Adventures in Reading

Fiction: Chuck Palahniuk’s Snuff, 2008
November 1, 2008, 1:57 pm
Filed under: book reviews, fiction | Tags: , , , , , ,

“One dude stood all afternoon at the buffet wearing just his boxers, licking the orange dust off barbecued potato chips. Next to him, a dude was scooping into the onion dip and licking the dip off the chip. The same soggy chip, scoop after scoop. Dudes have a million ways of peeing on what they claim as just their own.”

Terrible, terrible, terrible cover. As a reader I was immediately repulsed by the hideousness of the cover and I must thank the library for removing the jackets of hardback books or I’m sure I would never have given this book a chance. (Even looking at the image to the left has my eye twitching! Seriously, who gave the okay on this?)

The term “snuff” is usually used as a reference to violent pornography that depicts the death or murder of the subject, and porn being porn this subject is often a woman. In Chuck Palahniuk’s most recent novel Snuff , an aging porn star is attempting to break the world record by having sex with 600 men and resulting from a variety of concerns trepidation unfolds through most of the novel that this set could easily become a snuff film. Told through the voices of four characters, three men labeled as their numbers and the organizational guru Sheila, Snuff unfolds in the waiting room of the porn shoot.

I really didn’t think I’d be able to stomach this book at all because of political reasons, but I managed to work my way through and even finish the novel. And what is most curious is that with such a premise as Palahniuk establishes nothing much happens and the conclusion is just terrible. Now as I’ve said that I’d still like to chime in and say that Palahniuk seems (and is certainly accredited) to be a smart writer, but with Snuff the only reason I continued to read was because the random assortment of sex history and trivia ranging from famous pornographers to Hollywood actors of the silent and silver screen was kind of interesting.

Palahniuk briefly dabbles in the complexity of pornography, but it’s just… not very good. I did finish the novel and it was a quick (and thin) read, but Snuff is definitely a shabby read from who is usually described as a promising author.

Conclusion: Returned to the library.


Odds & Ends

Chuck Palahniuk’s latest book Snuff is out and with the most god awful cover. While I am attempting to reserve opinion of the actual book until I have read it, the cover is simply atrocious and the digital format actually does it justice. I keep wondering what high schooler created this cover with Photoshop and it is particularly disappointing when you consider most of Palahniuk’s book covers are quite attractive. I hope that someone will most definitely redesign this before it comes out in paperback.

Over at Pharyngula’s blog there’s a post and some great follow up posts about bookstore “vandalism.” Apparently some guys took books out of the bible studies section, redistributed them throughout the story, and left a lone copy of Sam Harrison’s Christian Nation. How original. While most of the athest/religious hubbub has died down in my store we are dealing with a lot of political book shuffling. Most commonly this is reflected in people flipping over Obama books, which I really cannot say is a huge issue to remedy.

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