Tag Archives: chuck palahniuk

Damned by Chuck Palahniuk

Life is short. Death is forever.

Do you ever wonder what would happen if you died and went to Hell? Most people believe that when they die, they are going to a “better place”– Heaven. Strumming harps, sitting on clouds, playing Scrabble. Whatever.  But what if there were all these unwritten rules that we weren’t aware of–that, when broken–sent us automatically to Hell? Did you know that in a person’s lifetime they are only allowed to say fuck 700 times before being damned? (Does that one count??) Or that statistically there are WAY more blondes in Hell than brunettes? (FUCK! …Sorry…!) Or that Hell’s currency is candy? (Milky Ways and Almond Joys, none of that candy corn crap).

Well, I didn’t either. But according to Chuck Palahniuk, I’m Damned.  

Palahniuk’s latest tale follows Madison Spencer, our13 year old protagonist who dies after a fatal marijuana overdose and is sent straight to Hell. (Wow, we’re really screwed, huh?) There she meets a Breakfast Club-style cast of punk, nerd, jock, and resident hottie–all whom have been sent to Hell for seemingly innocuous reasons. But, then again who’s word can you trust in Hell? Once you’re in there, all bets are off, because what punishment is worse than being damned? Other than the pit of swarming insects, the threat of being eaten “alive” by a perpetually hungry demon, sand dunes made of cast off toenail clippings, the bog of partial birth abortions, and the sea of spent semen. For real.

I guess you can say Palaniuk hasn’t lost his touch for disturbing imagery. Although, he did make Hell pretty awful and pretty smelly, you have to admit the guest list is pretty stellar. Marilyn Monroe, Jimi Hendrix, pretty much every politician…ever, and all redheads. (Told you they didn’t have souls). Hahaha. Too many cool people to name, really. Other than that whole being-torn-limb-from-limb-only-to-regenerate-and-have-it-happen-again thing… Sounds like a pretty fun party.

I enjoyed this book, although is was not my favorite by Palahniuk. Yes, it had the nasty imagery, and yes there were some pretty fucked up (oops) things going on around Maddie, but it lacked the grit and broken glass that was Fight Club. And the sweat and bodily fluids that was Snuff, for that matter. I did like the twist at the ending, but I felt that the teenagers had so much free reign that Hell kind of lost its luster. I also wasn’t sure if Maddie’s ascension to power in the end was totally believable, because I felt as though there was a split-second change in her personality rather than steady personal growth. If I didn’t know any better, I’d almost think this was Palahniuk’s attempt at YA Fiction, because in comparison to his other works, Damned is pretty tame.

No nightmares to be found here, kiddies.

If you need me, I’ll be at the salon getting my hair changed back to brunette…

4 Hitler mustaches out of 5


Three Posts for the Price of One! Happy New Year!

That’s right, kiddos, I’m going to do something a bit out of the ordinary and talk about three books today. I’ve been super busy graduating (read: dream come true) combined with working retail during the holidays (translation: nightmare). Plus, I just got back from a spectacular road trip to Baltimore with a pit stop in Savannah (love it, go there). Needless to say I’m doing a bit of catch up.

 

 

So here it goes…

I finished Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk a while back, and as if we didn’t already know it: what a crazy bastard! It talks about an aging porn star who intends to go out with a bang (literally) by attempting the largest gang bang in history. 600 guys in one go. Ew. The cast of men include a balding washed-up tv actor, an old porn co-star, and a boy who claims to be her long lost son. Weird.

This book was recommended to me by my co-workers, who are all as messed up as I am and love this horrible stuff. I loved Fight Club so I was interested in trying some of his other work. When I found out the topic, I was grotesquely interested but I almost felt like I didn’t want people to catch me reading it. I have to say I was a bit disappointed. The whole story seemed to be much ado about nothing, and the ending was strange/unexpected/gross/crest-fallen. It was confusing to keep the men straight at first, since they were all referred to by number and not name. I also hated how Sheila kept referring to them as pud-pullers, tally whackers, and all other manner of weird slang terms. I feel let down by this work…

The second book is Modelland by Tyra Banks. I will sum this up quickly. DON’T EVER, I REPEAT, EVER READ THIS. It sucked so royally it wasn’t even funny. Wow. I mean…. Just wow. Tyra Banks cannot write, even a little. It was really, really sad actually. I used to watch her show when I was a teenager and I think she’s a beautiful woman, but dang… Epic fail. I cannot even begin to describe how ridiculous the whole story was, so I’ll just tell you to avoid it and hope you take my word for it. It was so atrocious it took me a month to read it. Avoid at all costs.

And last but not least was Beautiful by Amy Reed. Her story told the tale of middle-schooler Cassie, whom upon becoming newly beautiful and moving to a new school, quickly spirals into a world full of sex, drugs, and suicide. Typical teenage angst, but it did have a gritty flavor that I appreciated. I feel like many of Cassie’s friend’s personalities fell flat though. I never really cared about Sarah or felt afraid of Alex and an author’s main job is to make you sympathize with the character and immerse yourself in his/her world. Also, the whole drug thing was really glamorized because I don’t know any middle school girl first experimenting with drugs who could pound coke and pot and alcohol down like she could. Kinda unrealistic, but it was a quick read and I did enjoy it. It’s a bath tub book for sure.

Bottom line:

Snuff: 3 of 5 stars

Modelland: 1 of 5 stars

Beautiful: 3 of 5 stars

Nothing too impressive out the bunch. Keep calm, and read on.