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Damned (Anglais) CD audio – Livre audio, 18 octobre 2011


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--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché.

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I.

Are you there, Satan? It’s me, Madison. I’m just now arrived here, in Hell, but it’s not my fault except for maybe dying from an overdose of marijuana. Maybe I’m in Hell because I’m fat--a Real Porker. If you can go to Hell for having low self-esteem, that’s why I’m here. I wish I could lie and tell you I’m bone-thin with blond hair and big ta-tas. But, trust me, I’m fat for a really good reason.

To start with, please let me introduce myself.



How to best convey the exact sensation of being dead . . .

Yes, I know the word convey. I’m dead, not a mental defective.

Trust me, the being-dead part is much easier than the dying part. If you can watch much television, then being dead will be a cinch. Actually, watching television and surfing the Internet are really excellent practice for being dead.

The closest way I can describe death is to compare it to when my mom boots up her notebook computer and hacks into the surveillance system of our house in Mazatlan or Banff. “Look,” she’d say, turning the screen sideways for me to see, “it’s snowing.” Glowing softly on the computer would be the interior of our Milan house, the sitting room, with snow falling outside the big windows, and by long distance, holding down her Control, Alt and W keys, my mom would draw open the sitting room drapes all the way. Pressing the Control and D keys, she’d dim the lights by remote control and we’d both sit, on a train or in a rented town car or aboard a leased jet, watching the pretty winter view through the windows of that empty house displayed on her computer screen. With the Control and F keys, she’d light a fire in the gas fireplace, and we’d listen to the hush of the Italian snow falling, the crackle of the flames via the audio monitors of the security system. After that, my mom would keyboard into the system for our house in Cape Town. Then log on to view our house in Brentwood. She could simultaneously be all places but no place, mooning over sunsets and foliage everywhere except where she actually was. At best, a sentry. At worst, a voyeur.

My mom will kill half a day on her notebook computer just looking at empty rooms full of our furniture. Tweaking the thermostat by remote control. Turning down the lights and choosing the right level of soft music to play in each room. “Just to keep the cat burglars guessing,” she’d tell me. She’d toggle from camera to camera, watching the Somali maid clean our house in Paris. Hunched over her computer screen, she’d sigh and say, “My crocus are blooming in London. . . .”

From behind his open business section of the Times, my dad would say, “The plural is crocuses.”

Probably my mom would cackle then, hitting her Control and L keys to lock a maid inside a bathroom from three continents away because the tile didn’t look adequately polished. To her this passed for way-wicked, good fun. It’s affecting the environment without being physically present. Consumption in absentia. Like having a hit song you recorded decades ago still occupy the mind of a Chinese sweatshop worker you’ll never meet. It’s power, but a kind of pointless, impotent power.

On the computer screen a maid would place a vase filled with fresh-cut peonies on the windowsill of our house in Dubai, and my mom would spy by satellite, turning down the air-conditioning, colder and colder, with a tapping keystroke via her wireless connection, chilling that house, that one room, meat-locker cold, ski-slope cold, spending a king’s ransom on Freon and electric power, trying to make some doomed ten bucks’ worth of pretty pink flowers last one more day.

That’s what it’s like to be dead. Yes, I know the word absentia. I’m thirteen years old, not stupid--and being dead, ye gods, do I comprehend the idea of absentia.

Being dead is the very essence of traveling light.

Being dead-dead means nonstop, twenty-four/seven, three hundred sixty-five days a year . . . forever.

How it feels when they pump out all of your blood, you don’t want me to describe. Probably I shouldn’t even tell you I’m dead, because no doubt now you feel awfully superior. Even other fat people feel superior to Dead People. Nevertheless, here it is: my Hideous Admission. I’ll fess up and come clean. I’m out of the closet. I’m dead. Now don’t hold it against me.

Yes, we all look a little mysterious and absurd to each other, but no one looks as foreign as a dead person does. We can forgive some stranger her choice to practice Catholicism or engage in homosexual acts, but not her submission to death. We hate a backslider. Worse than alcoholism or heroin addiction, dying seems like the greatest weakness, and in a world where people say you’re lazy for not shaving your legs, then being dead seems like the ultimate character flaw.

It’s as if you’ve shirked life--simply not made enough serious effort to live up to your full potential. You quitter! Being fat and dead--let me tell you--that’s the double whammy.

