Greg Heaney's Reviews > Snuff

Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk
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Jul 29, 2009

it was ok

I picked up Snuff on a whim from the library yesterday. Chucky Chuck’s books are short and easy, and I was looking for something to fill a couple hours. It accomplished that; I was done in three hours or so. These hours weren’t wasted, but t hey weren’t exactly put to good use either. Snuff is business as usual for Chuck, with an added hint of boring. Look, I love Fight Club as much as the next guy, and the movie of Choke was pretty good, even if I haven’t read the book. But honestly, Chuck has gotten famous off shock value, and it’s just not that shocking any more.

I don’t want to spoil the plot for any prospective readers, but it would probably make your grandmother hurl, and even today’s youth will probably raise an eyebrow on occasion. There’s sex and chemicals and a little bit of drugs, lots and lots of bodily fluids, some foul language and incest and sex toys and blah blah blah. Honestly, save the time and just watch a few pornos and wonder what the actors are like in real life. Congrats, you’ve hit it on the head. Scratch Snuff off your list and move on.

Chuck is a great writer. He’s got an ear for wit and a good eye for language. But it’s become just the same old thing. It’s like if Garrison Keeler went on the Howard Stern show and never left. Really, Chuck, you don’t need to keep shocking us. We’ve been shocked. The good part about Fight Club wasn’t how shocking it was. You made us care about some really horrible people. That’s what we love! Snuff failed miserably in that arena. It was just some stock characters doing outrageous things in a cramped setting and a hurried plot. It’s just… tired. It’s a tired novel. Chuck has become like Steve-O. He used to be funny, but pooping on himself has gotten a little lame. And we’ve become desensitized.

Snuff is just boring. It’s moderately well written, but it’s just tired. I feel like Chuck just gave up, threw as many horrid things in a single book as possible and shipped it out. It’s tired. And that’s how I felt after finishing it: bored and tired. I cannot recommend Snuff to anyone besides those who must read all of Chuck’s work. Even they will be dissatisfied.
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