Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Rant: The Oral Biography of Buster Casey Paperback – May 6, 2008
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
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
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Rant is a biography, based on the recollections and stories told by the people who knew Buster "Rant" Casey. Chick Palahniuk's writing style is a little difficult to follow, as it bounces from one character's point of view to another. The recollections do happen to follow a general timeline, however, which makes this read less confusing than it could have been. This novel, unlike others of his, seemed to be more into gross visuals than satirical absurdity. There were places that I felt Chuck went with the disgustingly over the top references, rather than the more sublime cultural attacks I have seen in his previous works.
My good friend @luxalani called this novel "challenging", and I couldn't agree more. As much as I enjoyed Palahniuk's other novels, I feel he took the easy way out on this one.
P.S. I happen to like the Archies. Read the book to catch the reference.
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.
It would be inaccurate to say I didn't enjoy the book. Palahniuk is a talented writer who works incredibly well on the sentence level of writing. I found myself laughing out loud more than once during the story. That said, the book is flawed. Here are my concerns:
1) The sheer number of 1st-person speakers used becomes confusing within a few short chapters. While we can remember five or six main characters, that leaves a couple dozen lying on the periphery of our memory -- which makes it easy to feel lost and to stop caring about the narrative voice.
2) Palahniuk's work on creating a distinct voice for his different narrators comes up short. The use of tropes of voice (that one character speaks mostly in question, that one uses scientific language, that one is visually focused, that one is audio focused, etc.) becomes transparent. Since the narrative voice is never really develop, the reliance on these tropes makes the voice and personality of each narrator feel thin.
3) If you've read Fight Club and Choke, you've already read this book. The themes are very similar. The voice brings nothing new. The story, while interesting, fails to leave a real mark.
4) Bizarre sexual content (which in this book includes deformed lovers and incense) starts to feel like a crutch, more present as shock value than as any notable part of story or theme.
5) The plot, and especially its twists, try to do too much. I'll touch on this in greater detail in the next paragraph.
SPOILERS: Ironically, the story's greatest strength becomes its downfall in the final quarter of the book. We start out with a rural world that we can relate to. This world then develops gradually toward a dystopian reality that bears striking resemblance to our own world (especially in regards to our cultural escapism). At first, our protagonist seems like an apt anti-hero: He gets involved in directed self-destruction (very Fight Club-ian) and then starts to spread rabies to the entire population. It is gradually revealed that his position as "patient zero," infecting the population with rabies, is an attempt to disconnect people from a high-tech, multi-sensory form of television ("boosting") around which this dystopian society orbits. Rabies literally prevents "boosting." In this process, Palahniuk also touches on prejudice, counter-culture, self-destruction, and other themes common to his other work. Thematically tired? Yes. But enjoyable.
At this point in the story, I really enjoyed the plot and theme levels of the story. Then, in the final quarter, the book is about time travel. "No kidding," (as so many Palahniuk narrators so often say), the entire thing starts to be about becoming your own gradfather, having sex with thirteen-year-old versions of your ancestors, becoming super-human (and developing traits like super-human smell), and reaching Godhood by killing your own parents before they can conceive you. While some may enjoy this as being great for a "thinking person," we're not talking about established concepts of intrigue: we're talking about wild, unfounded theories that are fun to think about in passing. They don't effectively support a novel or its final plot twist. The believable dystopia disintegrates into this wild theoretical theory, leaving the final portions of the novel difficult to digest and ultimately unsatisfying.
Is it worth reading? If you want to see the oral biography style in action, with an awareness that this is not perfect execution, this is a fun example. If you love all of Palahniuk's other work and haven't found it to be overkilled redundancy just yet, then this is worth a read. If you're looking for something nuanced from Chuck's mighty pen, however, you may start to wonder if his inkwell has simply run dry. While this is a fun read, it is not brilliant. I strongly recommend turning to Choke, Fight Club, and Survivor -- what I view as his iconic works -- instead.
Most recent customer reviews
This plot is exciting and fun to read.Read more