S.N.U.F.F. is a distopical (futuristic) novel about the future of the mankind, reminiscent of the current political picture of the world. The plot's setting is a post-apocalyptic world divided into two parts: a poor, technologically backwards Ukraine with about 300 million inhabitants called orks and a technologically advanced artificial flying city "Big Byz" (or "Byzantium"), which is locked in the sky above Ukraine and has a population of some 30 million people. People control orks by carefully censored media coverage. Events can be reported and they can also be created as needed – like the creation of brief military conflicts under the guise of the protection of human rights.
The most popular news genre is ‘S.N.U.F.F.’, which is an acronym of ‘Special Newsreel / Universal Feature Film’, and contains a mixture of truth and lies to keep orces in a predictable mood.
The story is narrated by a person called Damilola, who works for both the military and the media. His usual work is to create S.N.U.F.F.s in line with the current political trend of Big Byz’s media employees or to even predicted ones (smart free speech is a term used to denote such predictions) to earn good money and to avoid from being ostracized.
The story begins to unfold when Raunchy and cynical Damilola, whose only true love is the surrogate woman Kaya, get involved in the destiny of the two young orcs Grym and Chloe.
Like all Pelevin’s novels SNUFF is a truly original story both in plot and style. Using English even in the Russian edition - valuable things, for example, in this new world are called ‘moneyto’ - the writer creates a set of neologisms that only serve to increase the overall mood.
The book is full of allusions and references to the contemporary reality, which is dominated by the media with its overwhelming power to influence public opinion. The attentive reader will understand the author’s irony and sarcasm, the world of orcsand humans is remarkably similar to a cynical parody of modern society, and so reminiscent of the political picture of the world as a whole.