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Snuff Paperback – April 7, 2009

210 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Palahniuk delivers another entertaining and cynical social commentary on American materialism and gluttony. In her final pornographic performance, Cassie Wright has decided to be on the receiving end of a 600-man gangbang. Neither Cassie nor the men waiting for their chance with her expect her to survive. But some of the men have very different ideas about what this encounter will mean for them in their personal and professional lives. Todd McLaren does an excellent job voicing the many different first-person accounts. Whether reading the accounts of Cassie's assistant, an aging stud or the Cassie's presumptive abandoned son, McLaren finds a complementary voice for each and keeps them consistent throughout. Given the raunchy discussions of sex and the sinister elements that are often associated with the porn industry, McLaren's gritty voice adds the needed edge to this seedy but interesting novel. A Doubleday hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 11). (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Palahniuk has followed his tendency towards sensationalism to its logical conclusion and written a novel about a pornographic film, to mixed reactions. Naysayers wrote that Snuff either failed in its satirical role or, worse, Palahniuk has simply run out of ideas and only wants to make readers cringe. Yet other reviewers felt that, as in previous novels, Palahniuk’s strong, character-driven explorations of the unseemly actually reveal a great deal about our society. Certainly, he riffs cleverly on Cassie’s cinematic history (“Gropes of Wrath,” for example). But Palahniuk’s play on movies and literature in the context of this novel perhaps points to an important question raised by the New York Times Book Review: “What the hell is going on? The country that produced Melville, Twain and James now venerates King, Crichton, Grisham, Sebold and Palahniuk.”
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor (April 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307275841
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307275844
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chuck Palahniuk's novels are the bestselling Fight Club, which was made into a film by director David Fincher, Diary, Lullaby, Survivor, Haunted, and Invisible Monsters. Portions of Choke have appeared in Playboy, and Palahniuk's nonfiction work has been published by Gear, Black Book, The Stranger, and the Los Angeles Times. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

140 of 153 people found the following review helpful By Mark Eremite VINE VOICE on May 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
No amount of bad reviews will stop a Palahniuk fan from buying one of his books. I oughta know. I'm one of those fans.

I'm the first to admit that Palahniuk is a one-trick pony, but let's face it, it's a pretty good trick. There are times where it has worn thin, and others where it has struck gold. Essentially, Chuck (may I call you Chuck?) takes a few premises, milks the gastric juices out of them, and tries to blend a cocktail with a little social or psychological merit.

SNUFF, a brisk biopsy of porn, has all the trademark Palahniuk panache, but very little of his elusive elan. Chuck's not what you would call very nice to most of his characters, but buried under vivid piles of meat and blood, they still have hearts, and souls, and yens. Chuck shows us their voids, and whether or not they fill them, somehow we still manage to care.

There are lots of voids in SNUFF, and they get filled in gruesome and graphic detail, but none of them are very much other than raw, pointless wounds. The story, about an aging porn star who wants to break records with a 600-man gang bang, grasps at a few emotional straws -- failed parents and failed dreams -- but never really holds on tightly enough for any of it to matter. It's very much a "going through the motions" installment.

The motions themselves are alright, I suppose, although some of them are bizarrely out of place.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Sir Charles Panther VINE VOICE on October 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
An over-the-hill porn star wants to go out with a (gang) bang, so arranges for a world record effort with 600 stout and hearty fellows, brave and true. A few of this cast of hundreds are there for more than their allotted 60 seconds of, ah, contact with the legend. She has deep ulterior motives, as do each of the featured characters, and all of their twisted narratives come together in the concluding pages.

Someone is supposed to die as this event climaxes, and most of the folks know it, although their perceptions of the who, when and how don't quite match up. The plans go a bit off the rails, and everyone gets more or less what they deserve.

The main characters certainly have had enough of the world, with what they have made of it, with their fortunes having turned on single instances and bad choices, in this case almost all of them sexual. Most everyone is ragingly bitter and resentful, untrue and self-serving, bent on rectifying only their problems, regardless of effects on others. The story runs on damaged adults hurting others, intentionally and instinctively, out of selfishness and revenge, or even to manufacture a more compatible companion. It's about the need for fame, the need for redemption, the resentment of future lost, and the clawing need to retain one's perceived best position, all taking place in arena of porn, the "...job you only take after you abandon all hope."

This is not a novel about the sex industry, but there is some behind-the-scenes detail. Palahniuk's detailed portrait of the washed-up porn star Miss Cassie Wright is not as complete and detailed as I had anticipated. I don't know why, but every time I pictured her, a strange combination of Kitten Natividad and Lisa DeLeeuw came to mind. Ah, but I digress.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By PEAN on June 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I can easily say this book was an utter disappointment/disaster. Perhaps it was high expectations or the genius viral marketing, but I was left unfullfiled. Obviously tackling the subject matter at hand is difficult to say the least but I genuinely expected more. The one thing from his other books is that no matter how dispicable the characters are they are all redeemable and likable in the end. I cannot say the same for the charaters in "Snuff". If anything, they all seemed one dimensional, and the woe is me got very annoying. This is to say nothing about the ending. Most of Chuck's books have some element of outrageousness to them but this is just ridiculous. I felt it was absolutely stupid and pointless. I got you, no you got me, but we got them, no I got you, now I am ok with everything. Just RIDICULOUS. I would pass on this and re-read "Fight Club" and/or "Choke". If you feel compelled dust off the old library card and save the $20.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Olsen on July 11, 2008
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Perhaps because I am such a huge fan of Palahniuk, I was more disappointed with this book than I would have been from any other author. I grew enthusiastically used to the sharp cultural satire present in the rest of his works that I expected the same in this one. While it is a nice jab at the porn industry, it has the same shortcomings - substance. The plot and characters have interesting, potentially humorous twists, but never quite fully pan out. While reading it, I was fully entertained, but after finishing I realized that it was entirely forgettable - definitely not up to Chuck's earlier performances. I distinctly remember reactions and emotions I felt from his books from 3 years ago, but not from "Snuff" 2 weeks ago.
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