
Megan Anderson
If you, like me, have been suspecting Chuck Palahniuk is heading in an irreversible downward spiral, this book will not change your mind.

Chuck Palahniuk used to be my favorite author. My high school copy of Fight Club is highlighted and dog eared; I included a quote from the book next to my signature in people’s yearbooks. The book he signed for me during his “Roses and Shit” tour for Haunted is framed in a shadow box. (I know: I’m lame. Let’s move on.) But I won’t even say he’s my favorite auth
Meg ♥

Damned is another book I loved from Chuck Palahniuk. Each chapter starts: “Are you there, Satan? It’s me, Madison,” by a girl so emotionally needy she craves attention from the devil himself.

Madison is thirteen, and very smart. She's the daughter of a narcissistic actress, and a billionaire father. They adopt orphans to look good to the public, and ship Madison to her Swiss boarding school during the holidays to do other things. Madison dies, and is sent to Hell. She thinks the reason for landi
ew norris
My god, Chuck, what is going on? Are you OK? Do you have a brain tumor? Are you trying to get out of a contract with Doubleday? Has The Cult really done this to your ego? What happened?
It's like you're not even trying anymore to write with any kind of style and it's getting tougher and tougher to get excited about your work. "Damned" is like a 250-page fart joke. It's like you’re trying so hard, pandering to those you once rejected, working so hard to hit the lowest common denominator. And
Jun 11, 2013 David rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Damned 13-year-olds, leftist billionaires
Palahniuk shows more sympathy for the Devil than for liberals in this book. Which is not to say that he comes off as being an axe-grinding conservative (I have no idea what Palahniuk's politics are), but the target of his satire in Damned is Hell and Hollywood, and he makes Hell seem like the more desirable place.

A word to all the Goodreads reviewers who classified this book as "Young Adult" -- are you nuts? Did you actually read this book? Or do you just assume that any book with a teenage prot
I enjoyed this book, but it would have been much better if it had a plot arc going on. Sometimes it's nice when authors work off an outline or just known what's going to happen next in the story rather than seeming like they're making up every little thing as they go along. Sure, there's an inciting incident and a journey with no particular destination for no particular reason than to just wander around Hell and check out the sites. And then the journey comes to an abrupt halt for no reason that ...more
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Earlier this year, I submitted a story for an upcoming anthology called Amazing Stories of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I don’t do this often, as I’m not so good with short fiction (it takes me a while to get a good handle on the story). But because of the subject matter, I decided to give it a shot. I love the FSM mythos. It’s funny and clever. My story was guaranteed to be accepted, I knew, because it was funny, original, clever, and better than anything else anyone could write.
I wanted to finish the book before I did a full review on it, but some things just cannot wait..and this is one of them.

I really try to like Palahniuk. His earlier stuff..brilliant. But lately, especially in the case of Damned , all I'm reading is shock value nonsense. You know, I get it. You are a very intelligent man, Mr. Palahniuk. You know a lot and you have very opinionated views on the world. How bout writing an essay on why you think the Hollywood celebrity crowd is wasting their time tr
I once again find myself Lamenting Good Reads' lack of half stars. This should be a 3 1/2.

I must admit, I walked into this book with a fair bit of trepidation, having felt rather lukewarm to everything that came after Haunted and been fully enraged by Pygmy. Reading this book was going to be, I thought, the book fan's equivalent of identifying the corpse. "Yep, that's good old Chuck P. I used to love him... Pity what happened, though." And I would assert that my beloved author was dead to me, a
Well, I can now sit back and wait for the 2011 Palahniuk wars to commence. I've already heard the distant rumblings of such and now, based on what I've read, I know that the full slaughter will soon break. Mind you, I don't think that Palahniuk's newest work is bad. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. It won't rank up there with some of his books that I regard as imperative in order to not have lived a wasted life, but it was a fun read. There are some good characters, good description, and an in ...more
Tedious, try-hard and frustratingly inconsistent. Chuck Palahniuk is completely incapable of writing as a 13-year-old girl, particularly a girl of the same generation as Madison would ostensibly be. He just sounds like a 40-something white guy who's really impressed with himself and his ability to write. I can't say that I've read anything else by Palahniuk, but this book was all I needed to ensure that I'll avoid him for the rest of my life. Madison doesn't know what French kissing is, but desc ...more
Mary (BookHounds)
quite possibly my favorite book of the year!


