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Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey

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Buster “Rant” Casey just may be the most efficient serial killer of our time. A high school rebel, Rant Casey escapes from his small town home for the big city where he becomes the leader of an urban demolition derby called Party Crashing. Rant Casey will die a spectacular highway death, after which his friends gather the testimony needed to build an oral history of his sh Buster “Rant” Casey just may be the most efficient serial killer of our time. A high school rebel, Rant Casey escapes from his small town home for the big city where he becomes the leader of an urban demolition derby called Party Crashing. Rant Casey will die a spectacular highway death, after which his friends gather the testimony needed to build an oral history of his short, violent life. With hilarity, horror, and blazing insight, Rant is a mind-bending vision of the future, as only Chuck Palahniuk could ever imagine. BONUS: This ebook edition includes an excerpt from Chuck Palahniuk's Doomed. 


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Buster “Rant” Casey just may be the most efficient serial killer of our time. A high school rebel, Rant Casey escapes from his small town home for the big city where he becomes the leader of an urban demolition derby called Party Crashing. Rant Casey will die a spectacular highway death, after which his friends gather the testimony needed to build an oral history of his sh Buster “Rant” Casey just may be the most efficient serial killer of our time. A high school rebel, Rant Casey escapes from his small town home for the big city where he becomes the leader of an urban demolition derby called Party Crashing. Rant Casey will die a spectacular highway death, after which his friends gather the testimony needed to build an oral history of his short, violent life. With hilarity, horror, and blazing insight, Rant is a mind-bending vision of the future, as only Chuck Palahniuk could ever imagine. BONUS: This ebook edition includes an excerpt from Chuck Palahniuk's Doomed. 

30 review for Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    I can't do it. I can't finish this book. Usually Palahniuk creates fairly unsympathetic characters, as in this book, and that I'm used to. Because it WORKS; the plot-lines of his books are always ridiculous in a totally fascinating way, which makes up for the stupid characters. However, Rant bored the fuck out of me. I tried. I read more than half and I do not care about this nutjob guy and his rabies and his slobbering all over the ladies, or the driving around in cars being obnoxious or whatev I can't do it. I can't finish this book. Usually Palahniuk creates fairly unsympathetic characters, as in this book, and that I'm used to. Because it WORKS; the plot-lines of his books are always ridiculous in a totally fascinating way, which makes up for the stupid characters. However, Rant bored the fuck out of me. I tried. I read more than half and I do not care about this nutjob guy and his rabies and his slobbering all over the ladies, or the driving around in cars being obnoxious or whatever other bullshit he's engaging in. Seriously, the ONE nice thing I can say about Palahniuk's writing is that it's amusing. It's all about as deep as a kiddie-pool (FILLED WITH PEE) but at least it's interesting. So this book fails in the one arena that Palahniuk is totally capable of: being morbidly amusing. Also: in the first like.. 10 pages or so.. he managed to work in: used maxi pads, black widow bites, rabies... I don't know, I forget now, but I'm pretty sure semen and excrement was in there too. See what you have reduced me to, Palahnkuik? I have mentioned pee, semen, and feces in this review of my DISLIKING of your stupid book. BEING DISGUSTING IS NOT BEING EDGY. For either one of us. Stop writing books, Palahniuk. I put a pox upon you. (I will take the pox off when you stop writing like a caricature of yourself and actually develop some substance rather than relying on shock-value and things that only a hipster dbag would find meaningful). Grade: F+ (Plus because I like the cover design). Edit: I realize I misspelled his name a few times in this review but: suck it, Palalalahiuk and all Palankik fans. It's your punishment (respectively) for pandering to hipsters/being a trendy hipster. Also.. I think I will have to actually go back and read this in its entirety someday. Because I'm still a bit curious. But.. someday. I'm too much of an elitist bitch to be able to enjoy it right now.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I'm not a Chuck P fan simply because he is "edgy" or because I get off on the so-called depravity of his often violent and sexual themes. I know a few folks like that. What I enjoyed most about this book was the structure, the measured reveal. Based on the oral tradition, each chapter is composed of brief statements from a cast of dozens. Individually, these narrators are hopelessly unreliable, but taken together they form a whole picture that is more true than any single testimony could be. (I' I'm not a Chuck P fan simply because he is "edgy" or because I get off on the so-called depravity of his often violent and sexual themes. I know a few folks like that. What I enjoyed most about this book was the structure, the measured reveal. Based on the oral tradition, each chapter is composed of brief statements from a cast of dozens. Individually, these narrators are hopelessly unreliable, but taken together they form a whole picture that is more true than any single testimony could be. (I'm a sucker for an unreliable narrator, so give me a couple dozen and I'm in heaven.) Some critics accuse the author of choosing gruesome subject matter for shock value, but (in this book, at least) I found the weaving of those violent themes to be compelling rather than repugnant. Another aspect I appreciated was the inclusion of "experts" whose testimonies were full of academic and theoretical pontifications. I think that was Chuck poking fun at himself and his "edgy" reputation.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bark

