Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Before I begin this review I think there are a couple of things I should address:
First, I'd like to thank Doubleday Book Publishers for sending me an advanced copy of the book "Damned" written by none other than Chuck Palahniuk.
Second, I guess I should fill you guys in on a couple of things before I dive into this review.
The other day I was scanning facebook and saw that the Chuck Palahniuk Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/chuckpalahniuk - Go on "like" it, I dare you) had a number of copies of "Damned" that they were looking to send out to internet bloggers to start getting the buzz around about Chuck's new book. Needless to say, I was super stoked and tried my hardest to get a copy of one of my favorite authors newest book, not only early, but free. After a couple emails back and forth, I eventually came home to a package in the mail from Doubleday books. It is mine for the keeping under the condition that I will help promote the book, bringing us to where we are today.
Now the other thing you probably should know is... I'm a huge Chuck Palahniuk fan. I've completely devoured, 5 of his books over the past year (Tell All, Haunted, Fight Club, Choke, and now Damned). Now knowing a good amount of the people who actually read this blog, this post/review and or Chuck Palahniuk may not be for you. If you love reading conventional pieces of fiction and having a big smile on your face when the book comes to a close... yeah Palahniuk is probably not your guy unless you like twisted things... like I do. So yeah, there is your disclaimer.
Now that we are caught up... Time for the review.
Chuck Palahniuk is either a psychic, has connections with powers above (or below), or is a man of amazing luck. 2011 has been a year that has been so heavily focused on the afterlife that it has taken the world by storm. In the past year, 3 books have sat on the best seller list for a good portion of it. "Heaven is Real" by Todd Burpo, "The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven" by Kevin Marlarkey, and "Love Wins" by Rob Bell, all take on the subject of the afterlife and the validity of the claims we have been told for years and years. It is as if Palahniuk some how looked into his crystal ball and saw that 2011 would be a year with the worlds eyes set on eternity, and he pounced, delivering us his take on the subject in his wickedly witty new release , "Damned."
"Life is Short, Death is Forever" reads the tagline for the newest addition to the wonderful dark corpus (aka book-o-graphy) of New York Times Bestselling Author, Chuck Palahniuk. "Damned" is the telling of little, fat, Madison Spencer, as she begins her eternal rest in God forsaken hell. This hell is made up of cages, flesh eating demons, torture, old stale candies (which is also used a currency) that cake the floors and walls causing a sticky residue, which is why the protagonist warns "Do NOT die while wearing cheap shoes. Hell is... well, hell on shoes" (P. 11). But hell isn't all that humans have made it out to be... Its more of a wasteland for earth, filling its vast landscape with mountains of fingernail clippings, rivers of human excrement, and valleys of dandruff.
As the pages turn, we find the tale of fat, insecure, Madison, to be one of finding reason for her damnation and finding acceptance amongst her new peers and new found captor, Satan. As the time of eternity slowly passes by in her damnation, Madison begins to blossom in her surroundings and starts to see the true adventure and answers to her life that are to be found in hours of recollecting and recalculating life's decisions. Her new found confidence and perspective drives our protagonist to test herself past anything she could have even imagined in her mortal stage, and starts to truly come to life in Hell, while piecing together the mystery and mishaps of her 13 short years on earth.
Honestly, I don't know how Chuck does it. The man in a literary genius.
He brings passion and excitement to the field of literature like no other author I have ever encountered. Countless times, have I heard teenagers and young adults saying, "I didn't like to read... but then I picked up Fight Club," or "...but then I picked up Invisible Monsters." Since the release of Fight Club in 1996, Palahniuk has managed to release some of the most exciting and provocative pieces of modern literature.
Provocative may not even be a strong enough word.
Don't believe me?
Chuck is the only author I have ever heard of that has actually had people passing out at his live readings. In his phenomenal collection of horror short stories, "Haunted", the book opens with a disturbing tale of 3 different boys who suffered traumatic mishaps during their adolescent "sexual exploration" stage of life. Although, I personally found the stories disturbing yet satirically hilarious, up to 30 people passed out at his readings across the country.
All of that to say...
If you are looking to find new life and adventure in the field of writing and literature look no farther than Chuck Palahniuk. In his creation of dark, wonderful worlds, Palahniuk carries us through so many different stages of the human experience with some of the most dynamic and remarkably unique character that you will ever let your imagination place a face on.
Damned is nothing short of that.
In true Palahniuk fashion, "Damned", carries the heart, drive, wit, darkness, and message of his previous releases. You would not be dissatisfied with the next installment from this already phenomenal and awe inspiring author.
So pre-order your copy today!
"Damned" is set to release on October 18, 2011.
Media Associated With This Post:
Song: Jetpacks was Yes!
Album: Bulb Demo's
All pictures found on Google Images
Thank you Doubleday Books for the opportunity to help and support one of this generations finest authors.