“As gleefully, vividly, hilariously obscene as you'd expect. . . . Irreverent and hugely entertaining." —NPR
From the bestselling author of Fight Club comes a dark and brilliant satire about adolescence, Hell, and the Devil.
Madison is the thirteen-year-old daughter of a narcissistic film star and a billionaire. Abandoned at her Swiss boarding school over Christmas, she dies over the holiday, presumably of a marijuana overdose. The last thing she remembers is getting into a town car and falling asleep. Then she's waking up in Hell. Literally. Madison soon finds that she shares a cell with a motley crew of young sinners: a cheerleader, a jock, a nerd, and a punk rocker, united by their doomed fate, like an afterschool detention for the damned. Together they form an odd coalition and march across the unspeakable landscape of Hell--full of used diapers, dandruff, WiFi blackout spots, evil historical figures, and one horrific call center--to confront the Devil himself.
Move over, Dante, there's a new tour guide to hell: Madison Spencer, the 13-year-old narrator of Palahniuk's clich -ridden latest bulletin of phoned-in outrage. After self-asphyxiating, Madison wakes up in hell and quickly finds, as she's put to work prank-calling people at dinnertime, that her new home is not much different from Saturday detention in The Breakfast Club. Embarking on a field trip with some new friends, Madison fights demons, raises an army of the dead, and storms the gates of Satan's citadel. At the same time, she flashes back to her unhappy life as the daughter of a self-absorbed movie star mother and a financial tycoon father who collect Third World orphans. Unfortunately, Palahniuk's hell turns out to be a familiar place, filled with long lines, celebrities, dictators, mass murderers, lawyers, and pop culture references and jokes repeated until they are no longer funny. In the end, the author seems to be saying that the real hell is the banality of our earthly lives, an observation that itself seems a little too banal to power this work of fiction.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Good, but he's written better. To be continued is always fun. Worth reading if you're a Chuck fan.
Had higher hopes
Fun concept, slightly repetitive themes towards the end of the book. The ending did not leave me wanting more.
Could have done without all of "creative" Trampy McTrampsalots and all that. Really, it was old after the first one. The book got semi-interesting toward the end, but it wasn't enough to make up for how brutally slow the beginning is.