I have just finished reading “Doomed” by Chuck Palahniuk, the sequel to his earlier novel “Damned.” I laughed out loud in places and would love to give you a taste of his descriptions. This is one of a ketamine-addicted “psychic bounty hunter” who has been hired by Madison Spencer’s parents to find the ghost of their dead thirteen-year-old child:-
“…The skin of his face is pebbled and flushed as if it were a delicious crème caramel bombe frosted with a raspberry-ricotta streusel of festering boils. What at first I took to be a huge upper lip is merely a bushy lip-colored mustache. Creases web every trace of his exposed neck, his arms and hands, as if he’s been folded over and over…” (p.50: Doubleday hardback edition 2013).
Since young Madison’s demise her parents have been busy founding a new religion: – “Boorism” based on Maddy’s lies about how to get to Heaven. Unfortunately billions follow this new religion and so are doomed.
The book goes back and forth between some of the things Maddy did while she was still alive and her ghost existence. She blogs and tweets, posting at Madisonspencer@afterlife.com. At the beginning of each chapter, she addresses the reader as “Gentle Tweeter” parodying Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre.”
Madison has died believing that her grandfather was a pervert and she killed him. However she learns that this was not, in fact the case. By the time she understands this, she is a tad late, but this belated comprehension gives the book a twist at the end as the Devil has a secret only Maddy knows about.
Chuck Palahniuk writes extremely well and it’s good that the precocious Maddy pauses every so often to admonish the reader by saying that although she is only a thirteen-year-old “little dead girl” she understands words such as “verisimilitude.”
If you have never read any of this author’s works, start with “Damned” and then read this excellent sequel, “Doomed.” These books may be joined by another in the future as Palahniuk has left himself some scope for writing another novel about Madison Spencer in the afterlife. As Armageddon has been more or less described in this tome, the next book would revolve around the shades in Hades I guess.