The bestselling Damned chronicled Madison’s journey across the unspeakable (and really gross) landscape of the afterlife to confront the Devil himself. But her story isn’t over yet. In a series of electronic dispatches from the Great Beyond, Doomed describes the ultimate showdown between Good and Evil.
After a Halloween ritual gone awry, Madison finds herself trapped in Purgatory – or, as mortals like you and I know it, Earth. She can see and hear every detail of the world she left behind, yet she’s invisible to everyone who’s still alive. Not only do people look right through her, they walk right through her as well. The upside is that, no longer subject to physical limitations, she can pass through doors and walls. Her first stop is her parents’ luxurious apartment, where she encounters the ghost of her long-deceased grandmother. For Madison, the encounter triggers memories of the awful summer she spent upstate with Nana Minnie and her grandfather, Papadaddy. As she revisits the painful truth of what transpired over those months, her saga of eternal damnation takes on a new and sinister meaning. Madison has been in Satan’s sights from the very beginning, as through her and her narcissistic celebrity parents he plans to engineer an era of eternal damnation. For everyone.
Once again, our unconventional but plucky heroine must face her fears and gather her wits for the battle of a lifetime. Dante Alighieri, watch your back; Chuck Palahniuk is gaining on you.
In his less-than-triumphant return to a satiric hell, Palahniuk offers a new installment in the story of Madison Spencer, the snide, overweight, 13-year-old heroine of Damned who happens to be dead. When a Halloween revenge prank on some of Madison's living tormenters goes wrong, Satan consigns the erudite and opinionated teen to roam the Earth, invisibly haunting the places and people she once knew. During her wanderings she tries to sort out her relationship with her celebrity parents, who since her death have fallen prey to sinister influences and begun a cult of vulgar self-expression. Madison's homecoming further leads her to revisit some pivotal pre-death experiences, from an eventful trip to upstate New York that ended in tragedy and damnation to her strained relationship with her oblivious parents. But Madison is special: she is stuck in purgatory for a reason, which may be nothing less than the salvation of the entire world. At the heart of the rollicking story is a girl's relationship with her parents, but Palahniuk embroiders the tale with myriad poop jokes and gratuitous vulgarity with scant comedic value. Meanwhile, his usually acute apothegms sound strained through Madison's artificial voice. While Palahniuk's fans will surely be pleased, the books reads like a YA novel from hell whose threadbare premise only sporadically entertains.