|Photo credit to El Paisano.|
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
"Are you there, Satan? It's me, Madison." Every chapter of this book starts with this same phrase, except the last one. The last one included the protagonist's full name, a girl so emotionally deprived and needy that she seeks attention from the Hades himself.
Madison, a daughter of ex-hippy and pretend philanthropist parents, narcissistic actress and a billionaire father, died at the age of 13 when her mother pretends that she was 8 - the age of innocence in her opinion. When Madison died, she is sent to Hell. Though she thinks that the reason for her penance is she smoked pots, but as the story goes along Madison learns more about her physical death - death that in fact liberated her. Now she is a telemarketer of some sort that the product she is selling is damnation itself.
The author Chuck Palahniuk's vision of Hell is depicted in this book via the experience of Madison. Though the book itself is widely undermined by a lot of Palahniuk fans who admire his earlier works, I enjoyed this short but very engaging story on audiobook of just over 6 hours. The story is told by a very smart, attention seeking 13 year-old in a non-creepy way (that alone says a lot) and the storyline kept me interested throughout the whole book.
The book itself ended with the line "To Be Continued". Damned does have a sequel Doomed, but the fans of Chuck Palahniuk took the line sarcastically as the book was first published. Narly, right? Would I recommend this book to anyone? Damn right, I would. (Get it? I've just made a pun. Nevermind.) Not a bad one the start your Chuck Palahniuk journey with if Fight Club is too violent for you.