CHUCK PALAHNIUK's twelve bestselling novels—Damned, Tell-All, Pygmy, Snuff, Rant, Haunted, Diary, Lullaby, Choke, Invisible Monsters, Survivor, and Fight Club—have sold more than five million copies in the United States. He is also the author of Fugitives and Refugees, published as part of the Crown Journey Series, and the nonfiction collection Stranger Than Fiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.
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november 1, 12:01 a.m. pst
Life Begins at Preconception: A Prelude
Posted by Hadesbrainiacleonard@aftrlife.hell
Good and evil have always existed. They always will. It’s only our stories about them that ever change.
In the sixth century b.c. the Greek lawmaker Solon journeyed to the Egyptian city of Sais and brought back the following account of the end of the world. According to the priests at the temple of Neith, a cataclysm will sweep the Earth with flames and poisonous smoke. In a single day and night an entire continent will founder and sink into the sea, and a false messiah will lead all of humanity to its doom.
The Egyptian seers predicted that the Apocalypse will begin on a quiet night, on a lofty hilltop perched high above the kingdom of Los Angeles. There, the ancient oracles sing, a lock will snap open. Among the great walled houses of Beverly Crest, a stout bolt will slide aside. As recorded by Solon, a hinged pair of security gates will swing wide apart. Below these, the realms of Westwood and Brentwood and Santa Monica await, sleeping, laid out in a spider’s web of streetlights. And as the last clock tick of midnight echoes away, within those wide-open gates will dwell only darkness and silence until an engine can be heard rumbling to life, and two lights will seem to lead that noise forward. And from out of that gateway will issue a Lincoln Town Car which slouches forth to begin its slow descent down the hairpin curves of upper Hollywood Boulevard.
That night, as depicted in ancient prophecy, is tranquil, without a breath of wind; nevertheless, with the Lincoln’s slow progress a tempest begins to mount in its wake.
As it descends from Beverly Crest to the Hollywood Hills, the Lincoln stretches as long and black as the tongue of someone strangled by a noose. With pink smears of streetlights sliding down the burnished black shell of it, the Town Car shines like a scarab escaping a tomb. And at North Kings Road the lights of Beverly Hills and Hancock Park blink and go dark, not house by house but blocks and blocks of the grid are blotted out in their entirety. And at North Crescent Heights Boulevard, the neighborhood of Laurel Canyon is obliterated; not merely the lights but the noise and late-night music are vanquished. Any shimmering proof of the city is erased as the car flows downhill, from North Fairfax to Ogden Drive to North Gardner Street. And thus does darkness wash over the city, following in the shadow of the sleek car.
And so, too, does a brutal wind follow. As foretold by the priests of ages past, this gale makes thrashing mops of the towering palm trees along Hollywood Boulevard, and these sweep the sky. Their clashing fronds cast down horrible, soft shapes that land with screams against the pavement. With beady caviar eyes and scaly serpent tails, these fierce, soft shapes hammer the passing Town Car. They drop squealing. Their frenzied claws scratch at the air. Their slamming impacts do not break the windshield, because the glass is bulletproof. And the rolling tires of the Lincoln rumble over them, pulping their fallen flesh. And these plummeting, shrieking, clutching shapes are rats. Cast to their deaths, these are the flailing bodies of opossums. The tires of the Lincoln burst thiMadison 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.