Chuck Palahniuk

Chuck Palahniuk has always been an odd bird, from the audacious Fight Club on up through last year’s Rant. With his ninth novel, Snuff, he gets odder still. But with a title like that (slang for a project that films someone’s actual murder) what else is one to expect? Here he details the waiting period of three “actors” as they queue up to contribute to a porn film. Past-her-shelf-life talent Cassie is trying to set the record for the biggest filmed gangbang … even if it kills her. And with 600 men lined up, it just might. Of course, there’s more at work here than the ol’ in-n-out, so the odds are that she’s gonna shift genres somewhere during the filming, as the title of the book succinctly implies. Being set on the fringe of the porn industry, Snuff isn’t exactly entertaining, but it is definitely compelling. Admittedly, it is a slight narrative padded out with industry trivia and more than enough examples of porn takes on popular movie titles. And toward the end it becomes more disjointed and frenetic. It’s all sorta soapy in a way, so the alternate title coulda been Lays of Our Lives.