“Damned” by Chuck Palahniuk

Damned (Damned #1)

(Author: Chuck Palahniuk + (Year: 2011) + (Goodreads)


Are you there, Chuck? It’s me, Jeannette. I honestly used to like your books once. Invisible Monsters was a revelation – if I ever grow the balls to become a director, that would be the movie that I’d do. If you have become addicted to heroin, find some help, I believe there is still something you can offer to the world. But your books have started to suck. I’m sorry, Chuck. I really don’t want to hurt your feelings, I think you are a rock star in contemporary literature. If anything, you’ve always been able to put me into a humorous shock. But I’m turning into a non-believer. Forgive me, Chuck. No pressure, but pick your game up a bit.

Disastrous. I know the word disastrous, even though I’m a foreigner and English is not my first language.

Give me a spark of life. Give me something. Give me a good Chuck.

Because right now I’m Jack’s utter disappointment.

Hydrogen. Helium. Lithium. Beryllium. Boron.

There was once a girl called Molly. Molly went into the forest. She met Mike. Mike was a junkie. Molly jerked him off. She prayed and screamed “YE, GODS!” and the gods of old gave her a revelation. Molly ran to the nearest town and had a sex changing operation. Then she went home and killed her family because they were boring. With her dying breath her mother told her that she is actually her father. Molly realized that she is going to hell for picking flowers in the forest. She blew her own brain to pieces.

SEE, CHUCK? If I can do it, so can you. And a thousand times better at that.

I’ve long since accepted that Chuck Palahniuk is a genius. No matter what anyone tells me, I’m convinced that he is a highly educated man. If you really read beyond the stupid and disgusting things in his books, you’d see it too. But, for some reason, Chuck has chosen to hide his intelligence in a pool of sperm, tears and blood. Add to that some hot boiling spit and some “kiddie-porn” and you’ve got a Palahniuk book.

I think there is so much more to him, but since I’m not his psychiatrist, I’m not going to go into long musings about just how fucked up his psyche is.

Damned sucks. Big time. It’s damn depressing. And since I’ve grown immune to the random electric shocks that he likes to give his readers by describing sexual atrocities, I was also bored while reading Damned.

I’ve always described myself as a realist, but reading Damned, I started having some doubts about actually being a damn optimist. Because I can’t believe that people like Antonio and Camille exist. That families like Madison’s exist. That the Western world is as fucked up as Chuck shows it. If that is really the world we live in, I’d rather stay oblivious. I’m already too familiar with the ruin of the Middle East. Knowing that there is no place in the world where people are normal… I’d really rather be oblivious.

I don’t think there is a point to analysing this book. I’m not even sure it’s meant to make sense. Even in a world as upside down as the one in Damned, there still should be some logic, but there doesn’t seem to be one and I’m not going to tire my hands writing too much about it.

At one point I got all of Palahniuk’s books and I’ve been going through them for years. At one point I always ask myself “Why don’t you just get it over with, read them all and be done.” And then I read one and I realize that if I read another one immediately after, I’m going to need therapy. So my quest continues, in a couple of years I might be done with Chuck Palahniuk. Or not…

Are you there, Chuck?


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