Cassie Wright, fictions porn idol, is staging the comeback of her sordid career and with the help of 600 random men, hopes to make porn history, immortalizing them all to the record books and minds of porn collectors across the world.
Palahniuk’s Fight Club is probably his most famous work, but this latest endeavor follows his witty, dark humored style and minimalist approach to storytelling. His vivid descriptions and off color subject matter make the book worth reading on a leisurely summer day.
The facts that he presents are true, which is a staple of a Palahniuk novel. He studied journalism in the 80s, and his knack for researching and immersing himself in topics prior to writing makes his stories feel more realistic.
He also has a habit of repeating catch phrases in each book, like a chorus in a song they appear throughout chapters in his various novels, such as:
“Ms. Wright says how the fist-flogger Eric Fleming was shooting on location for his television series ‘High Jungle’ when his canoe overturned in the Amazon River. The current caught Fleming, and the local piranha finished the job, cameras still rolling.
In reality, many women have made films depicting themselves in a gangbang, trying to reach numbers in the hundreds.
To achieve this, most of the time a large pool of men, some professional and others as ordinary as the guy down the street, will answer a casting call ad, get tested for sexually transmitted diseases and show up to a designated place waiting their turn to be a part of the history.
The movie cover says so-and-so porn starlet takes on 700 men, but the actual action is maybe 80 guys cycled through over and over again.
Victoria Givens claimed the title of World Record Anal Gangbang on October 23, 2004 after having anal sex 101 times without lubrication.
The previous claimed record holder, Brooke Ashley, had anal sex 50 times in 1998 in The World’s Biggest Anal Gangbang, and claims to have contracted AIDS from it.
Palahniuk created a character in Wright that is similar to Annabelle Chong, the first real life record breaker. Palahniuk set the stage for the average person to catch a glace at a world that is viewed as nasty and corrupt.
The easy question to ask is why? Why would some porn whore take on hundreds of men, just to prove that she is the big slut that the mainstream world thinks she is?
He did his research, instead of telling readers what he imagined it would be like; Palahniuk showed you what it probably would be like.
What it would be like if 600 guys actually showed up, what it would smell, taste and feel like in the room holding them all in while they waited for their numbers to be called, waited to disappear into the stage door with bright white lights behind it. Palahniuk did this in a way that is manageable, and that lets the human edge of the participants into view.
Three men, Mr. 72, Mr.137 and Mr.600 are the eyes through which almost the entire book is told.
Each man is at the shoot for a different reason, 600 is the professional and frequent (almost exclusive) co-star of Wright, there to be the last guy with her because she asked for a favor. Mr. 72 is an orphan, harboring an obsession with Wright; the woman he thinks is his mother.
As for 137, he is a very loyal fan of Wright and through the course of the story her character traits are reflected in him, as he is the one who is most like her.
The fourth perspective is that of Shelia, Wright’s personal assistant for the film and her motivator to break the record in the first place. Shelia is the one who makes sure all of the “pud-puller’s” are ready to go when she calls their numbers, she maintains order in the den of the green room, where too many men are confined.
It is through her that we catch the glimpses of Ms. Wright, she thinks back as the story develops to preparing the porn queen for this day and remembers all of the things Wright told her.
A huge thing that Wright and Mr. 137 have in common is their knowledge of random Hollywood facts. Wright is constantly telling Shelia things about old Hollywood stars who suffered for their craft. Shelia is very knowledgeable herself; however, she’s more street smart, remembering things about Aristotle and potassium cyanide.
The climax of the novel is not as believable as the rest of the story, it edges on over-kill. The characters are left suspended in time, with not much finality or resolution to the issues and plans introduced in the beginning.