Synopses & Reviews
From the master of literary mayhem and provocation, a full-frontal Triple X novel that goes where no American work of fiction has gone before...
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?
"Palahniuk's audacious ninth novel tells the story of Cassie Wright, an aging porn queen who intends to put an exclamation point on her career by having sex with 600 men in one day on film. The story begins with Mr. 600 the pornosaur who introduced Cassie to the business as he describes the other 599 'actors' awaiting their moment on screen. The perspective then shifts to Mr. 72, an adopted Midwestern 20-something who is one of the many young men claiming to be Cassie's long-lost son. Mr. 137, a has-been television star hoping to revive his career, wants to ask Cassie's hand in marriage so that the two can star in a reality TV show. But for a novel centered around a gargantuan gangbang, there's surprisingly little action; the small amount of narrative movement takes place backstage, where the characters attempt to get a sense of one another while waiting for their number to be called. There are sharp moments when Palahniuk compassionately and candidly examines the flesh-on-film industry, but mostly this reads like a cross between the Spice Channel and Days of Our Lives." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Snuff is unavoidably distasteful at times but ultimately hard to resist. (Grade: A-)" Entertainment Weekly
"Only Palahniuk would devise this off-putting premise; only he, too, could manage to build it into an entertaining and suspenseful dark comedy....Snuff isn't for everyone...but readers who can stomach its subject matter will find striking characters, sharp parody, and a tight plot....Highly recommended." Library Journal
"[O]ften biting, often hilarious, often awful, but always compelling....Palahniuk has crafted a world of sex devoid of titillation, where human suffering is shelved for a few moments when the cameras begin to roll..." Los Angeles Times
"[A] spare and effective one-act play; a refreshingly simple tale told start to finish by a writer who often piles on the mind games and reverse chronologies." Minneapolis Star Tribune
"[T]he author has greatsport inventing porn-film titles (To Drill a Mockingbird, Chitty Chitty Gang Bang). The sordidness might appeal to Palahniuk's cult following, but it won't extend it." Kirkus Reviews
"[Palahniuk's] an original, and there is something heady about the risks he takes as a writer. But, ultimately, his ideas are more interesting than his writing some readers are bound to ask why they're hanging around someone who keeps beating them up." Booklist
"Suffice it to say the humor here is as bitter as week-old Starbucks' dregs....Palahniuk makes reading this book about making porn flicks as un-arousing as possible." Hartford Courant
About the Author
Chuck Palahniuk's eight previous novels are the bestselling Rant, Haunted, Lullaby, Diary, Choke which was made into a 2008 film by director Clark Gregg, starring Sam Rockwell and Anjelica Huston Survivor, Invisible Monsters, and Fight Club, which was made into a film by director David Fincher. He is also the author of the nonfiction profile of Portland, Oregon, Fugitives and Refugees, published as part of the Crown Journeys series, and the nonfiction collection Stranger Than Fiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.