So, if Christopher Moore (think Abby Normal from Bite Me) and Judy Blume got together and wrote a book dedicated to a life lived in hell as a sort of CandyLand game with all of the twists and turns that move a player forward; where candy is currency . Each chapter starts with a note from Madison, the eleven year old protagonist address to Satan. As she accepts her death and now after life, she finds that even small infract
Steve Lowe
It was... you know... eh. Don't get me wrong, well written, with some solid Palahniukian things to say about... things and stuff. But overall? Shit, I don't know.

I didn't really go into this book with any kind of expectation. It seems two camps have emerged in the Chuck Palahniuk fandom world - the group that's tired of that "Chuck" voice that every main character seems to have and wishes he'd branch out, and the group that's tired of Chuck trying to branch out and do something that doesn't read
Eddie Dobiecki
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Written early in my time on Goodreads, not representative of my current style.

(view spoiler)
Hmmmm… Wow…


So… This is my first Palahniuk novel, and frankly I am scared to pick up anything else written by this author, though I have ‘Fight Club’ on my “To-Read” list for April. And I hear from many (MANY) sources, that this guy is GENIUS and ‘Fight Club’ is ridiculously good. I don’t doubt all these people… but I still have my fingers crossed.

Madison Spencer. A 13 year old girl, daughter of two eccentric famous parents, dies, and ends up in the most strange, weird, ridiculous version of h
Edward (The Book Pusher) Lorn
3.5 stars.

Dear God,

I want to go to Hell, ‘kay? Thanks bunches!

Damned is the first book I’ve enjoyed from Palahniuk since… Diary, I think. His first four or five novels were fantastic, and then we received such disasters as Tell Tale, Snuff, and Pygmy (The latter was written entirely in phonetic English. Le sigh…). Because I was so shell shocked by Pygmy I completely skirted Rant, because it seemed to be written in the form of interviews, a style I’ve never enjoyed. The only reason I picked up Da
In the last few years, Palahniuk's books have felt like a 7th generation copy of a copy of a copy of a book he wrote in the early 2000s. I've continued to read Chuck in hopes of seeing again the genius behind his first works, but alas, "Damned" is such an execrable send-up I am hoping that this is nothing more than a contractual obligation book and at some point we get to see the return of a very talented writer, rather than wonder when his muse left him.

"Survivor" was my favorite book of 2000.

I'm going to say right now, I am one of those people who think that pretty much all of Chuck's early books are at the very least entertaining to various degrees. Fight Club and Invisible Monsters are incredible, I really like Diary, Survivor is good, Choke is decent. I'm probably forgetting one or two of his earlier books.

I used to be a huge Chuck fan and still strongly recommend those early books. I think the first book I hated by Chuck was Haunted. That was terrible... bullshit uninteresti
Brandon Tietz
**originally published on**

I’m going to put a few fears to rest right away regarding this newest work by Chuck Palahniuk.

First, this one is close to 250 pages, so for all of those who have been complaining about the length of his last few releases—you can chill out. You’re getting a decent page count this time around.

Second: there was some churning the rumor mill that this is a YA novel. Thankfully, those were just rumors as this book isn’t even close to being YA. Not unl
As someone who got back into writing because of Chuck Palahniuk, as someone who has studied his style, and has gone through his workshop, and Dangerous Writing.... what I am about to do might be seen as blasphemy.