No, it’s not fair, but even if you feel sorry for me, you’re probably also feeling pretty darn smug that you’re alive and no doubt chewing on a mouthful of some poor animal that had the misfortune to live below you on the food chain. I’m not telling you all of this to gain your sympathy. I’m thirteen years old, and a girl, and I’m dead. My name is Madison, and the last thing I need is your stupid condescending pity. No, it’s not fair, but it’s how people do. The first time we meet another person an insidious little voice in our head says, “I might wear eyeglasses or be chunky around the hips or a girl, but at least I’m not Gay or Black or a Jew.” Meaning: I may be me--but at least I have the good sense not to be YOU. So I hesitate to even mention that I’m dead because everyone already feels so darned superior to dead people, even Mexicans and AIDS people. It’s like when learning about Alexander the Great in our seventh-grade Influences of Western History class, what keeps running through your head is: “If Alexander was so brave and smart and . . . Great . . . why’d he die?”

Yes, I know the word insidious.

Death is the One Big Mistake that none of us EVER plans to make. That’s why the bran muffins and the colonoscopies. It’s how come you take vitamins and get Pap smears. No, not you--you’re never going to die--so now you feel all superior to me. Well, go ahead and think that. Keep smearing your skin with sunblock and feeling yourself for lumps. Don’t let me spoil the Big Surprise.

But, to be honest, when you’re dead probably not even homeless people and retarded people will want to trade you places. I mean, worms get to eat you. It’s like a complete violation of all your civil rights. Death ought to be illegal but you don’t see Amnesty International starting any letter-writing campaigns. You don’t see any rock stars banding together to release hit singles with all the proceeds going to solve MY getting my face chewed off by worms.

My mom would tell you I’m too flip and glib about everything. My mom would say, “Madison, please don’t be such a smart aleck.” She’d say, “You’re dead; now just calm down.”

Probably me being dead is a gigantic relief to my dad; this way, at least, he won’t have to worry about me embarrassing him by getting pregnant. My dad used to say, “Madison, whatever man ends up with you, he’s going to have his hands full. . . .” If my dad only knew.

When my goldfish, Mister Wiggles, died we flushed him down the toilet. When my kitten, Tiger Stripe, died I tried the same deal, and we had to call a plumber to snake the pipes. What a big mess. Poor Tiger Stripe. When I died, I won’t go into the details, but let’s say some Mr. Pervy McPervert mortician got to see me naked and pump out all my blood and commit God only knows what deranged carnal high jinks with my virginal thirteen-year-old body. You can call me glib, but death is about the biggest joke around. After all the permanent waves and ballet lessons my mom paid for, here I am getting a hot-spit tongue bath from some paunchy, depraved mortuary guy.

I can tell you, when you’re dead, you pretty much have to give up your demands about boundaries and personal space. Just understand, I didn’t die because I was too lazy to live. I didn’t die because I wanted to punish my family. And no matter how much I slag my parents, don’t get the idea that I hate them. Yes, for a while I hung around, watching my mom hunched over her notebook computer, tapping the keys Control, Alt, and L to lock the door of my bedroom in Rome, my room in Athens, all my rooms around the world. She keyboarded to close all my drapes after that, and turn down the air-conditioning and activate the electrostatic air filtration so not even dust would settle on my dolls and clothes and stuffed animals. It simply makes sense that I should miss my parents more than they miss me, especially when you consider that they only loved me for thirteen years while I loved them for my entire life. Forgive me for not sticking around longer, but I don’t want to be dead and just watching everybody while I chill rooms, flicker the lights, and pull the drapes open and shut. I don’t want to be simply a voyeur.

No, it’s not fair, but what makes earth feel like Hell is our expectation that it should feel like Heaven. Earth is earth. Dead is dead. You’ll find out for yourself soon enough. It won’t help the situation for you to get all upset.



II.

Are you there, Satan? It’s me, Madison. Please don’t get the impression that I dislike Hell. No, really, it’s way swell. Tons better than I expected. Honestly, it’s obvious you’ve worked very hard for a very long time on the roiling, surging oceans of scalding-hot barf, and the stinking sulfur smell, and the clouds of buzzing black flies.



If my version of Hell fails to impress you, please consider that to be my own shortcoming. I mean, what do I know? Probably any grown-up would pee herself silly, seeing the flying vampire bats and majestic, cascading waterfalls of smelly poop. No doubt the fault is entirely my own, because if I’d ever imagined Hell it was as a fiery version of that classic Hollywood masterpiece The Breakfast Club, populated, let’s remember, by a hypersocial, pretty cheerleader, a rebel stoner type, a dumb football jock, a brainy geek, and a misanthropic psycho, all locked together in their high school library doing detention on an otherwise ordinary Saturday except with every book and chair being blazing on fire.

