Breslin Stiffs Palahniuk’s Snuff

Susannah Breslin‘s review of Chuck Palahniuk’s latest novel is now up at Radar. She also has some pointed things to say about it at her blog:

Review copies come with press releases, and this one in big shouty letters explained the book in mathematical terms: “Palahniuk + porn = brilliant satire.” The equation, though, falls short, because, as I stated in my review, Palahniuk’s novel never rises about the porn it claims to satire. Instead, the author pens another fragment-filled slop-fest of faux sentiments strung together with info cribbed from Wikipedia and an idiot’s understanding of the porn industry born out of watching too many porn movies.

(Ouch.)

Snuff is largely based on The Houston 620 event in the late 1990s. Unlike Palahniuk, Breslin actually attended the event; her insight raises a lot of important points about the sad sensationalism of hardcore porn as it continues to become more and more mainstream.

I haven’t had a chance to read the book yet but plan to do so over the summer.

Tangentially: Palahniuk stars in a peculiar little promo video for the book that you can view on this page over at Powells.com. The video was clearly shot in NW Portland, and the main character in Snuff, Cassie Wright, is cast in the video as a drag queen.

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2 responses to “Breslin Stiffs Palahniuk’s Snuff

  • kate

    Of course she wouldn’t say anything good about it, as mainstream as Palahniuk is, now. Sooner or later “sell-out” is going to be hurled across the Internet. Pay no mind to the elitist, this novel is an excellent little gem.

  • lidia

    um, i like her fiery attack, as i always do, i’m just not convinced the target is there…i don’t think SNUFF is aiming to be any of the things she attacks it for. i don’t think any of chuck’s books are milestones of cultural criticism or intellectual explorations into social, psychological, or sexual territories…and i don’t think he’s robbing the authenticity from any real people or events. i think he wrote a fiction that engages some ideas sneaking around in the collective unconscious, which is what his books are very good at…

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