    WTF did I just read and why did I finish it? This book is a mish-mash of narrators, grossness, time travel, car crashes, a rabies plague, segregation and dull characters. I kept hoping it would improve and then it was just over. This story somewhat follows a dull-witted character named Buster or Rant (as he's better known) who gets off on catching rabies. His attraction to pain and rabies eventually leads to a rabies plague. The story is told from the various and far too many points of view of p WTF did I just read and why did I finish it? This book is a mish-mash of narrators, grossness, time travel, car crashes, a rabies plague, segregation and dull characters. I kept hoping it would improve and then it was just over. This story somewhat follows a dull-witted character named Buster or Rant (as he's better known) who gets off on catching rabies. His attraction to pain and rabies eventually leads to a rabies plague. The story is told from the various and far too many points of view of people who stumbled across “Rant” during his life. In this world people are either “daytimers” or “nighttimers”. The two don't mix, they have curfews and are fined if they break 'em. The problem here, besides 20 too many narrators, is that they all have different opinions about what Rant did or didn’t do and it's hard to discern what is truth, lie or confusion. It took many a rewinding before I just let the frigging thing go and then things started to gel somewhat. From what I can gather Rant grows up in a stereotypical small white-trashy town which appears to be the dumping ground for unwanted dogs, tampons and used condoms. Somehow he has a superhuman sense of smell and can sniff out a soiled condom or tampon and know from whom it once belonged to. Now that’s a talent there I’ll never envy. Lucky for Rant there seems to be lots of them floating about in this town as the “sex tornado” hits constantly and strews everyone’s gross trash hither and fro. This book is gross for no other than to ick out the reader. This is fine if the book is fun but it's not. It's boring and the characters unsympathetic. So what did I learn? Rant, our dashing lead whom all the woman later adore, spends his toddlerhood picking his nose when he’s supposed to be napping, rolling it into black balls of goo and sticking it on the wall above his head. Did I really need to know that? He "inoculates" himself with venom from various critters and rabid animals at an early age. When he reaches his teens he can not only sniff out the owner of a tampon but he gets a close looksee at most of the female genitalia in town and can name the previous owner of every bloody tampon he finds littering his yard simply by its “shape”. There are some things we never need to know about a person. Seriously. The book then rambles about with more people adding their two cents about mostly boring bits of Rant/Buster's life as he purposely infects himself with rabies and then spreads the infection all about. And then time travel enters the picture and my brain explodes. I like weird books but they have to be interesting. This one just wasn't.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Quann

    Chuck Palahniuk is the literary equivalent of punk rock. In a book that pulls on varied and important themes, Rant: An Oral History of Buster Casey manages to feature an exceptionally peculiar storyline that never stops at its primary goal: being a hell of a good time. This is a book that deals with important topics, like religion and the meaning of life, but doesn't keep itself neatly organized and stacked with pristine white pages. Instead, Rant is a beautiful book with pages askew that just h Chuck Palahniuk is the literary equivalent of punk rock. In a book that pulls on varied and important themes, Rant: An Oral History of Buster Casey manages to feature an exceptionally peculiar storyline that never stops at its primary goal: being a hell of a good time. This is a book that deals with important topics, like religion and the meaning of life, but doesn't keep itself neatly organized and stacked with pristine white pages. Instead, Rant is a beautiful book with pages askew that just happens to be covered in the dirt and slime of real life. Pulling on the underused oral biography format, Palahniuk is able to fully flesh out a huge cast of characters and an immense story in a relatively quick read. Essentially, this is a novel with the long expositional passages replaced with non-stop dialogue. It is initially jarring, but this novel pulls from a history of stories being told conversationally. The format of oral history reinforces the themes of the novel: the development of fame and legend through, essentially, word of mouth, while also being a stylistic and enjoyable experience. The plot? Honestly, I don't even want to talk too much about what happens in Rant. There is a lot of joy in not knowing what you are in for. The novel is roughly divided into three acts, and each one plays on a different part of our main character's (Buster "Rant" Casey) life. This novel never stays stagnant, and moves with the speed of a Party Crashing vehicle on a collision course. All the same, on this second read, it had me flipping back to the start to pick up the trail of candy crumbs (pill capsules?) Palahniuk has deftly interwoven for a stellar finish. This novel is sci-fi, in that it is set in the future, but doesn't use its genre moorings as a crutch. "Rant" is a character study through and through. Oh, and its weird. As in, some of the weirdest stuff you may have ever read in a novel. Bottom line, you aren't going to read many books as unique or as much fun as Rant. There's other stuff too, but don't read up about it, go in clean. You'll come out dirty, but you'll have been highly entertained in the process.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Megs ♥

