Combining literary references and mythology with pop culture allusions Palahniuk manages to skewer fundamentalists and liberals, fitness nuts and do-gooders, bullying prima donna nymphets and internet porn. This is satire of Swiftian proportions. It moves from the sublime to the ridiculous. Maddy comes across someone like Darwin in hell and thinks about how her secular humanist parents would shudder to think that Kansas was right. On the other hand she thinks, the torments of hell are nothing compared to the torment of watching The English Patient.
Limited in its plot, dealing more often than not with stereotypical characters, it is Maddy's wise cracking narrative voice that is the joy of this novel. She belongs with the likes of Huck Finn and Holden Caulfield in the pantheon of adolescent narrators. Read Damned; you won't be able to wait for the sequel.