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The above image is the cover for the latest book from Fight Club and Choke author Chuck Palahniuk. And what exactly are we looking at with this mostly white image of a face (and text) dripping with goo? Without offering any speculation, let's just say that with Chuck Palahniuk, anything is really possible. From what I've read of his work, the man doesn't shy away from a topic, no matter how stomach-turning it might be. In fact, Palahniuk's candid, dark and occasionally humorous narrative and fearlessness with the subject matter he explores is what makes him such a memorable writer. He really brings you into the mind of his subject in a way that isn't always comfortable, but gives you the right perspective for the story he's trying to tell. In Doomed, it's the story of a deceased girl named Madison.
Here's the official description for Doomed, which is a follow-up to his 2011 novel Damned and arrives October 8.
Having somewhat reluctantly escaped from Hell, she now wanders the Purgatory that is Earth as a ghostly spirit, seeking her do-gooding celebrity parents, fighting the malign control of Satan, recounting the disgracefully funny (to us, anyway) encounter with her grandfather in a fetid highway rest stop in Upstate New York when she . . . oh, never mind, and climaxing in a rendezvous with destiny on the new, totally plastic continent in the Pacific called, not at all accidentally, Madlantis. Dante Alighieri, watch your back, Chuck Palahniuk is gaining on you.
Further detail on the plot is laid out on Palahniuk's website, which includes talk of a dead kitten and a murder that was possibly self-defense, during the lead character, Madison's childhood, which may explain why she's trapped in purgatory. Also - spoiler alert - the world apparently ends in this book.
Palahniuk's set to do a book tour for Doomed this fall, and he'll also be making an appearance at Comic Con in San Diego in July. I heard him do a reading of a short story he wrote ("Guts") years ago in NYC. It was a bizarre and stomach-turning experience, to say the least. That's actually supposed to be a compliment, and something tells me Palahniuk fans will read it that way, as intended. The book is available for pre-order at Amazon.