Chuck has made a name for himself for doing things a certain way, for lampooning our disaster of a world in cutting, sparse, and often rather funny ways. This book (even more than his last few) seems to purposely ignore all of his stylistic rules and trademarks. It's wordy, the dialogue
“Fight Club” e “Cavie” non mi erano dispiaciuti come romanzi, anche se non li avevo trovati certo dei capolavori. Ma questo, sinceramente, mi è parso decisamente zeppo di luoghi comuni, di banalità, superficiale e persino noioso. Più obbligo editoriale che non voglia di raccontare. Questa tredicenne, Madison, non comunica proprio nulla di nuovo al lettore, né l’immagine proposta dell’Inferno mi pare abbia un qualche senso compiuto. Ok, d’accordo, il consumismo è da condannare, ma detto una volta ...more
Are you there, Chuck? It’s me, Craig. What happened to you? You used to write interesting stories with compelling characters, gallows humor and biting social criticism. Remember the good times? Fight Club, Survivor even Choke. I, like a lot of your fans, was disappointed with Tell-All, Pygmy and Snuff but when I heard the premise of Damned I was really optimistic. Imagine my disappointment when I realized Damned was nothing more than the literary equivalent of a 256 page poop joke with a big “to ...more
Oh Mister Chuck. I loved you so much. You spent a long time on my list of "I'll read anything they write" authors. I kept you on there after realizing I had to skip parts in Haunted to make it good. I was willing to forgive you almost anything for those glimpses of amazing writing. Rant almost did you in but you were redeemed in Snuff. We won't talk about Tell-All ... after all, everyone has an off day. And, to be fair, you did manage to pull Damned back from the brink halfway through. Still, yo ...more
Satan, hi. Art thou there? It's me, Ar... hmmm. Sorry I'm quite reluctant upon giving you my name but you probably know me anyway. Well, as much as I want to see Charles Darwin, George Duke, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, Leonardo da Vinci, Jack Germond, F. Scott Fitzgerald, etc. (insert long list of undercover legends) in flesh at your immaculate fortress, I'm afraid I'm quite of a pussy for your kingdom's qualifications. Oh God, writing this might just have upped the possibility of my damnat ...more
Brandon Zarzyczny
I really didn't enjoy this book. I understand what Palahniuk was going for, but it's just so goofy. I also feel like this book just copies from multiple other works of literature in a similar way to what Weird Al Yankovic does with his music. The landscape of Hell the author creates is interesting, but at times difficult to actually picture/imagine with it being so crazy and unbelievable. That was probably my biggest problem with the book, though how the story jumps around also made it heard to ...more
Frank Parsons
I like Palahniuk and as many others have said in the past, Fight Club is genius. So I thought, what the heck let's try one of his newer books. However, this book was a disappointment with its tired trope of how hell is SO much better and more interesting than heaven. He throws in the standard amount of snide intelligentsia comments about right wing politics, celebrity culture, and environmental/health issues. And he does it all with style, actually, he does it all with many different styles and ...more
La verità, mi spiega Archer, e' che all'inferno ci rimani fino a quando non ti perdoni

Bello bello bello. Maddison, tredicenne sovrappeso figlia di assurde star di hollywood (una sorta di Brangelina, vista la loro tendenza ad adottare orfani dai punti più oscuro del pianeta) muore e finisce all'inferno. Cosa ha fatto di male? Niente di che, ma noi mortali ignoriamo il fatto che anche suonare il clacson troppe volte nella vita sia causa di dannazione, per cui le possibilità di raggiungerla sono al
This is the third Chuck Palahniuk I've ever read. The other two, Snuff, and whatever the full title of Rant was, were read so many years ago, I barely remember the writing. So this review may be odd compared to the others. (It's not a well-liked book, is it? Hmm.)

I really liked this book. A thirteen year old girl ends up in Hell? I'm sold. I was anxious to read it since first reading the blurb. The actual book didn't disappoint, at all. I am very eager for the next two, because it ended at what
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BEP090T1: Setting 2 1 1 Dec 08, 2014 08:52PM  
BEP090T1: Characters 1 1 Dec 08, 2014 08:49PM  
What the others say... 1 16 Oct 10, 2014 05:22AM  
Live Video Chat with Chuck Palahniuk 5 56 Nov 10, 2013 01:25AM  
Inklings: May Suggestion 13 7 Jun 09, 2012 12:15PM  
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Written in stolen moments under truck chassis and on park benches to a soundtrack of The Downward Spiral and Pablo Honey, Fight Club came into existence. The adaptation of Fight Club was a flop at the box office, but achieved cult status on DVD. The film’s popularity drove sales of the novel. Chuck put out two novels in 1999, Survivor and Invisible Monsters. Choke, published in 2001, became Chuck’ ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Damned (2 books)
  • Doomed (Damned #2)
Fight Club Choke Invisible Monsters Remix Lullaby Haunted

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“What makes earth feel like hell is our expectation that it should feel like heaven.” 261 likes
“No, it’s not fair, but what makes earth feel like Hell is our expectation that it should feel like Heaven. Earth is earth. Dead is dead. You’ll find out for yourself soon enough. It won’t help the situation for you to get all upset.” 72 likes
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