Yes, you might be alive and Gay or Old or a Mexican, lording that over me, but consider that I’ve had the actual experience of waking up on my first day in Hell, and you’ll just have to take my word for what all this is like. No, it’s not fair, but you can forget about the fabled tunnel of bright, spectral-white light and being greeted by the open arms of your long-deceased grandma and grandpa; maybe other people have reported that blissful process, but consider that those people are currently alive, or they remained living for sufficient time to report on their encounter. My point is: Those people enjoyed what’s clearly labeled a “near-death experience.” I, on the other hand, am dead, with my blood long ago pumped out and worms munching on me. In my book that makes me the higher authority. Other people, like famous Italian poet Dante Alighieri, I’m sorry to say, simply hoisted a generous helping of campy make-believe on the reading public.

Thus, disregard my account of Hell at your own peril.

First off, you wake up lying on the stone floor inside a fairly dismal cell composed of iron bars; and take my stern advice--don’t touch anything. The prison cell bars are filthy dirty. If by accident you DO touch the bars, which look a tad slimy with mold and someone else’s blood, do NOT touch your face--or your clothes--not if you have any aspiration to stay looking nice until Judgment Day.

And do NOT eat the candy you’ll see scattered everywhere on the ground.

The exact means by which I arrived in the underworld remain a little unclear. I recall a chauffeur standing curbside somewhere, next to a parked black Lincoln Town Car, holding a white placard with my name written on it, MADISON SPENCER, in all-caps terrible handwriting. The chauffeur--those people never speak English--had on mirrored sunglasses and a visored chauffeur cap, so most of his face was hidden. I remember him opening the rear door so I could step inside; after that was a way-long drive with the windows tinted so dark I couldn’t quite see out, but what I’ve just described could’ve been any one of ten bazillion rides I’ve taken between airports and cities. Whether that Town Car delivered me to Hell, I can’t swear, but the next thing is I woke up in this filthy cell.

Probably I woke up because someone was screaming; in Hell, someone is always screaming. Anyone who’s ever flown London to Sydney, seated next to or anywhere in the proximity of a fussy baby, you’ll no doubt fall right into the swing of things in Hell. What with the strangers and crowding and seemingly endless hours of waiting for nothing to happen, for you Hell will feel like one long, nostalgic hit of déjà vu. Especially if your in-flight movie was The English Patient. In Hell, whenever the demons announce they’re going to treat everyone to a big-name Hollywood movie, don’t get too excited because it’s always The English Patient or, unfortunately, The Piano. It’s never The Breakfast Club.

In regard to the smell, Hell comes nowhere near as bad as Naples in the summertime during a garbage strike.

If you ask me, people in Hell just scream to hear their own voice and to pass the time. Still, complaining about Hell occurs to me as a tad bit obvious and self-indulgent. Like so many experiences you venture into knowing full well that they’ll be terrible, in fact the core pleasure resides in their very innate badness, like eating Swanson frozen chicken potpies at boarding school or a Banquet frozen Salisbury steak on the cook’s night out. Or eating really anything in Scotland. Allow me to venture that the sole reason we enjoy certain pastimes such as watching the film version of Valley of the Dolls arises from the comfort and familiarity of its very inherent poor quality.


From the Hardcover edition. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Revue de presse

Praise for Damned:

"As gleefully, vividly, hilariously obscene as you'd expect. . . . Irreverent and hugely entertaining." —NPR

"Brilliant. . . . Palahniuk's descriptions of hell are inspired, crafted with great comic flair. . . . A winning and funny book." —The Washington Post

"Hilarious. . . . The Judy Blume book from hell, just as Mr. Palahniuk intended." —The New York Times
 
"When it comes to drawing up a vision of hell, there are few American writers better suited to the job than Chuck Palahniuk." —Los Angeles Times

"Damned is gross, sick, nasty, silly, all the things you want from the merry madman of American letters, Chuck Palahniuk. How can you not be instantly transfixed by an opening like this?: 'Are you there, Satan? It's me, Madison. I'm just now arrived here, in Hell, but it's not my fault except for maybe dying from an overdose of marijuana.' And so begins the kind of goofy, but hypnotically endearing tale of a 13-year-old girl who, completely lost in life, finally starts to discover herself in Palahniuk's demented version of the afterlife....With Damned, [he] opens the fire hose to full bore again, stripping away the veneer on American society and showing us the yucky parts we don't want to see."—Chris Talbot, AP

"[T]horoughly original...satiric and horrifying, enough so you'll want to repent after you read."—Christian DuChateau, CNN

