Snuff deflates like an old blow-up doll |

Snuff deflates like an old blow-up doll

Charles AgarAspen Times Weekly
Title: SnuffAuthor: Chuck PalahniukPublisher: DoubledayPrice: $24.95

Snuff, the new book by cult writer Chuck Palahniuk (author of Fight Club), falls as flat as the tired pornographers it parodies.Its the story of a female adult film star who has sex with 600 men consecutively. The action, however, doesnt much leave the waiting room where the pud-pullers, as the author calls the men, are assembled.Palahniuks flashlight on the underbelly of human existence left me just shy of grossed-out, but mostly bored. The author foreshadows that the insatiable porn star, Cassie Wright, might die of an embolism from her marathon sex act.Some tension in the book comes from an anxious young man in the waiting room, Mr. 72 (named for the number written on his arm and his place in line), who believes he is the child the porn star once put up for adoption (the boy was kicked out of his adoptive home for making use of a Cassie Wright blow-up doll).But though Palahniuk takes us to a few good surprises and a climax befitting the porn theme, the book amounted to an empty parade of the grotesque.Palahniuks obsession with the scatological, and his talent for tweezing the hairs of human insecurity, vanity and frailty are at times interesting. But a bunch of men with mental quirks standing around covered in bronzing toner, watching the porn divas film repertoire on a TV in a smelly waiting room as they wait for their own moment on camera in World Whore Three just didnt make for much story.I got a laugh out of the first Hollywood movie titles gone porn ( Angels with Dirty Places of How Reamed was my Valley to name just a few), but Palahniuks rambling descriptions of skin conditions, bad smells, overflowing toilets and techniques for hair removal just ran thin after a while.Palahniuk has a misogynists-eye-view of Wright, the porn queen who has reduced herself to a Disney ride. Each chapter of Snuff is told in the multiple voices of characters in the waiting room, from a washed-up Hollywood actor to a famed porn stud who fathered a child with the porn diva.I wanted some of the back story on these characters, but there wasnt much.Palahniuk is a wordsmith and fans of his deranged themes and style might enjoy this latest work, but it was lost on me. In the end, Snuff, which is named for porn films ending in a porn actresses death, just kind of snuffed itself