    What the hell? Let me first say I love Chuck P. I love his usually disturbing stories and weird characters. I don't mind the fact that he seems a little crazy, and I don't mind all of the sex he writes about. I also don't mind the gory/gross factor. I like him! This book was just bad in my opinion. Maybe if I knew it had an amazing ending I could have pushed through the last half, but after the first half of this book I realized I didn't care at all about Buster, or his story. So I stopped reading What the hell? Let me first say I love Chuck P. I love his usually disturbing stories and weird characters. I don't mind the fact that he seems a little crazy, and I don't mind all of the sex he writes about. I also don't mind the gory/gross factor. I like him! This book was just bad in my opinion. Maybe if I knew it had an amazing ending I could have pushed through the last half, but after the first half of this book I realized I didn't care at all about Buster, or his story. So I stopped reading. This book seemed to be over the top in grossness which seemed like he was relying on pure shock value. I also didn't much enjoy the writing in oral history fashion, but he made it clear this is how it was going to be since page one so that's my own fault. I'm giving this two stars instead of one, because I so always enjoy his humor, and it's present in this book again. The writing is still good, I just found the story lacking. I don't think I would recommend this book to anyone. I want to read another Chuck P. book right away, so that this isn't the last experience in my mind...Not sure which one to move onto next, though.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kemper

    This is the story of a small town hell raiser named Buster ’Rant’ Casey who did some slightly unusual things when he was growing up like collecting bucketfuls of his classmate’s teeth. Young Rant also angers more animals than Steve Irwin so that they’ll bite him and infect him with rabies which he deliberately spreads to his class mates. After he grows up and moves to the city, Rant joins a disenfranchised part of society forced by law to stay in their homes during the day and who get their kick This is the story of a small town hell raiser named Buster ’Rant’ Casey who did some slightly unusual things when he was growing up like collecting bucketfuls of his classmate’s teeth. Young Rant also angers more animals than Steve Irwin so that they’ll bite him and infect him with rabies which he deliberately spreads to his class mates. After he grows up and moves to the city, Rant joins a disenfranchised part of society forced by law to stay in their homes during the day and who get their kicks by crashing cars into each other. After his spectacular fiery death, the government labels him a bio-terrorist who unleashed a deadly outbreak of rabies while others claim that Rant may have had a larger destiny than anyone can imagine. And that’s not even the weirdest or most twisted part of the story… This is my second favorite Chuck Palahniuk novel after Fight Club. Rant’s story is told as an oral history by a variety of friends and enemies. The mishmash of weird anecdotes about a guy who seems to be completely fucked in the head eventually coalesce into a wild narrative that almost makes an audible click as the story starts locking together. Like all of Chuck P.’s books, it’s disturbing and gory and gross and funny and definitely not for the faint of heart or easily offended. As soon as I finished it the first time a few years ago, I knew I’d come back to it again because this is one of those story where knowing the ending gives you a whole different spin on things your second time through.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Stephen M

