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Rant (Limited Edition): An Oral Biography of Buster Casey [Hardcover]

Chuck Palahniuk
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (236 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1, 2007 0385523297 978-0385523295 Limited
The Rant Limited Edition is specially packaged in a one-piece preprinted case, printed black, with the title created in spot gloss; a 4-color slipcase that matches the original jacket of the trade book; a 1/8" ribbon marker; a signed tip-in sheet, speckled edges; and an exclusive 1300-word "Automotive Afterword" entitled "Recipes for Disasters" which is not available in print anywhere but only in this limited edition.

“Like most people I didn’t meet Rant Casey until after he was dead. That’s how it works for most celebrities: After they croak, their circle of friends just explodes…”

Rant is the mind-bending new novel from Chuck Palahniuk, the literary provocateur responsible for such books as the generation-defining classic Fight Club and the pedal-to-the-metal horrorfest Haunted. It takes the form of an oral history of one Buster “Rant” Casey, who may or may not be the most efficient serial killer of our time.

“What ‘Typhoid Mary’ Mallon was to typhoid, what Gaetan Dugas was to AIDS, and Liu Jian Lun was to SARS, Buster Casey would become for rabies.”

A high-school rebel who always wins (and a childhood murderer?), Rant Casey escapes from his small hometown of Middleton for the big city. He becomes the leader of an urban demolition derby called Party Crashing. On appointed nights participants recognize each other by such designated car markings as “Just Married” toothpaste graffiti and then stalk and crash into each other. Rant Casey will die a spectacular highway death after which his friends gather testimony needed to build an oral history of his short, violent life. Their collected anecdotes explore the possibility that his saliva caused a silent urban plague of rabies and that he found a way to escape the prison house of linear time…

“The future you have, tomorrow, won’t be the same future you had, yesterday.”
–Rant Casey

Expect hilarity, horror, and blazing insight into the desperate and surreal contemporary human condition as only Chuck Palahniuk can deliver it. He's the postmillennial Jonathan Swift, the visionary to watch to learn what's–uh-oh–coming next.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Buster Casey, destined to live fast, die young and murder as many people as he can, is the rotten seed at the core of Palahniuk's comically nasty eighth novel (after Haunted; Lullaby; Diary; etc.). Set in a future where urbanites are segregated by strict curfews into Daytimers and Nighttimers, the narrative unfolds as an oral history comprising contradictory accounts from people who knew Buster. These include childhood friends horrified by the boy's macabre behavior (getting snakes, scorpions and spiders to bite him and induce instant erections; repeatedly infecting himself with rabies), policemen and doctors who had dealings with the rabies "superspreader"; and Party Crashers, thrill-seeking Nighttimers who turn city streets into demolition derby arenas. After liberally infecting his hometown peers with rabies, Buster hits the big city and takes up with the Party Crashers. A series of deaths lead to a police investigation of Buster (long-since known as "Rant"—the sound children make while vomiting) that peaks just as Buster apparently commits suicide in a blaze of car-crash glory. This dark religious parable (there's even a resurrection) from the master of grotesque excess may not attract new readers, but it will delight old ones. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Zombies, government conspiracies, religious epiphanies, time travel, a postmodern Typhoid Mary, and a woman who mixes thumbtacks into her cookie dough—all are fair game in Rant, Chuck Palahniuk's eighth novel. Critics agreed that Rant is vintage Palahniuk, a grim thriller ride filled with his signature black humor, withering social commentary, and stomach-churning details. Some grumbled, however, that the ideas in Rant have been recycled from previous novels, particularly Fight Club. They were also disappointed with the novel's lack of depth, distracting structure (a succession of hundreds of brief eyewitness testimonies), and underlying glorification of violence. The truth is that Palahniuk is an acquired taste. Readers either love him or leave him alone, and will judge Rant accordingly.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; Limited edition (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385523297
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385523295
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (236 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,287,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chuck Palahniuk's novels are the bestselling Fight Club, which was made into a film by director David Fincher, Diary, Lullaby, Survivor, Haunted, and Invisible Monsters. Portions of Choke have appeared in Playboy, and Palahniuk's nonfiction work has been published by Gear, Black Book, The Stranger, and the Los Angeles Times. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
134 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ravin' About Rant May 3, 2007
I've heard it said that there are no new ideas left in the world. The proliferation of movie remakes, regurgitated pop music, and Danielle Steele novels certainly add to this argument. Even in "Rant," Palahniuk's latest novel, you won't see anything that hasn't already been covered by Sartre, Camus, or The Terminator. The thing about Palahniuk (and other brilliant writers like David Mitchell, Craig Clevenger, and Jonathan Lethem) is that while the message may not be all that new, the manner in which it is told is nothing short of stunning.

