Damned

  • by Chuck Palahniuk
  • Narrated by Tai Sammons
  • 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

“Are you there, Satan? It’s me, Madison,” declares the whip-tongued 13-year-old narrator of Damned, Chuck Palahniuk’s subversive new work of fiction.
The daughter of a narcissistic film star and a billionaire, Madison is abandoned at her Swiss boarding school over Christmas, while her parents are off touting their new projects and adopting more orphans. She dies over the holiday of a marijuana overdose—and the next thing she knows, she’s in Hell. Madison shares her cell with a motley crew of young sinners that is almost too good to be true: a cheerleader, a jock, a nerd, and a punk rocker, united by fate to form the six-feet-under version of everyone’s favorite detention movie.
Madison and her pals trek across the Dandruff Desert and climb the treacherous Mountain of Toenail Clippings to confront Satan in his citadel. All the popcorn balls and wax lips that serve as the currency of Hell won’t buy them off.
This is the afterlife as only Chuck Palahniuk could imagine it: a twisted inferno where The English Patient plays on endless repeat, roaming demons devour sinners limb by limb, and the damned interrupt your dinner from their sweltering call center to hardsell you Hell. He makes eternal torment, well, simply divine.

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What the Critics Say

“The story scoots along like any great adventure story, as she takes on Hitler and Catherine de Medici, and it’s a delight seeing Madison find her place in life, even if it’s in death.” (Booklist)
"Palahniuk is one of the freshest, most intriguing voices to appear in a long time. He rearranges Vonnegut's sly humor, DeLillo's mordant social analysis, and Pynchon's antic surrealism (or is it R. Crumb's?) into a gleaming puzzle palace all his own." (Newsday)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

As a new Chuck Palahniuk reader, I liked it a lot!

Are you there Satan? It's me, Madison. This is the start of each new chapter as narrated by a 13 year old dead girl damned to Hell in Chuck Palahniuk's latest novel. Hell is certainly hot. Hell is where demons rule over us puny dead humans. Hell is where dot matrix printers, dialup connections and telemarketing jobs rule the offices dwellings of the damned.

We start the story with little Madison sharing what appears to be her first day in Hell and giving really good pointers for the future dead. Always wear good shoes when alive because the bad plastic knock-offs always melt. Never touch the cell bars or your skin will corrode. And most importantly, make sure you have some good candies on hand to make nice with the demons that may otherwise eat you.

Do not bother trying to figure out where this plot is going. This is a dark comedy that is incredibly fun to read and you just need to go with the flow. There is tough and disgusting subject matter that is handled with a very deadpan comedic way so even the squeamish won't much mind the descriptions of various lakes, rivers and waterways made up of discarded human waste. No seriously, it will be fun going on this journey, you will see!

Follow our main character Madison as we travel through Hell, learn about her past, her crazy family, her friends in Hell and her ability to recruit new people in droves to the underworld. Get some great pointers along the way on how to deal with Hell because if you so much peed in a pool more than a few times in your life, that's where you are headed.

Madison's story covers a lot of ground and the close friendships, along with their stories, make us consider the things we may have done right or wrong in our lives. This book never preaches and certainly won't convert any satanists or loyal belivers but it does endear you to the characters, make us consider our actions here on earth and of course re-consider our clothing options everyday because it may be our last.

I've read a lot of other reviews before buying this book but as an Audible listener I was immediately sold with the voice of Tai Sammons as Madison. For the record, this is the first Chuck Palahniuk book I've ever finished because his other work was too confusing or frenetic for me so maybe hardcore readers don't like it but a newbie might love it.

-Bill
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- William R.

Well, I'll be... "Damned"

I got "Damned" by Chuck Palahniuk partly on the promise of the Audible review and partly because I know about the author and his writing. My bias, however, is that I prefer audiobooks that are performed rather than just read, so this book came up just a little bit short for me. There were some funny passages, and a lot of interesting cross references. In the end, however, I just wasn't into Ms. Sammons's delivery of the book.
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- Layne Marshal

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-18-2011
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.