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Rant: The Oral Biography of Buster Casey Paperback – May 6, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
If it were the 9th or 10th (which it is), 4 stars.
The raw shock often associated with his books is undeniable in this one, however as a conditioned Chuck fan, I know what this man is capable of.. and this book was just a bit sub par for him.
This book lived up to my expectations of the author, but only by the skin of its teeth. True, it was entertaining & engrossing enough to keep me coming back to its pages every chance I got, and yes it had the essential never-saw-it-coming twist that Chuck is noted for.. however, the narration dragged at parts & it left questions not answered as well as in his other books; lots of loose ends were tied, but not very tightly.
The book is written in the style of an oral biography; meaning there is no one single narrator, but several different narrators who "contributed" to the "biography" -- a childhood friend, a neighbor, his parents, scholars commenting on certain theories and/or Rant's life. Every story or thought is preceded by a character's name and a colon, almost in the form of a play. I found this to be a refreshing tactic; it helped to keep the story consistently interesting & rolling. Especially so because the reader may see the same story or memory from totally different perspectives, or perhaps a different spin on the same rumor.
All around a good read for the beach, in between classes, before bedtime, or wherever.. I don't regret buying it & I still don't hesitate recommend it to all my friends interested in his writing style.. just don't expect Rant to be the end-all be-all, career-defining masterpiece of Chuck's work.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutely the most bizarre book I've ever read. It has a nonlinear plot and multiple narrators. It is the kind of book that just kind of sticks with you.Published 3 days ago by M. Henry
My sister recommended this book to me a few years ago. I have since read it 4-9 times. Each time it gets better and better. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Clayton Hankamer
Truly, I own every one of his novels. My goal is to acquire each one in audiobook form,Published 1 month ago by sistina
Chuck has an amazing writing style. Can confuse you, distract you, but then totally pulls you in and connects everything for you in a very unique way. Read morePublished 1 month ago
Classic Palahniuk flair but the format of it throws you off at first. Soon you realize it resembles a screenplay and start to cast the players in your mind and play the drama out... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mary Billone
There isn't much I can really say, other than this: YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED IF YOU READ THIS BOOK.Published 1 month ago by Matthew Michaelis
Possibly the best book I've ever read, and definitely my favorite of all Palahniuk's work. This book is ridiculously underrated.Published 1 month ago by Jen Boring