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Rant: The Oral Biography of Buster Casey Paperback – May 6, 2008
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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 doughall 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.
Top customer reviews
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Rant is right up there with Fight Club, Beautiful You, Tell All, Snuff and Survivor, and just a step under Invisible Monsters and Lullaby.
My only disappointment with Palahniuk is that he's not kicking out new books every month!
This plot is exciting and fun to read.
Rabies. Alleged time travel. Incest with the intent of hyper breeding. Lifestyle segregation. This book has it all and so much more.
Rant is actually interesting. The way in which the story is told, through the recollections and stories of people connected to the events around the life of Mr. Casey, is very compelling. When I started the book, I was not very convinced that it would work. But somewhere along the line, not even halfway through, I became convinced that it was working to keep me interested. The characters involved in the telling of the story are compelling enough, and you want to know more about their involvement. Slowly, more about the world in which they live is revealed, and that only makes the book more interesting.
Without giving up any spoilers, I think it all fits together really well. The telling of the story through the recollections of interviewees, the mystery around the life of Mr. Casey, the larger mystery of the world that surrounds them, it is all very interesting, and I found ends with the reader still asking those questions and interested about that world. I cannot say that there is anything profound about the book, just the general talk about death and the search for meaning in life among common working class folks, but it is an interesting story about the lives of people in that space. It is worth the read. I enjoyed this book very much.
This books strength was also it's weakness in some ways. It was a little difficult to grasp this strange new world with just dialogue. As a screenwriter I'm so used to the "show me don't tell me" philosophy. In this format you literally couldn't and I found myself drifting past the names of people just to get more information-where I would go back and have to 're read to continue the drama in my mind. My only criticism though.
In his oeuvre there is no one better at gut punching than Palahniuk. And for those likeminded and well-initiated Rant once again delivers the body blows.