Chuck Palahniuk’s new book Snuff might technically be the most sexually graphic novel written by anybody since Henry Miller. You would expect a novel about a porn star trying to set a gang bang record to be a little prurient; however, unlike Miller who injected raw, if often unrealistic, sexuality into his work as a way to keep his readers off balance and their senses tingling, Snuff is written from the almost clinical perspective of porn stars and sex junkies that have long ago lost all sense of eroticism.
One of the great things about Palahniuk is his insight and wonky perspective on everyday things. For example, he explains that some of the biggest technological advances made in recent history were actually driven by peoples’ desire for porn. The porn industry is a $15 billion dollar a year business, even larger than Major League Baseball. So what is America’s real favorite passtime? The answer seems pretty clear to Chuck. He explains that online purchasing technologies used on website’s like Amazon or Ebay were actually developed in a race to supply pornography on the internet. In fact, one of his many terms for perverts or porn addicts in the book is “early adopters” , a demographic that market researchers say drives industries from toy manufacturing to electronics and “decides what millions of children will get for Christmas each year.” The advanced guard in the army of consumerism. That’s hot.
As usual, Chuck impresses with his bizarre factoids that you never believe until you run over and google them. P even mentions the supeme court’s famous ruling on pornography and its burden of proving prurience, quoting Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes who said “I don’t know what porn is, but I know it when I see it.” So do I, and this book isn’t porn. Its a fluffer. The act behind the scene that is no less graphic. This isn’t a ‘dirty book’ in the classic erotic sense, but it still manages to make you feel soiled.
Here’s a farcical little piece Charles has done as a part of the book’s viral marketing plan. I guess Chuck doesn’t get enough attention on his website’s forum.