WG12 - Mini Review - Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk

Chuck Palahniuk
Published by Doubleday Canada

snuffCassie Wright, porn priestess, intends to cap her legendary career by breaking the world record for serial fornication. On camera. With six hundred men. Snuff unfolds from the perspectives of Mr. 72, Mr. 137, and Mr. 600, who await their turn on camera in a very crowded green room. This wild, lethally funny, and thoroughly researched novel brings the huge yet under-acknowledged presence of pornography in contemporary life into the realm of literary fiction at last. Who else but Palahniuk would dare do such a thing? Who else could do it so well, so unflinchingly, and with such an incendiary (you might say) climax?

Joy Renee from Joystory asked...

How was Point-of-View handled? Was there a single POV character or did it alternate among two or more. Was it always clear whose eyes and mind were filtering? What was the central or organizing theme? How does the title relate to the story? Was it fitting? 

Snuff has three main characters and each chapter switches between perspectives. The flow is not all that clear and sometimes it became confusing as to what was happening. The language was basic with no discernable traits for individual characters. Cliche is an adequate way to describe the entire novel as it was predictable from the start.

I honestly have no idea what the basic theme of Snuff is. Some ideas I can throw out would be: removing the glamour from the porn industry, showing that life comes full circle whether you're looking or not, or maybe the idea that things change no matter how much control you think you have - "What do you do when your entire identity is destroyed in an instant? How do you cope when your whole life story turns out to be wrong?"

As to the title of the novel you just need to read the first chapter to understand the relevance - "Six hundred dudes. One porn queen. A world record for the ages. A must-have movie for every discerning collector of things erotic. Didn't one of us on purpose set out to make a snuff movie." Fitting yes, original no.

Andi from Tripping Toward Lucidity asked...

As for Snuff, again, have you read Palahniuk's other works? If so, how does it stack up? I've heard descriptions of it here and there in various reviews, and I'm just wondering if it's hard to stomach?I will try it either way, probably, but it does sound pretty um....uncomfortable...from what I've heard. But, as I said with Oates...I generally respect an author very much for taking me out of my comfort zone.

Snuff ... hmm first let me say I am a huge, huge fan of Palahniuk. He takes the most ordinary people and circumstances and distorts them like a funhouse mirror. I've never been let down with his fiction or non-fiction, but honestly Snuff was terrible. The idea is that a porn star is going to break the gang-bang world record by sleeping with 600 men, but the story is told from the views of 3 of these men who have other plans. I had expected some crazy plot twists, but none came, the ones that were included ended up being totally predictable. There may be alot of uncomfortable descriptions in the book, but overall they seemed to be trying so hard to offend that they ended up boring me to tears. Most of Palahniuk's works have something to say, but I missed the message here. For a better Palahniuk try Lullaby, Choke or Invisible Monsters.

Dewey from The Hidden Side Of A Leaf asked...

I skipped Snuff because I haven't heard anything good about it so far. Was it disappointing? Have you read other Palahniuk novels? Which one is your favourite, if so?

As stated above, sadly Snuff was a disappointment to me.  I have managed to read all of Palahniuk's works (fiction and non-fiction). Choosing a favourite from them is hard because I feel that beneath the shocking parts and the unusual characters there was something valuable from each. But I can say that Lullaby and Invisible Monsters would be the top of my list - Lullaby is about a mission to destroy a child's nursery rhyme that inexplicably causes SIDs - Invisible Monsters is the story of a supermodel turned into a "monster" by an accident.


About The Author

Chuck Palahniuk caught literary recognition with the publication of his first novel Fight Club back in 1996. Fight Club received excellent reviews and even won him some awards....yet its time on the shelves was limited. The hardcover never really made it to any bestseller lists, but nevertheless, a trade would soon follow and soon Fight Club had established itself a cult following. Palahniuk is now a best-selling novelist and lives in Portland, Oregon.

Author Website

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.


Anonymous said...

This has been sitting on my TBR shelf for awhile now, but slowly it keeps trickling back to the bottom of the stack. Do you have a favorite by Palahniuk? I haven't read anything by him, but figured I'd start with his most recent.

Andi said...

Bummer! I'm sorry to hear that it sucked (pun undeniable but not intended), but I'm also glad to hear that the one Palahniuk novel I've read (Lullaby) is one worth recommending! I enjoyed it very much, and I'll seek out other works of his, but maybe not Snuff.

Care said...

Interesting. If I ever get around to this author, looks like Fight Club or Lullaby. Thank you.

phantom inkheart said...

I am tagging you! :D

tag located: http://lottes50.blogspot.com/2008/08/book-buzz-meme.html

Booklogged said...

Hello Joanne. I just noticed you are from Nova Scotia. Candleman and I visited NS last summer and loved it. We also went to New Brunswick, PEI, and Newfoundland. I want to visit there again someday. Absolutely loved it.

naida said...

I've heard of this one before. Great review. Too bad it was a dissapointing read.

Anonymous said...

So glad you posted this! Whenever I read about it, I'd check to see if our library had processed the copies. After reading this, I checked again and they have. I am curious how I'll feel about it.