If you're paying close enough attention, Palahniuk gives away almost the entire story in the first four pages, and he drops plenty of hints along the way for those who still haven't caught on. "Rant" is about, alternately, an underground cult of car crashers, a rabies epidemic, the true essence of religion, and a guy named Buster Casey who is addicted to spider bites. Like his other novels, Palahniuk employs an encyclopedic knowledge of the macabre. His spare, punching prose ties together a medley of ideas and facts until what you're left with is a dizzying collage that is so kaleidoscopic, it'll probably take you three reads just to get half of what he's saying.

And he says a lot, in spite of the low page count. Some of "Rant," in fact, might feel rewarmed to the hardcore Palahniuk fan.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Chuck is back! I can happily and unreservedly recommend "Rant" -- to fans of Palahniuk, that is.

After "Haunted", which had many interesting moments, but which otherwise failed to really come together for me, "Rant" is a satisfying, interesting, challenging read. The narrative structure is definitely different, taking the form of transcripts from oral interviews about a character who's no longer on the stage to represent himself. As a result, what you get is a tangled projection, at times incomplete and often contradictory, of that central character, as seen through the eyes of the people who knew him. And by the way, this narrative technique subtly echoes the neural transcripts described *within* the story.

As the story progresses (NO SPOILERS), it gradually undertakes a systematic deconstruction and reconstruction of the character of Buster Casey, which continues to evolve in unexpected ways throughout. The nice thing about this process is that it makes you keep returning (in your mind) to previous points in the narrative, realizing they didn't mean quite what you thought at the time.

There's also the unique metaphor of "boosting peaks", and once you've read the book, you'll see how that metaphor applies to the perceptual process of reading Rant's story through the senses of people *other* than Rant himself. There's also the metaphor of the car salesman -- in which Wallace Boyer is essentially a representative of the author, Chuck Palahniuk, himself. Like Boyer, Palahniuk carefully, and skillfully, directs readers through a series of "control questions", "embedded commands", and "pacing", taking them exactly and only where he wants them to go.

The novel explores some big, mind-bending ideas, too, all with a vintage Palahniuk backdrop.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This guy is so strange August 9, 2008
By Foosula
I thought it was excellent. Ye sit took awhile to get rolling and it was a touch confusing trying to see where it would lead. But the last 1/4 of the book was impossible to put down. Palanhiuk's standard twists and turns are all there.
Well worth the read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Combining snake bite-induced erections with car crash-induced time travel and a whole host of other bizarre and almost realistic events, Chuck Palahniuk has created another character in his universe of strangeness with Rant Casey.

The story unfolds as a biography of Rant after his death, strung together through snippets of interviews with dozens of his close friends and neighbors. It starts off simply enough: an odd little boy in middle America causes quite a stir as he grows up by getting into mischief like collecting other people's teeth; purposely getting bit by snakes, spiders, and rodents; and using real animal blood and entrails as part of a community haunted house. Palahniuk's simple language and townie slang kept me engaged and enjoying the yarn.

Soon enough, Rant moves to the city, and we find out we're actually in a futuristic world where people "port in" to experience entertainment, reminiscent of the video games from David Cronenberg's eXistenZ or the "feelies" from Brave New World. There's also "Party Crashing," a game people play where they crash their cars into each other. When Palahniuk drops this unusual character of Rant into this even more out of the ordinary world, it's inevitable the story is going to get much more complex and interesting.

