My review of “Damned,” by Chuck Palahniuk (author of Fight Club and Choke). Excuse my diversion from my blogging on my daytrip into becoming published by an indie company, but I just finished reading this book and feel compelled to give it a review for people looking for a read or considering this read. First off, and where I feel this may have something to do with literary finese, I chose this book because I read the outside cover which gave the hook…and boy was I hooked. The last time I paid full price for a book was in nursing school…and it was manadatory. I paid nearly $27.00 for this book, but like I said, I read the cover and was like, “wow. How much is in our bank account, Dear?”
Don’t get me wrong, I love to read, but between writing my own novels, work, homeschooled kid, and a senior with piloting lessons-well, leaisurely reading can only be fit in around 2am, when i’m sleeping. So cheers to Mr. Palahniuk, who took 2 days of my life away from me while I emersed myself in the underworld of Maddison Spencer. This story still haunts me, but not in a bad clanking chains, hearing ghosts kind of way; more in a way of literary, creep into my dreams sort of way. I must also confess that I had to write down several words he used and look them up: caterwauling, cacophony, roiling, and din to name a few. Not that I had never heard these words, it’s just I have never heard or read them in correct context before. Rest assured, I will save and use these at a later date and time.
Okay, onto my review:
“Damned,” By Chuck Palahniuk was well written, full of symbolism, full of life (even in Hell), and vibrantly eerie in imagination. The story is told in first person by Maddison Spencer who has died and gone to hell. She is by no means a normal child, who grew up the daughter of a famous actress and father who I believe has something to do with movies also. She went to all the best boarding schools and lived a semi-charmed life under the strange guide of her post-hippie, pro-recycle re-use reduse, save the whales, sex, drug, rock and roll type parents. Once in hell, she is met by three other kids who, without any preconceptions, become this hell-gang version of The Breakfast Club…Maddy being Ally Sheedy. Being of the character she is, she tries to make the best of hell, so far as wanting to be Satan’s buddy. The story is quite vivd and at one point a bit raunchy, making me blush at just how graphic Chuck can be, but he is very blatant and doesn’t hold anything back so I continued through. His description of hell is graphic, vivid, and at times a bit humerous in nature. The currency of hell is in chocolate and other tasty sweeties, so there is some definite humor there. Also the recounting of the ways one is condemned to eternal damnation are sometimes down right jovial ( I no longer honk my horn in traffic or spit on the floor). I actually caught myself swearing while at Disneyland (yep, the happiest place on Earth) and wondered how many more uses of the “F” word I had left, or was I already past the damnation point.
If you don’t mind a little blasphamy, can find humor in good old fashioned poking at religions, and don’t mind a few facts into demonolgy, AND know this is pure fiction to be taken lightly, then I would definitely recommend this book. Along with a dictionary. I especially loved the ending when Maddy met the chauffeur. At that point I flipped to the back jacket cover and looked at the picture of Chuck and asked, “are you the devil?” Mind you, after every chapter I looked back at his picture and shook my head at how wonderfully, perverse this man’s mind could be. And he looks so normal. Not at all like the George Romero or Stephen King, I would picture him to be. Normal looking people with that kind of imagination are probably the scariests…and so I aspire to be that brilliant someday.
In short: GO BUY THE BOOK.
My next review: pediatric advance life support (PALS) and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) by the American Heart Association.