Life Is Short, Death Is Forever

Book - 2011
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"Are you there, Satan? It's me, Madison," declares the whip-tongued thirteen-year-old narrator of Damned , Chuck Palahniuk's subversive new work of fiction. The daughter of a narcissistic film star and a billionaire, Madison is abandoned at her Swiss boarding school over Christmas, while her parents are off touting their new projects and adopting more orphans. She dies over the holiday of a mari#65533;juana overdose--and the next thing she knows, she's in Hell. Madison shares her cell with a motley crew of young sinners that is almost too good to be true: a cheerleader, a jock, a nerd, and a punk rocker, united by fate to form the six-feet-under version of everyone's favorite detention movie. Madison and her pals trek across the Dandruff Desert and climb the treacherous Mountain of Toenail Clippings to confront Satan in his citadel. All the popcorn balls and wax lips that serve as the currency of Hell won't buy them off.

This is the afterlife as only Chuck Palahniuk could imagine it: a twisted inferno where The English Patient plays on end#65533;less repeat, roaming demons devour sinners limb by limb, and the damned interrupt your dinner from their sweltering call center to hard-sell you Hell. He makes eternal torment, well, simply divine.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780385533027
Branch Call Number: Fic
Characteristics: 247 p. ; 22 cm.


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Sep 28, 2015

I only got 3 chapters in before I gave up. Each chapter repeated text from the previous where Palahuniuk's main character kept asserting she was a 13-year-old dead girl in hell. Between the repetition, and the fact that Palahniuk can't write a believable 13-year-old girl, especially in the first person, I lost interest. I am a fan of clever snark, and he has mastered that verbal trick in some of his other work. Just not this one.

Radharc Jul 06, 2015

What starts out as a not-too-thinly-veiled semi-parody of Judy Blume quickly runs out of steam by the 3/4 mark. Still, there are some "classic" Palahniuk moments scattered throughout. Worth a look.

Dec 15, 2013

Yes, its wild and crazy Palahniuk going at it again--Its clever, disturbing, and out there--You have to develop a taste for this writer, but its worth the time...Start with "Fight Club" and go from there.

Oct 30, 2013

Where do I start on this one..."little" Madison Spencer is now dead and residing in hell...that is how it opens. It takes a few chapters literally for her to get beyond that and start figuring out what is next. "Life is short, death is forever" is the sub-title, so I expected more about forever. It was more about Maddy's 13 years alive, and how she became dead...she is wrong at first, but finally figures it out...and in typical 13 year old fashion, is conflicted about her next moves (which is pretty incredible considering it was written by an adult male.) And then it ends...with a reference of "to be continued". And, thus, I am on the wait list for Doomed. This book is okay, but not a page turner at all.

Jul 18, 2013

DAMNED has some dreadfully funny passages, the occasional bit of insight, enough nastiness to fulfill a lifetime quota, theological irony, plenty of narrative gaps, and a story line that seems silly and unrewarding. Palahniuk can write fine, but it doesn't take long here for his jokes to get stale, and in the absence of endearing characters or a clever plot, I felt less and less inclined to finish the book. DAMNED is certainly funnier than the Divine Comedy, but Palahniuk lacks the poetry, heart, and sophistication of a Dante Alighieri. And so I suggest this book to you if you're the kind of person who laughs at the grotesque and the paradoxical, especially if you keep laughing at some semblance of the same (funny) joke over and over again; if you have a hankering for literature that feels only partially spun, as if the writer cared more about being clever than snaring you with a good story; or if you're weighing your options, trying to decide whether to be naughty or nice, and want to gather some literary evidence about the afterlife, because clearly Palahniuk is a paragon of metaphysical insight.

Kristen MERKE
Jul 14, 2013

I know a lot of people don't like this book, but I enjoyed it a lot. I thought Madison was hilarious, and every character was so likable in their own ways. It had the typical Palahniuk feel, and kept me interested. Looking forward to the sequel.

mpanko Sep 14, 2012

a lightweight better off reading tom robbins

Aug 03, 2012

As always, Mr. Palahniuk does not disappoint. This is an extremely weird, disturbing, disgusting, offensive, fantastic, hilarious, descriptive and imaginative book. I would highly suggest this book to anyone who enjoys Chuck Palahniuk. This book is clever, well studied and well written. Definately a must read.

Jul 02, 2012

Hilarious and imaginative in the most wicked sense.

May 24, 2012

This book is so MF good ... So good That I actually made a comment on it ... I was enthralled suprised, excited, sad , and inspired .. so many good things .

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Kristen MERKE
Jul 14, 2013

Kristen MERKE thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Mar 07, 2012

TheIronLibrarian thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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Kristen MERKE
Jul 14, 2013

Life is short, death is forever.


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