Monday, June 2, 2008

King of Smut

No, your eyes do not deceive you. You are looking at a life sized, anatomically incorrect inflatable man. And yes, his crotch is autographed.

Recently, cult-favorite author of "Fight Club" and "Choke", Chuck Palahniuk visited The City on a book tour for his newest page-turner, "Snuff". The new novel is the story of aging porn star Cassie Wright, trying to break a world record by having sex with 600 men on film in one day. The story is told by various participants up and down the long line, starting with would-be record breaker Mr. 600. The story shifts to Mr. 72, a young man who may or may not be Cassie's son. But there is a twist: Cassie is planning a much darker ending to her record breaking day.

The evening with Mr. Palahniuk started with a quick contest: The person who can blow up an inflatable sex doll the fastest wins a book. We got the doll, not the book. He continued with a conversation with an NPR talk show host whos name at this moment completely escapes me. The questions posed to Mr. Palahniuk seemed a bit rehearsed, but Chuck seemed genuine in his answers and was very funny and frank in telling tales about his life and growth as a writer.

A highlight of the event was Chuck reading a story he had written just for this tour, something that has yet to be published. It was a short story titled "Loser" about a fraternity pledge who finds himself on stage for an episode of "The Price Is Right".

This man must spend days on end signing things. For instance: Each person in attendance received a signed copy of "Snuff". Then came the autographed blow up dolls, maybe several dozen of those. Then, he threw out personalized "autograph hounds", a stuffed dog signed and raising his hind leg. Then at the end of all of this, he took the time to personalize the books of 150 attendees.

As a personal touch, the books personalized for the women in the audience got a few spritzes of Stetson cologne. The personalized message scribbled inside my copy of "Snuff"? Let's just say that while very appropriate for the tone of the book, it is probably not appropriate for a family blog. It was, however, very complimentary.

Thanks Chuck.

Check out "Snuff" in bookstores now.
A couple of videos from the event can be found on YOUTUBE. The first is the conversation with Chuck, and the second is a short interview with a few audience members. FYI: I'm in there somewhere, but I'm not saying where. Here are the links:

Audience Interview