Book Review – Snuff

SnuffSnuff by Chuck Palahniuk
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

This was a quick, engaging read that only took one afternoon to power through.

It just took me a while to get around to writing the review!

If you’ve read Palahniuk before you know what his style of writing is like. It’s off-putting to some, but I enjoy the harsh brutality, the laid-bare way he takes on the most low, disgusting, real parts of life. He does this here with porn.

One once-beautiful porn star who is past her prime,

“The religious school she went to, growing up, Ms. Wright said how all the girls had to wear a scarf tied to cover their ears at all times. Based on the biblical idea that the Virgin Mary became pregnant when the Holy Spirit whispered in her ear. The idea that ears were vaginas. That, hearing just one wrong idea, you lost your innocence. One detail too many and you’d be ruined. Overdosed on information.”

plus one greedy producer who hopes to make a mint,

“Do you respect someone’s right to challenge and discover their true potential?How is a gang-bang any different than risking your life to climb mount Everest?”

plus one kid signing up for a record-breaking gang-bang film that stars – he thinks – his birth mother,

“No, Miss Wright didn’t want to meet her kid. To her, that relationship was just as important, just as ideal and impossible as it would be to the child. She’d expect that young man to be perfect, smart, and talented, everything to compensate for all the mistakes that she’d made. The whole wasted, unhappy mess of her life.”

one aging male porn star who truly loved the girl in the film once upon a time,

“Kill me if I ever look that Bad” . . . “Dude, what are you saying? . . . On the TV? That is you, dude. From like five years ago.”

one washed-up TV star,

“It only takes one mistake,’ the Dan Banyan guy says, ‘and nothing else you ever do will matter.’ With his empty hand, he takes one of my hands. His fingers feel hot, fever-hot, and pounding with his heartbeats. He turns my hand palm-up saying, ‘No matter how hard you work or how smart you become, you’ll always be known for that one poor choice.’ He sets the blue pill on my palm, saying, ‘Do that one wrong thing- and you’ll be dead for the rest of your life.”

one room full of gross, sweaty men waiting for their turn,

“The way to get a babe to act in a blue movie is you offer her a million dollars. The way to get a dude is you just have to ask him.”

and one cyanide capsule.

“Potassium cyanide,” says the talent wrangler as she leans over to pick up a paper napkin off the floor. “Found naturally in the cassava or manioc roots native to Africa, used to tint architectural blueprints in the form of the deep-blue pigment known as Prussian blue. Hence the shade ‘cyan’ blue.”

What could go wrong?

This book looks at the porn industry harshly. It’s also filled with wonderful trivia about the movie industry in general, for anyone who is interested in the gory and grisly deaths of stars and how they reached their downfalls. I found it fascinating, personally. The characters are expertly drawn caricatures, as in the best of Palahniuks novels, who fall all over themselves to fulfill their own stereotypes. It’s funny, and it’s vicious, and it’s a tumble-down-the-rabbit-hole read that is hard to put down.

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