If you didn’t get enough of the snarky Madison Spencer from Chuck Palahniuk’s book “Damned,” then sit back and let the life/afterlife or death/after-death of Madison Spencer roll on. Be warned, however, where “Damned” was a disgusting, gross out fest of a romp through hell, “Doomed” is just as gross but this time Maddie gets to roam Purgatory (or as we call it, Earth) as a ghost and explore all that has happened since she died.
The narrator, Tai Sammons, does an excellent job portraying the snarky, apathetic teen. Throughout the book the, Sammons captures the true spirit (pardon the pun) of Maddie Spencer so much that it seems as though you are listening to her tell her story. The voice acting was perfect throughout the audiobook and may be the redeeming factor in this not needed sequel (more on that later).
In the book “Damned,” Palahniuk introduce his readers to Maddie in a tale that could haunt us all in that knowing everything we do will land us in hell. Maddie is not happy with that idea and wants to escape hell, even though she holds a great job as a telemarketer in the pits. In “Doomed” Palahniuk guides the reader/listener on an adventure through the modern world as seen through the eyes of the plucky, pubescent progeny of celebrity parents, Madison Spencer.
As a trick on her parents Madison, while serving as a telemarketer in hell told her parents to do all the things that could land them in hell. She does this under the guise that doing these things will land them in Heaven. So from that point forward her parents creatively curse, act rude towards each other and fart as a method of tribute. The problem is these are what gets a person sent to Palahniuk’s hell. The problem in Maddie telling her parents to do these things, is that her parents are the type of celebutantes that take things to the extreme. So as a tribute to their long lost daughter, they form a church based on these principals and the world soon becomes a cursing, rude, farting mess.
In a botched ritual by Maddie’s peers, Maddie is brought back to Earth as a ghost. She now wanders the world freely and soon learns the madness that her parents have created. But first, Maddie finds the ghost of her deceased grandmother and a flashback ensues which tells the tale of how Maddie Spencer started on the path that doomed her to eternal damnation. It all starts with her causing the death and castration of her grandfather and from there the family is never the same. Maddie’s life has been guided by forces from hell long before she was born and in what becomes a battle between Satan and the forces of good Maddie travels the world with a drugged out ghost hunter to try and convince her parents to change their ways and renounce Satan.
In what I have recently discovered to be the second of a trilogy of books, “Doomed” lacks the fun and uniqueness of the first book. At times I really got tired of the book and nearly quit it. Being a Chuck Palahniuk fan I had to continue, if only to say I finished the book. Maybe the third in the series will tie it all up in a neat package. This book does have its moments, but there are long sections where nothing really happens. Give it a chance only after reading “Damned.” Just like most other books by Palahniuk, it does turn a mirror to society to show the truth behind the madness of pop-culture, but not so much in your face reality as with his other books.