So hell, what’s it really like? And what’s it like to be dead?
Chuck Palahniuk’s latest novel Damned is an updated vision of hell where you can bribe demons with candy bars and take a career in telemarketing or internet porn. You can also get eaten by demons from every culture that has ever existed on earth, apart from Scientology.
Madison Spencer is a slightly overweight thirteen-year-old girl who finds herself consigned to hell after smoking too much pot. The daughter of a film star and a billionaire, Madison is the reader’s insightful companion on a journey through the underworld, and it’s advisable to take note of everything she says because Madison is one smart kid.
Brought up alongside adopted orphans from the third world and educated at the best Swiss boarding school, Madison epitomises the ‘kidult ‘ – the child who is perceived by some to have grown up too fast. Damned has references throughout to child stars and ‘kidults’ such as Lolita, Pollyanna, Shirley Temple and JonBenet Ramsey. But despite being the construct of insane celebrity status and insane amounts of money, Madison loves her parents dearly and she’s always worrying that she’s let them down because she’s a little bit fat. Continue reading