Chuck Palahniuk Discusses Making People Cry, Porn, New Book Snuff

palahniuk Chuck Palahniuk Discusses Making People Cry, Porn, New Book SnuffChris Ayres of Britain’s The Times had an interesting interview with gross-out/thriller author extraordinaire Chuck Palahniuk in the Portland, Ore., airport’s burger joint. The Fight Club author discussed his new book, Snuff, which was released on May 20 by Doubleday. It was inspired by a porno, The World’s Biggest Gangbang. In the movie, a lady has sex with 70 men in a single 10-hour session. In the book, the story is told by the male performers Mr 72, Mr 137 and Mr 600. How did he conduct research for the book? He asked his friends for some bedtime stories. …

“Before I start a book, I tell people I’m collecting stories,” he says. “So you send out this request for a certain type of information and it creates this kind of party game, a way of people being together, and they call you and they reward you. A lot of the time we don’t know what to say to each other, so this gives us a kind of shared purpose.”

He also discusses his famous readings, in which he actually tries to gross people out and make them pass out. According to Mr. Ayres, he stopped counting the "casualties" at 72.

His only concern about this phenomenon is that his most shocking prose might be now overfamiliar. Hence the reason he replaced it for a while with material that instead made people cry. That also proved troublesome. “It’s really difficult to salvage an event when everyone starts crying,” he says, matter-of-factly. “You just can’t bring the energy back up, it’s impossible”.

Mr. Ayres also asked Mr. Palahniuk if he thinks that porn is "inherently damaging."

“Only if it’s done right!” he blurts, with perhaps a little too much enthusiasm. Composing himself, he continues: “Porn is the adult version of the fairytale. There’s a real comforting sameness to it. It’s never going to end badly. In that respect porn is really no different than any other coping mechanism that people have, whether it’s being funny, or being pretty, or being smart. At some point they just do too much of it and it no longer serves them, it enslaves them.”