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Cover image for Doomed

First edition.
New York : Doubleday, [2013]
Physical Description:
329 pages ; 22 cm.
Series title(s):
Number in series:
"The continued adventures of Madison, the heroine of DAMNED, who escapes Hell and comes back to Earth"-- Provided by publisher.


Call Number
Palahniuk, C.

On Order



Madison Spencer, the liveliest and snarkiest dead girl in the universe, continues the afterlife adventure begun in Chuck Palahniuk's bestseller Damned . Just as that novel brought us a brilliant Hell that only he could imagine, Doomed is a dark and twisted apocalyptic vision from this provocative storyteller.

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 (including a disturbing and finally fatal meeting in a rest stop's fetid men's room, in which . . . well, never mind), her saga of eternal damnation takes on a new and sinister meaning. Satan has had Madison in his sights from the very beginning: 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.

Author Notes

Chuck Palahniuk was born in Pasco, Washington on February 21, 1962. He received a BA in journalism from the University of Oregon in 1986. Before becoming a full-time author, he worked as a journalist and as a diesel mechanic. He has written numerous novels including Survivor, Invisible Monsters, Lullaby, Diary, Haunted, Rant, Snuff, Pygmy, Tell-All, Damned, Doomed, Beautiful You, and Make Something Up: Stories You Can't Unread. Fight Club was made into a film by director David Fincher and Choke was made into a film by director Clark Gregg. He is also the author of Fugitives and Refugees, a nonfiction profile of Portland, Oregon, and the nonfiction collection Stranger Than Fiction.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

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. Agent: Edward Hibbert, Donadio & Olson. (Oct. 10) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

Well, what do you know? Little Maddy Spencer got out of Hell. God help us all. Palahniuk (Damned, 2011, etc.) is rarely known to revisit characters in the manner of Irvine Welsh. But after the heavily experimental voices in Snuff, Pygmy and Tell-All, maybe a little more blasphemy by way of Judy Blume is an acceptable compromise. The author's muse, 13-year-old Madison Spencer, may be a lot of things--chubby, dead, virginal and sarcastic to the point of sadism--but she's often quite funny in her most shocking moments. To catch up, Maddy woke up in Hell. It turns out that Hell has a hell of a lot of rules, and Maddy broke every one of them trying to figure out her predicament--the last when she overstayed a visit to Earth on Halloween. Now, she's stuck here as a ghost. As a notoriously unreliable narrator, Madison can grate on the nerves, but it's sort of peek-between-your-fingers interesting to learn more of her gruesome back story. First, Maddy runs into her dead grandmother, then discovers her billionaire father shagging her rival from Hell. So there's that to fix. For better or worse, Madison is guided by Crescent City, a Ketamine-addicted paranormal detective who can see her during his frequent binges. Oh, remember those rules we discussed? Farting, cussing and picking your nose are all grounds for eternal damnation--except little dead Maddy told her diva of a mother that they were requirements for ascendancy to Heaven, and now Mommy Dearest has founded a new religion based on all of her daughter's grossest behaviors. The book's other revelation--other than a long-hatching conspiracy about Maddy's role in the End of the World--turns out to be the real reason that Madison Spencer believes she was damned in the first place. If you only read one book this year about a dead teenager posting on message boards about playing supernaturalist and tempting Satan's wrath, let it be this one.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Damned (2011) introduced us to 13-year-old Madison Spencer, newly arrived in Hell after her death; as she tried to figure out what exactly happened to her, she took us on an exciting and often very funny tour of Hell. Now, in the sequel, Madison is back on Earth, stranded there on Halloween, facing the prospect of spending an entire year as (shudder) a ghost among the living. Although not quite as entertaining as Damned primarily because it lacks the first book's hellish travelogue the novel nicely continues Madison's story, filling in a lot of the blanks in her life (we find out, for example, the real reason why she's been damned) and exposing an ancient satanic plot that believe it or not has poor little Madison at its center. As with the first book, this one lives or dies on the appeal of its teenage narrator. On the face of it, Spencer isn't the most likable of girls: she's self-centered, in-your-face, and almost too aggressively clever for her own good but so was Holden Caulfield. She's a compelling character, and she drives a novel that will resonate from the get-go with Palahniuk's many fans. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Palahniuk's 12 novels have sold more than five million copies in the U.S. His latest will profit from both traditional print publicity and an extensive social-media campaign.--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Our heroine returns! Madison Spencer, daughter of misguided movie stars, pudgy outcast, and resident of Hell, finds herself stranded on Earth for one year as punishment for missing her curfew on Halloween. Keeping the reader updated through blog posts from the afterlife, Madison runs into her Nana Minnie's ghost, which stirs her to reveal personal and painful moments from her childhood. As Maddie works through the time she spent with her grandparents in decidedly down-home upstate New York, she realizes her life might have been molded by something sinister from the beginning. All the while, her parents, taking her tongue-in-cheek advice from an accidental phone connection, have begun their own religion. As the world follows her movie star parents, Maddie becomes responsible for sending people to Hell en masse, accidentally upsetting the balance between God and Satan. VERDICT Palahniuk's follow-up to the best-selling Damned does not disappoint. Our eccentric, sharp-witted tween narrator walks the line between hilarity and sorrow throughout. Highly recommended for the author's many fans.-Brooke Bolton, North Manchester P.L., IN (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.