"Some Fight Club trademarks--youthful disaffection, violence, gross-out humor, a dystopic setting, cultural satire as an extreme sport, a decent helping of third-act pathos--can be seen in...Damned.  Even prepubescent Madison Spencer, the protagonist of Damned, has traits that could be seen as Tyler Durden-esque. She's disaffected from society (i.e., those still alive), she kicks serious butt and is a cultural critic who becomes an unlikely leader....It's hard to pitch the broadly satirical Damned as a useful replacement narrative of life after death, but it's a rollicking adventure of Swiftian proportions, a Valleyfair of the Underworld that, incidentally, shows an overweight teenage girl bringing Satan himself down a peg."—Claude Peck, Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"Damned is typical of Palahniuk's work: a scathing satire that is unfiltered, caustic and smart....[His] descriptions of hell are priceless."—Rege Behe, Pittsburgh Tribune Review

"Even just its first few chapters reveal several layers of satiric humor, social commentary, Grand Guignol violence and heartbreaking insight....The narrator's blend of snark, precocious wit and unconcealed vulnerability and need is a combination as refreshing as the book is hard to put down."—Bill O'Driscoll, Pittsburgh City Paper 
 

--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .



Détails sur le produit

  • CD: 7 pages
  • Editeur : Blackstone Audiobooks; Édition : Unabridged (18 octobre 2011)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 1441792821
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441792822
  • Dimensions du produit: 14,7 x 13,5 x 1,8 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 3.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
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Par Naert Maria le 31 juillet 2014
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
a pleasure with this author
you begin to read it , you couldn(t stop
a very very good book
read it
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Désolé, nous n'avons pas réussi à enregistrer votre vote. Veuillez réessayer
1 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Justine Senior le 2 avril 2013
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I have not received this yet. Is it coming in the mail? I do not know. Please do let me know.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 384 commentaires
20 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Better than his past three books, but still not his best... (3.5 stars) 21 novembre 2011
Par Doctor Gaines - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
The story is told by 13-year-old Madison Spencer, the chubby, unattractive daughter of billionaire parents who has found herself in Hell under the impression that she died from an overdose of marijuana. In the manner of Judy Blume, each chapter begins with a short 'prayer' or journal entry that always begins: "Are you there, Satan? It's me, Madison." In her trek through the Underworld, she meets a group of other eccentric stereotype-ish teens; a Jock, a Nerd, a Hot-Girl and a Punk (think 'The Breakfast Club').

As the book went on, I realized that this is the first of Palahniuk's books to follow a sort of 'adventure' narrative. While in nearly every chapter Madison relays some part of her history on Earth to the reader, a good deal of the tale is a journey of sorts through the landscape of Hell. And who better to give us a vision of the Valley of the Damned than Mr. Palahniuk? His description of Hell is both disgusting and kind of hilarious, with miles of cages for victims (that are easily broken out of), stale candy and popcorn balls strewn everywhere across the ground, and a geography made of every unpleasant human emission imaginable (huge mounds of fingernail clippings, a desert of dandruff, an ocean of fecal matter, a river of steaming-hot saliva, etc.).

The author also entertainingly peppers the story with famous figures who have been condemned and their activities in the afterlife. Madison runs into more than a few tyrannous leaders, celebrities, serial killers and Presidents, among others. The demons are surprisingly apathetic beings who can be sometimes bribed with candy bars to make one's eternal damnation slightly more manageable. However the pagan gods of the ancient world who also roam the territory are somewhat more troublesome, snatching victims out of a cage and eating them alive limb for limb, the victim only to regenerate and await the next bodily terror to befall them.

One of Palahniuk's more humorous additions is a sort of MVD-of-the-soul where the dead can make an appeal for their eternal state. But of course, it's Hell, so the clerks are demons and the paperwork could literally take forever to process.

Madison is a somewhat flat character and the fact that she is a 13-year-old dead girl is only slightly tapped into as far as her voice. However, the book is entertaining and has a surprising amount of ponderous material regarding life and death and eternity. And as always with Palahniuk, a satisfying amount of heavy satire on the human condition, specifically on the absurdity of Americans and the wealthy. Palahniuk also never fails to 'do his homework' and interweaves a good deal of interesting factual information into his stories, in this case it was mostly regarding famously evil people and the origins of obscure demons and pagan gods. Some may see this as just filler material, but for some reason I always enjoy it, and I think he includes it in a relevant way.

I can say I enjoyed Damned a good deal more than Chuck's past three works, Tell-All, Pygmy and Snuff. This is the closest he's come in a while to 'darker' material, which is what I've felt he's always been best at, with the satire being a complimentary element rather than the focus. And the man no doubt has quite an imagination, even if twisted at times. Even in his lesser works, there are always moments where you're thinking 'Where the heck does he get this stuff?!?'

