by Chuck Palahniuk
Chuck’s done it again! Publishing Damned on September 1, 2011, 15 years after his widely successful novel Fight Club, Palahniuk’s mastery of writing is yet again showcased in his newer novel, Damned. Damned follows the exciting story of a teen, Maddy Spencer, who arrives in hell after a marijuana overdose. Maddy meets with characters based loosely on the breakfast club including, the punk, the pretty girl, the nerd, and the jock. This bunch forms an unlikely band of companions in the novel. Maddy is a witty and likeable character, viewing situations with equal amounts of humour and pessimism, creating a character who is both interesting and dynamic, adding to the lighthearted yet grim nature of the novel. Throughout the novel Maddy reveals clues about her past through short (and sometimes longer) anecdotes, hooking the reader, pressuring them to read on. Palahniuk writes using his signature style of dark humour to create a story that is not only captivating and interesting, but humorous and doesn't take itself too seriously.
Damned was highly enjoyable and a very captivating read. In conclusion I would highly recommend it to other readers, especially those who find themselves enjoying stories written with a clever and humorous yet dark tone. It might be more difficult to understand for newer english readers due to the large number allusions in the novel, however the skilled reader is rewarded with a compelling and insightful story. I look forward to reading the next part of the series.
Reviewed by E.M., Grade 11 Scona Student