Reviews for Damned

Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Smart but awkward, chubby Madison gets fried on marijuana and dies the night her Brangelina-like parents are accepting Oscars. She finds herself as one-fifth (the Ally Sheedy) of a new Breakfast Club, this one trapped in Hell rather than detention. Alongside the cheerleader, jock, nerd, and punk, Madison gains confidence battling history's villains and mythology's demons, wandering the bad candy-strewn landscape in search of Satan, whom she has decided is not such a bad guy. She also works as a telemarketer, enticing the diseased to join her in an afterworld that she likes better than life. VERDICT As in Tell-All, Palahniuk takes a high concept and kills it with a meandering plot and an unsatisfying conclusion. His humor occasionally scores, but the best jokes are repeated until they become more annoying than funny. Thirteen-year-old Madison reads like a snarky grad student, while other characters barely register. The oceans of bodily fluids in this Hell could serve as a symbol for Palahniuk's wasted talent. Longtime fans will be left wishing for his return from limbo. [Seven-city tour; see Prepub Alert, 4/11/11.]-Neil Hollands, Williamsburg Regional Lib., VA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Palahniuk's latest is no Fight Club (1996) or Choke (2001), his two best, but with frequent laughs and a slew of unexpected turns, readers will find in it a certain charm. Our narrator, Madison, a chubby, 13-year-old outcast, awakes in a cell, realizing she is not only dead but also condemned to hell. Chalking her circumstances up to a marijuana overdose, Madison quickly settles in, befriending a sort o. Dead Breakfast Club. complete wit. the brain, the jock, the rebel, and the prom queen. Palahniuk's hell, sometimes goofy (The English Patient plays on repeat), sometimes gross-out (mountains of nail clippings and dandruff are commonplace), is a far cry from Dante's more devilish than hellish. As she chronicles her afterlife (assigned to work as a telemarketer), she recalls her life on earth and, in turn, discovers there was more to her death than smoking marijuana. 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. . HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A seven-city author tour, extensive print and online advertising, and author appearances on national media will round out the robust promotional campaign designed for Palahniuk.--Bayer, Case. Copyright 2010 Booklist


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Palahniuk's latest is no Fight Club (1996) or Choke (2001), his two best, but with frequent laughs and a slew of unexpected turns, readers will find in it a certain charm. Our narrator, Madison, a chubby, 13-year-old outcast, awakes in a cell, realizing she is not only dead but also condemned to hell. Chalking her circumstances up to a marijuana overdose, Madison quickly settles in, befriending a sort o. Dead Breakfast Club. complete wit. the brain, the jock, the rebel, and the prom queen. Palahniuk's hell, sometimes goofy (The English Patient plays on repeat), sometimes gross-out (mountains of nail clippings and dandruff are commonplace), is a far cry from Dante's more devilish than hellish. As she chronicles her afterlife (assigned to work as a telemarketer), she recalls her life on earth and, in turn, discovers there was more to her death than smoking marijuana. 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. . HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A seven-city author tour, extensive print and online advertising, and author appearances on national media will round out the robust promotional campaign designed for Palahniuk.--Bayer, Case. Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Move over, Dante, there's a new tour guide to hell: Madison Spencer, the 13-year-old narrator of Palahniuk's cliche-ridden latest bulletin of phoned-in outrage. After self-asphyxiating, Madison wakes up in hell and quickly finds, as she's put to work prank-calling people at dinnertime, that her new home is not much different from Saturday detention in The Breakfast Club. Embarking on a field trip with some new friends, Madison fights demons, raises an army of the dead, and storms the gates of Satan's citadel. At the same time, she flashes back to her unhappy life as the daughter of a self-absorbed movie star mother and a financial tycoon father who collect Third World orphans. Unfortunately, Palahniuk's hell turns out to be a familiar place, filled with long lines, celebrities, dictators, mass murderers, lawyers, and pop culture references and jokes repeated until they are no longer funny. In the end, the author seems to be saying that the real hell is the banality of our earthly lives, an observation that itself seems a little too banal to power this work of fiction. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Smart but awkward, chubby Madison gets fried on marijuana and dies the night her Brangelina-like parents are accepting Oscars. She finds herself as one-fifth (the Ally Sheedy) of a new Breakfast Club, this one trapped in Hell rather than detention. Alongside the cheerleader, jock, nerd, and punk, Madison gains confidence battling history's villains and mythology's demons, wandering the bad candy-strewn landscape in search of Satan, whom she has decided is not such a bad guy. She also works as a telemarketer, enticing the diseased to join her in an afterworld that she likes better than life. VERDICT As in Tell-All, Palahniuk takes a high concept and kills it with a meandering plot and an unsatisfying conclusion. His humor occasionally scores, but the best jokes are repeated until they become more annoying than funny. Thirteen-year-old Madison reads like a snarky grad student, while other characters barely register. The oceans of bodily fluids in this Hell could serve as a symbol for Palahniuk's wasted talent. Longtime fans will be left wishing for his return from limbo. [Seven-city tour; see Prepub Alert, 4/11/11.]-Neil Hollands, Williamsburg Regional Lib., VA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Move over, Dante, there's a new tour guide to hell: Madison Spencer, the 13-year-old narrator of Palahniuk's cliche-ridden latest bulletin of phoned-in outrage. After self-asphyxiating, Madison wakes up in hell and quickly finds, as she's put to work prank-calling people at dinnertime, that her new home is not much different from Saturday detention in The Breakfast Club. Embarking on a field trip with some new friends, Madison fights demons, raises an army of the dead, and storms the gates of Satan's citadel. At the same time, she flashes back to her unhappy life as the daughter of a self-absorbed movie star mother and a financial tycoon father who collect Third World orphans. Unfortunately, Palahniuk's hell turns out to be a familiar place, filled with long lines, celebrities, dictators, mass murderers, lawyers, and pop culture references and jokes repeated until they are no longer funny. In the end, the author seems to be saying that the real hell is the banality of our earthly lives, an observation that itself seems a little too banal to power this work of fiction. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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