Book review 21 - Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk

Pages: 208
Publisher: Doubleday
Publication date: May 20, 2008
Cassie 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 underacknowledged presence of pornography in contemporary life into the realm of literary fiction at last. Who else but Chuck 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?
My thoughts:
This book was a disaster. I don't understand why this book exists at all. I don't know why it was published, why anyone thought it would be a good idea, and why I bothered to read it.

This is the first time in my life a book has made me question reading. It made me question why we read and why people write. If this is the kind of stuff being published, why do I read. I get nothing from this. No benefit and no education. I don't know why reading and writing has become such a big industry when this is all we have to show for it. It's really an embarrassment to the literary world and I personally didn't enjoy questioning why I bother to read.

Now, I might have felt a bit different about this book had it created some sort of awareness to the realities of the porn industry. There are so many books lately creating awareness to mental health, diseases and cancer, abuse, etc. I thought you know that maybe this would create awareness about the porn industry and maybe break some of the taboos surrounding it. This did neither of those. I didn't really find it to be groundbreaking and give people a new take on porn, I actually saw it as doing the exact opposite. It makes them out to look like disgusting gross people who have nothing else in the world. I've never been on a porn set, never been in porn, have very little knowledge of how porn actually works, so maybe I am wrong here, but I feel like this was a kind of crude depiction of the industry. I can't even really tell if this book was offensive at all because it was so poorly written. 

The writing was horrible. It's clustered, confusing, and grammatically terrible. Things like "I'm touching the necklace Cassie gived me" and "don't lets be coy." Also, he had this habit of giving some weird fact and ending it with "true fact." Got old really fast. Maybe this is a usual thing for Palahniuk or his signature or something but I really was underwhelmed with the writing from a man I have heard so much about,

This is a completely sorry excuse for a plot. Mostly because, there isn't one. Okay so you have 600 men waiting to have sex with a porn star and you get to hear from 3 of those men. That's not really what I'd call a A+ plot. It's quite lacking. There are 600 guys and you chose to focus on 3 of them? I mean I get it because of the connection between 2 of them, but why did he include guy 137? Plus why did this have to turn into a weird incestuous sort of plot? Having one of the 600 be her son and another of the 600 be her sons father just was weird. Like this brings an already messed up family dynamic into the most messed up scenario. Not to mention you have Guy 600 aka baby daddy urging his son to have sex with his mom, and later urging him to kill his mom. I really don't get it. Then there were useless beauty tips thrown in which I really didn't see the point to. They just seemed to mostly add length to this already short book.

I feel like Palahniuk really only wrote this book because he wanted to show how creative he is at naming porn movies. There were at least 2 porn titles a page. It was excessive and useless to the "plot". I've never read a Palahniuk book before. I'd heard great things because he's the creator of Fight Club (which I've never seen the movie either) so I expected greatness from this man. I was let down like I've never been let down before.

This was my first... and last Palahniuk book. He's really not my type of author if this is what he considers publishable material. 


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