by Chuck Palahniuk
Read by Todd McLaren
Produced by Tantor Media
approx. 5 hours
Whoa! Okay, I knew what I was getting myself into when I picked up the is Chuck Palahniuk audio book...but still, Whoa! "Snuff" is a novel that explores the dark underbelly of the world of porn but also maybe a little dark lesson on life and relationships.
This novel is told through the voices of 4 main characters as the queen of porn, Cassie Wright, brings her porn career to an end by breaking the world record for serial fornication, on camera with six hundred men. Each of the 4 characters have a huge stake in the making of this movie and as the listener jumps from inside head to head of each character to hear their story something dark unfolds. The characters are; Mr. 72, Mr. 137, Mr. 600, and Wright's personal assistant, Sheila.
Mr. 72 is a young man out to save Cassie Wright. Mr. 72 thinks he is the son of Cassie Wright whom she put up for adoption. As the book progresses it is learned that Cassie may have had what is called a "porn-child," a child conceived during filming of one her movies. Mr. 72 reveals his strange childhood with his adopted parents and the eventual discovery and lusting after who could be he mother, Cassie Wright. Very disturbing is the best way to describe the way Mr. 72 discovers who his mom could be and the way he continues to act once that discovery is made.
Mr. 137 is a has been television actor. He once had the biggest show on television in which he was a detective. However it is revealed that once the public became aware of a gay porn movie he made in his youth the studio fires him and his series is cancelled. His appearance in this record-breaking movie could get him more "face-time" and maybe he could make a comeback.
Mr. 600 is legendary porn star Branch Bacardi. Branch is considered to be the father of Cassie's porn-child, but he denies this is possible. Branch is also looking at this film to revitalize his career but his reasoning is that in filming this record breaking feat, Cassie Wright could die from an embolism. So Mr. 600 wants be known as the man who killed Cassie Wright on film.
Finally we get to the wrangler, Sheila. Sheila is Cassie Wright's personal assistant who comes up with the idea to end her career with this film. Sheila also makes it possible for the lost child of Cassie to become very rich by talking her into taking out life insurance payable to the child. Sheila is also the one who decides who is next to be filmed. The "actors" are not filmed in numerical order, but rather randomly so that editing of the film can make the film more interesting. Sheila also has a hidden secret.
This novel is very dark and disturbing but in that darkness is some funny dark humor thrown in. It can't all be tragic, I guess. Some of the funnier moments are the various names for men which Sheila comes up with. Also funny are the names of the films listed in which Cassie has starred. Neither of these will be repeated by me, knowing that some younger folk may read this, but for the movies keep in mind the running joke of porn movies renamed after "normal" movies.
Once again Chuck Palahniuk dives into the dark seedy side of life to bring out a point. Good reading or listening.