What I have always enjoyed about Palahniuk's work is that his characters are incredibly bizarre but he always finds a way to speak through them about very real but seldom-expressed human perspectives. A lot of times it seems he can figure out some of my thoughts and perceptions and explain them to me, with more clarity and sensibility than I would've thought possible.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars What did I just read?
What keeps me coming back to Chuck Palahniuk is he always has me thinking. He's not an author you read once and put down, smiling and thinking "what a good story". Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ryan Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars We know why you rubberneck
As usual, Palahniuk delivers some truly strange and twisted characters and plot lines. Tooth Fairies, Egyptian tomb bats, spider bite boners, rare coins, droolers and Easter eggs. Read more
Published 2 months ago by William
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book that twists your brain like a rag
A very enjoyable read and another success from the great Chuck Palahniuk. For those looking for a black comedy with a lot of plot twists and turns, this is your book.
Published 2 months ago by Emilio Amaro
4.0 out of 5 stars Good...
Good book, but bellow others Palahniuk's books average. But it was fun as usual and is always a good reading
Published 2 months ago by Kleber Kikunaga
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but Strange.
I have to say, this is one of the strangest books I've read. While I thoroughly enjoyed it, I'm not sure who I would ever recommend it to. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Angelica C.
2.0 out of 5 stars Palahniuk needs to stop trying to out-Palahniuk himself
What has happened to one of the most promising authors of recent times? He appears to have decided that the success of his books lies in how many bodily fluids he can fling into... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Delius
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes you think
Awesome mind boggling makes you wanna live in the book, looked forward to reading it again
And again, different thoughts each time
Published 3 months ago by 13Fox
4.0 out of 5 stars great read by palahnuik
My only complaint is the short lived ending, felt like it was wrapped up in a hurry without giving me all the closure I needed to remember Rant as the amazing creation he started... Read more
Published 4 months ago by curlysue
5.0 out of 5 stars rant
I loved this book along with the others I have read up to this point by chuck palahniuk(invisible monsters, fight club& damned), it constantly had me intrigued by what was going to... Read more
Published 5 months ago by kathrineileen
3.0 out of 5 stars Uh...
WTF?!? Holy ****!! Yup, Rant is quintessential Palahniuk. Shout “birth certificate” in a crowded theater of conspiracy theorists. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Robert R. Mitchell
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Topic From this Discussion
Anyone else a bit confused...?
First off, to answer what others apparently don't understand, the naked chick that shows up in the car was someone who succeeded in resolving their origin, and was therefore immortal. It may even be Tina Something, as they both were always wearing wedding dresses, and we know Tina later drove her... Read More
Jun 9, 2009 by Pablo F. Martinez III |  See all 11 posts
Timeline (Spoilers)
no speculations but you then ask us to speculate? zero replies until this troll says "seriously?"
Jun 19, 2010 by Science Fan |  See all 2 posts
Other good books/authors???
Craig Clevenger and Will Christopher Baer have both been compared to Palahniuk. Clevenger has written "The Contortionist's Handbook" and "Dermaphoria." The former book reads like a tribute to Palahniuk, and is easily the more commercial of the two. However, I found... Read More
Jun 1, 2007 by Mark Eremite |  See all 6 posts
Is one allowed to write a negative review of RANT?
Hey Dr. Joe,

I read your initial review of RANT with interest, primarily because when I checked back we shared the spotlight. I was impressed that the website had chosen to allow a five star and a one star review to both be highlighted, although I (of course) disagreed with much of what you... Read More
May 9, 2007 by Mark Eremite |  See all 15 posts
and they said Fight Club was "unfilmable"
It would be a challenge, but with the right mind behind the camera, it could be done. It is just a question of how well.
May 19, 2008 by A. Brunelle |  See all 3 posts
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