Torch Reads

Chuck Palahniuk’s work has been deemed “brutally clever” by the New York Times. His classic novel Fight Club, after all, was turned into the hit movie starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. From then on, Palahniuk has gained a cult following.

Palahniuk will not disappoint in providing a story that you can simply not put down, out of pure awe and curiosity.

A typical Palahniuk novel will entice you with highly unusual subject matter and its inevitably surprising plot progression.

But his latest novel, Snuff, does not live up to the hype that Palahniuk usually receives.

Snuff is the story of Cassie Wright, a porn star trying to end her career in a big way by setting a record. Shortly after being introduced to this plot point, the reader is introduced to three of the four other characters.

We meet Mr. 600, Mr. 72, and Mr. 137. They all have their own subplots and narrate alternating chapters, along with the final character, Cassie Wright’s assistant. We discover their connection to Cassie throughout the book.

Mr. 600 is a man who has known her through the entirety of her career, Mr.72 is a young man claiming to be Cassie’s long lost son and Mr.137 is a sort of has-been who is using her to revitalize his career.

This book was not as easy to read as others by Palahniuk because the story moves much slower than a loyal Palahniuk follower may be used to.

While there was much opportunity for an action packed story, Palahniuk unfortunately misses the mark.

With the action Palahniuk provides being so few and far between, you may find yourself bored.

As previously stated, Palahniuk does not exactly write for the most conservative reader.

His outrageous way of writing usually only enhances the story, but in this case, his shocking language is used to no avail.

It is not solely the language that disparages the story, but the lack of development. He could have easily crafted a brilliant story with what he set up, but he simply fails to deliver that story.

The only redeeming quality of this story is its conclusion, which gives you an insight into Palahniuk’s true creativity beyond his odd plots.

Had he built a stronger supporting story around the conclusion, the book may have been more enjoyable.