Doomed by Chuck Palahniuk
In the second of Chuck Palahniuk’s ‘Damned’ trilogy we return to find eleven-year-old Madison still dead but instead of in hell, in purgatory, or in other words walking the Earth unseen by living eyes. Originally sent to hell she can’t help but reflect upon her situation, reminiscing on the truly twisted way that she managed to be sent to the depths in the first place. No spoilers here but it involves a hunt for new species, public toilets and what she thinks is a dog turd…enough said.
One thing that still manages to shock Madison is the result of a phone call she managed to make to her still living parents. Instead of telling them she’s gone to hell she spared their torment and explained she’d gone to heaven. From this, her parents manage to birth a new religion that encourages people to be as rude as they can to each other to secure their place in heaven. Eventually realising the mistake that’s been made and how Madison is inadvertently responsible for numerous people going to hell she decides it’s time to sort things out. But who can an eleven-year-old girl really side with, Satan or God?
Chuck Palahniuk is well known for his weird and wonderful stories, Fight Club probably being his most famous, for this Doomed does not let us down. Madison is almost an anti-hero as she looks down on anyone poorer than herself, including her own grandparents yet you still will her on to save the day. She falls somewhere between an over the top comic book creation and teen horror movie character. The plot does jump about a bit as she reflects on her previous life and as this is the second in the trilogy it also doesn’t really give you any answers to the questions the story sets. Palahniuk’s writing also spins from profound and thought-provoking into scenes that simply feel they are there to shock. I am definitely in for the whole trilogy as Palahniuk has set up some incredible ideas and plots with Madison, I just hoping beyond hope we get real answers to the questions set out so far.
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