(FOOTNOTE: These reviews previously appeared in my Instagram feed.)
1. DAMNED (2011) by Chuck Palahniuk
the hell is it about "Hell" that has attracted so many poets, writers
and artists for thousands of years? (Dante, Hieronymus Bosch, Sartre to
name a very few...)
Perhaps it's misanthropy, or guilt, or a mix of both - I don't know...
In the black comedy DAMNED, Palahniuk throws a teenage girl into Hell.
She's forced to work in a telemarketing call center to torment the
(Well OF COURSE telemarketing is based in Hell. No sane
person would argue with that.) Our heroine eventually decides that Hell
isn't nice (she's right) and starts a rebellion against Satan.
The novel ends with "To Be Continued..." and there's a sequel, DOOMED, which is reviewed below.
I think this book is obscene, tasteless and thoroughly unsuitable for anyone under the age of 15. It
also made me laugh a lot. Perhaps I have bad taste. Also, the plucky
heroine and her band of rebels are sympathetic characters - especially
the British punk rocker.
2. DOOMED (2013) by Chuck Palahniuk.
risk of spoiling the plot: DOOMED is what Neil Gaiman's GOOD OMENS
would've read like if it were written by Chuck Palahniuk (the author of
This is a sequel to the novel DAMNED (which has been reviewed elsewhere in this feed).
protagonist, who died and went to Hell in the previous book, is now
back on Earth as a ghost. She must stop the nefarious plot of Satan...
but of course it's not quite that clear-cut and simplistic. Things get
weird, confused and icky.
I laughed out loud several times while
reading DOOMED. I also squirmed as many times. You have to be aware
that Palahniuk almost always tries to make the reader both laugh and
feel very uncomfortable.
DOOMED won't make much sense unless you've read DAMNED first. And it's definitely not for everyone. Recommended for Palahniuk fans... and people who haven't forgotten what satire really means in these strange times.
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