Overall I'd give it a 3.5 out of 5, and would recommend it if... you're in the mood for something weird and honestly kind of gross.
19 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Much better than his last few books. 8 novembre 2011
Par strwbrrystar - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Maybe it's because my expectations of Palahniuk's work have been lowered so much after reading Snuff and Pygmy (didn't even bother with Tell All), but I consider this a decent book. Not his best, but I enjoyed it more than most parts of Haunted. I would give it 3.5 stars. Won't be throwing this one away, at least.
15 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Makes me want to buy a lot of candy bars. 29 octobre 2011
Par Wednesdayschild - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I thought this was one of Chuck's better books. I personally enjoyed the sardonic take on religion and popular culture, not that anyone cares. I just felt like coming to the defense of this novel and author, though in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter what I think. I read some of the other reviews on this book, and kind of feel like people are taking it too seriously. The way it appears is that he wanted to take a Judy Blume novel and ruin it. Judy Blume wasn't the bastion of talent in the history of artistic literary accomplishments, and it's obvious that reviewers who have not been a teenage girl before might not be able to relate to the perspective from which he writes.
Having had the experience of being a teenage girl at one time and reading copious amounts of Judy Blume as pre-teen, I can say comfortably that he pretty much nailed it. He nailed the disdain, the insecurities, the somewhat preserved innocence of early adolescence. The book WAS ridiculous, and hilarious. just as it was intended to be. In short, if you couldn't laugh at some of the things in Damned, you probably have no sense of humor to begin with. It's an excellent poke at the religious fear and zealotry, and ubiquitous and readily available "sins" that saturate and polarize American culture simultaneously. The perspective was a great and unlikely combination of humor and existentialism. He gave an extreme amount of power to a seemingly unlikely heroine in young Madison Spencer. The irony being that our "pop culture" is driven largely by the consumption proclivities in that particular demographic. Think of the Justin Beiber phenomenon. His rise to fame was because of teenage girls, and the parents of those girls whose wallets vomit out the cash that pays for the records and concerts. They literally took this skinny, mop headed kid and made him a super star. That's incredible power.
I don't think Chuck Palahniuk is trying to be some great literary artist, I think he's just writing whatever he feels like. I admire him for that. He continues to write whatever he wants to, despite the fact that his readers or critics may not like it. You could sit and say that he's not a good writer, or whatever...but hey...you paid for the book. I mean, "good" or "talented" is sort of a subjective consensus anyhow.The other great coincidence is that some of the negative reviews pretty much prove his point that people essentially try to find meaning in things that end up being meaningless. If you don't like him, don't read his material. Simple as that. Or better yet, if you think you could write a better book, get off Amazon with your complaints and start doing it.
18 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
UGH 11 octobre 2013
Par K. OConnor - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
If you haven't bought this book yet, let me sum it up for you and save you the money:

"Are you there Satan?, it's me Madison....."

"Yes I know the word _______, I'm thirteen, not _________"

"No, it's not fair, but ______________________________________"

Honestly, it reads like Palahniuk's "Tell-All" - Oink, meow, moo,..... THE DEVIL. Bark, hiss,splat,.....MY PARENTS SUCKED AND NOW I'M IN HELL (oh, and i'm fat, in case you didn't get that the first 5 times...) Remove the annoying and unnecessary "Chuck-ness" and it's a 92 page novella/short story and NOT a novel (and still not worth your time because the plot goes NOWHERE).

I used to be a pretty big Chuck fan, but no more. He's become way too formulaic, unfunny, and frankly, he's starting to sound like an angry 14 year old who got picked last for dodge ball in gym class. The constant repetition in ALL of his novels (think "I am Jack's _______")gets really annoying - it's unnecessary and it is no longer clever or relevant. Honestly, this book would never have been published if it didn't have a "famous" name attached to it. Palahniuk used to be a somewhat clever and decent story writer, but now he just feels tired and desperate. Save yourself the time and money and pass on this book.
16 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
stick with the older books 3 novembre 2011
Par jc9 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
With each new release from Palaniuk, I keep hoping from something great but end up disappointed. Tell-all was the first Palahniuk book that I did not finish. I just found it to be too boring. When I heard about Damned, and its premise, I thought it sounded like a pretty decent story. While it certainly was better than Tell all and Pygmy, its still lacking something. I can't put my finger on what though, perhaps it's the emotional reactions that I would have from his earlier novels. I recall laughing/being shocked/surprised when reading his earlier works. Damned had moments that seemed as though the reader was supposed to be shocked/surprised, but it just came across as forced.
If you're new to the author, stick to the earlier works.
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