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(Damned #1)

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  49,113 ratings  ·  3,910 reviews
The newest Palahniuk novel concerns Madison, a thirteen year old girl who finds herself in Hell, unsure of why she will be there for all eternity, but tries to make the best of it.

The author described the novel as "if The Shawshank Redemption had a baby by The Lovely Bones and it was raised by Judy Blume." And "it's kind of like The Breakfast Club set in Hell."
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Doubleday Canada
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Alds Hey, I hope you've started to read it again by now, but just in case :))

It's either the fact that you can't picture yourself in Maddy's shoes, or that…more
Hey, I hope you've started to read it again by now, but just in case :))

It's either the fact that you can't picture yourself in Maddy's shoes, or that you're bored by the slow pace at the start. I did notice that the first eighteen or so chapters are slow, but it has its moments in X and I think XV.

But I couldn't stop reading after I read XX =)) It was just one big plot development after another, like that roller coaster ride that just suddenly speeds up :)) But the ending chapters are worth it. :D(less)

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Average rating 3.38  · 
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 ·  49,113 ratings  ·  3,910 reviews

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Dec 18, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 00-old-reviews
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
Jan 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012, humor, sky-cake
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 Kiekel Anderson
Jul 14, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: horror, fiction
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
Megs ♥
Dec 19, 2011 rated it really liked it

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
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  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 this reads like an axe-grinding conservative polemic (I have no idea what Palahniuk's politics are), but the targets of his satire in Damned are Hell and Hollywood, and he makes Hell seem like the less awful 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
Oct 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, 2016
Loved this book.

The breakfast club but set in Hell. And with the English Patient playing over and over (which i have seen and don't wish that upon anyone)

The first half was amazing, the last half dragged a bit for me but I still loved it.

Sick & twisted.
Unique Characters.
Short Chapters.
Unusual storyline.
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jeannette Nikolova
Apr 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
Read on the WondrousBooks blog.

Are you there, Chuck? It's me, Jeannette. I honestly used to like your books once. Invisible Monsters was a revelation - if I ever grow the balls to become a director, that would be the movie that I'd do. If you have become addicted to heroin, find some help, I believe there is still something you can offer to the world. But your books have started to suck. I'm sorry, Chuck. I really don't want to hurt your feelings, I think you are a rock star in contemporary
Brandon Tietz
Jun 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
**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
Aug 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: from-library
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
Dec 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-fiction, series
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
Todd Bristow
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
The author's view of hell is gross and wonderful. The protagonist is delightful and her journey is worth taking. The story gets meandering at times. There is an arc, but the story feels incomplete, but a continuation is threatened. If it comes, I'll read it. ...more
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Fifty pages into Damned I was pitching it to my friends, selling them on reading about eternal torments, daemons, and hellfire - all hilariously done in the style Palahniuk has made his own.

Those first fifty pages are pretty entertaining. Madison, a sad, overweight rich kid, drops dead (from a weed overdose) and finds herself in hell. This is isn’t the standard lake-o-fire Hell either – this is Hell like you’ve never imagined it - an underworld that is as amusing as it is gross (and it’s really
Stevie Kincade
Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks, reviewed
(Audiobook) "Are you there Satan? It's me Maddison" begins each chapter. Maddison finds herself in hell, dying of an apparent marijuana overdose.

The daughter of a multi millionaire and an award winning Actress, 13 year old Maddison is a self described "fat chick" struggling with her sense of self and identity at the time of her death.

This setup allows Paluhniak to viciously pillory EVERYONES sense of identity. it is a lot like attending your own roast because however you identify, what ever yo
Mar 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Edward Lorn
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
“What makes earth feel like hell is our expectation that it should feel like heaven.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Damned


Reading this wasn't Heaven (brilliant) and it certainly wasn't Hell (horrible). It was just kinda purgatory, luke warm. Read almost as an obligation. Perhaps, I've grown too old. Perhaps, CP has grown too old. The shock is gone. All shock is gone?

There is also a bunch of Hell fiction out there. I still prefer Steven Peck's A Short Stay in Hell and of course Dante's (not Dan Brown's) In
Steve Lowe
Jun 21, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Oct 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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
Eddie Dobiecki
Jan 31, 2013 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 24, 2011 rated it did not like it
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.
Kara Babcock
I have to return this book to the library soon, because despite putting it on hold, it has another hold on it already. Already. This Chuck Palahniuk guy sure is popular. Yet I feel as if I should do my civic duty and put a sticky note inside this book that reads, “Don’t bother.” That’s pretty much my review of Damned, in two words.

Madison Spencer is a thirteen-year-old girl, the daughter of rich-but-eccentric parents who love her but are not close to her. She overdoses on marijuana on her thirte
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 19, 2014 rated it liked it
To be upfront, I am not typically a fan of Chuck Palahnuik’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 grat
"Life is short, death is forever."

"What makes Earth feel like Hell is our expectation that it should feel like Heaven."

My first Chuck Palahniuk book, and... it was ok. The MC was a touch pretentious and there was a slightly bitter feel to the whole thing (who hurt you, Chuck?) but it was well written, smart, inventive, descriptive and original.

Are you there, Satan? It's me, Maddison. Recently deceased 13 year old Maddison Spencer adjusts to life in hell with her Breakfast Club-esque group o
Aug 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: horror, humor
When an author needs a few bucks, is the general practice to just churn out anything, even if it is a rambling mess? Damned reads like a plotless, pointless, YA novel where every single bit of humor falls dead flat.

First, the main character is a 13 year old depressed girl. That's totally fine, except for the fact that the book also reads like it was written by a 13 year old depressed girl. She dies and goes to hell, but she is just so totally awesome! She beats up all of the evil people in hell
Mar 10, 2012 rated it did not like it

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
May 31, 2012 rated it liked it
I thought this first half of this book was great, but the second half was boring and it felt dragged out to the point where I skimmed the last few chapters.
Oct 24, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
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
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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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