Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Operation Chuck: Snuff

It's Chuck Eve!  Tomorrow Chuck Palahniuk will take over Jackson, Mississippi, with Lemuria's big Damned book night, and since the World Series features two teams Gianna and I kinda hate (okay, really hate...a, we'd pay to hit Pujols in his pujols with some baseballs...and let the hate mail begin!), the Damned party is obviously the biggest event of the fall.  I arrived in Jackson 46 minutes ago, checked into the scenic Hilton Garden Inn, possibly glimpsed Chuck in the bar but needed to change into my jammies and didn't want to give Chuck fodder for a sequel to his book about hell, and ordered a room service burger and Diet Coke.  Too much detail?  Damn straight--let's talk about Snuff.

Perhaps it was inevitable that Chuck Palahniuk write a book that's explicitly about the filming of a porn video.  He's all about exposing people to the topics that make them uncomfortable, and I doubt that I'm the only one who's found his, uh, varied description of the male "essence" have perhaps made me celibate for the next ten years.  What other aspect of mass culture is so ubiquitous in private and yet publicly denounced?  I mean, besides the 2011 Gianna-In-Teddies Pin-Up Calendar.  I know that you all received these for your December holiday of choice last year too, right?  Right?

Snuff, just with the title, suggests that some one's dying in this here book about a porn film.  What Snuff is really about, though, is the quest for family, fame, and aging in a culture obsessed with youth and celebrity.  Cassie Wright is a porn goddess who's career is waning, and she agrees to make the, uh, group bonding flick to end all group bonding flicks, to the tune of one Cassie...and 600 dudes.  That's some serious chafing.  The action for the book actually transpires in the green room with the anxious and excited male participants waiting for their...close-ups.  Three gentlemen start as strangers and become intimately (but not in that way, you pervs) entangled as they wait.  One is fellow aging porn legend Branch Bacardi, one is a former TV series detective trying to counter rumors about his personal life, and one is the possible son of Ms. Cassie herself.  Awkward.

Do you know how hard it is to
find pictures to accompany
this book?  You're getting bunnies.
This book is not for the squeamish.  If you squirm when someone says "moist," this is not your book.  If you like to be challenged with your reading, though, Snuff is thought-provoking...and that there are boobs.  It's a decidedly unsexy book.  What were you expecting?  Porn?

As for my Operation Chuck quest, I didn't quite make it through all of his books, but let's face it, I probably read more books in the last three weeks than you did.  That whole job thing interrupted my reading marathon.  I'm sorry to disappoint those of you anxiously awaiting thoughts about Pygmy; you'll have to wait until after my sales conference in two weeks.

On a personal, un-Chuck-related note, Gianna and I would love for you to "like" our half-assed Facebook page at Liz and Gianna's Adventures in Book Land, and follow us on Twitter @AdvInBookLand.  Thanks.

Happy Chuck Eve everyone.  Come to the event tomorrow evening at Hal & Mal's in Jackson, meet Chuck, have a cocktail, look at some art, listen to the band, and hang out with the awesome Lemuria booksellers.

Next: Damned

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