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Monday, June 9, 2008

I hate Chuck Palahniuk.

Posted By on Mon, Jun 9, 2008 at 4:41 PM

â??I hate Chuck Palahniuk.â?�

â??Well, I hate him more.â?�

â??Well, I hate him so much, I hate people who like him.â?�

This conversation between me and Billy Manes was spurred by his espying Snuff on my desk. And before I go any further, I should mention that I liked Fight Club; this isnâ??t an across-the-board Palahniuk bashing. But:

I read this book over the weekend, and it is simply dreadful. Dreadful. I donâ??t even have a problem with the subject matterâ??oh and what is that subject matter? Glad you asked. As you might assume from Chucky Pâ??s involvement, itâ??s not about a preparation of pulverized tobacco to be inhaled through the nostrils or placed against the gums; itâ??s about the dethporn.

But no, itâ??s not the porniness; itâ??s the suckiness shittiness (itâ??s really hard to find a word here without a porny double entendre and hey, oops, I did it again). In this situation, itâ??s tempting to downplay squeamishness so as not to seem like a sex-negative killjoy, but Snuff is unsexier than Andrea Dworkin. Not to mention the sloppy writing: the flabby pacing, the absurd plot (not in a good way), the cringe-inducing descriptions (again not in a good way). Reading it, I began to experience that particular fling-it-across-the-room sort of rage induced by a hype-fueled literary load of bullshit. Even the choice of brown ink for the text made me sneer.

But the jacket design is kind of good: Nice work, Rodrigo Corral. Corral also designed James Freyâ??s A Million Little Pieces, and in my opinion, a good chunk of its sales were thanks to his design. Especially pre-Oprah (and pre-media takedown), book shoppers picked it up just because of that jacket. But book design is a subject for another day.

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