    A Brief Caveat It feels somewhat strange and almost in bad taste to be reviewing a Chuck Palahnuik book because this just happened. (If you don’t want to search through the link: Paquita (one of the coolest peeps on Goodreads) made mention of the fact that Chuck P. had recommended the book she had just read and if she had known that, then she probably wouldn’t have read the book because she doesn’t care much for the stylings of Mr. Palahniuk. Enter a crazed, rabid fan of Chuck P. who starts criti A Brief Caveat It feels somewhat strange and almost in bad taste to be reviewing a Chuck Palahnuik book because this just happened. (If you don’t want to search through the link: Paquita (one of the coolest peeps on Goodreads) made mention of the fact that Chuck P. had recommended the book she had just read and if she had known that, then she probably wouldn’t have read the book because she doesn’t care much for the stylings of Mr. Palahniuk. Enter a crazed, rabid fan of Chuck P. who starts criticizing Paquita’s tastes. A bit of witty banter ensues which leads to the most insane, misogynistic troll tirade I’ve ever seen. That crazed fan was promptly shouted down by a loyal troll-fighting clan of goodreaders but then several sock-puppets joined in on the bashing). I’d like to leave all that emotional baggage at the door and continue this review as if none of this happened and attempt to address the book and its author on their own terms. Introductionary Quote, S.penkevich Style, to Set the Mood/Thematic Weight “Me and Death, separated at birth” Preconceptions I’m drawing from an extremely small sample-size, but there seems to be a positive correlation between my fellow literature lovers and those who dislike the cut of Palahniuk’s jib. The opposite seems to be true as well: I know several people who fashion themselves as “casual readers” but still “love to read Chuck Palahniuk; haven’t you read Fight Club? It’s the greatest thing ever, dude!” It seems natural for a person such as myself then to associate the two together and draw a larger conclusion, given the data presented, that Chuck P., while very well being a good writer for the plebeians, may not be the writer that I could ever get into, only one about whom I could have a full-arms-extended appreciation and to which I could say “well, I certainly see the appeal, but it’s not my cup of tea”. Zounds! Induction be damned, because I’m here to say that I straight-up loved this book. Sure, it’s not perfect. Sure, he is “pulp” in a certain sense. Sure, he wears his Vonnegut/Pynchon inspiration on his sleeve but the guy still knows a thing or two about writing that I think we all can appreciate, hold hands and sing kumbaya to. Plot Summary This book centers around the enigmatic figure of Buster “Rant” Casey, a character that is involved in a variety of juvenile activities as a child and eventually joins a group of people called “nighttimers” that participate in party crashing (not what you’re thinking here. The act of “party crashing” involves tagging a target car and allowing everyone else to attack said targeted car in an attempt to destroy it/the people inside). Writing Style The book is told in “oral biography” format, which means that the book is a series of interviews with all the people in Rant’s life, as they talk about all of his misadventures and shenanigans. The only person who doesn’t get a voice is Rant himself (view spoiler)[and Rant’s father, because it is Rant (hide spoiler)] . For anyone who’s read The Savage Detectives this should probably sound familiar. In fact, it was very difficult at first to not think of Señor Belaño during this whole book and compare and contrast their differences. While SD is a sprawling masterpiece, filled with tons of side stories and with every last conceivable minutiae about its characters detailed in long paragraph chunks, Rant is a much more focused piece of writing. The chapters are much shorter. The characters are consistent and there are very few un-introduced characters through the middle and end. A Brief Digression about Bolaño At first, I longer for Bolaño’s sprawling, all-encompassing style. SD just covers so much ground. As I wrote about in my review, he is able to dissect an entire cultural/literary movement through the eyes of everyone that came into contact with his two main characters. You got a sense for an entire era of intellectuals and bourgeoning writers and most importantly, each character that is interviewed gets a long time to talk. A lot of the character’s monologues had short story length. Thus, the novel took on that “whole-composed-of-simultaneously-operating-parts” that such short-story driven novels function as. Name any book from my top ten favorite books and it’s bound to be of this type of novel. Writing Style (cont.) What I came to realize though, was that not every book ought to be of this maximalist, sprawling style in order to appeal to me. I can also love a book that strips away everything it deems unnecessary and stick to just the story at hand. Now, don’t get me wrong; I’ve been a basher of the minimalist style for as long as I’ve been forced to read Hemingway. So, I think there has to be a reason why I can enjoy a book that limits itself to just a small slice of its world and not the entire pie. It was fun to spend some time in a book that is focused and controlled and never rambled on for too long and each chapter title was explicitly clear as to the content therein. Why I Was Able to Like This Book Despite it Being Minimalist Plebeian Garbage This is difficult to address head-on, so it might take a bit of set-up to get there. A Bit of Set-Up in Order to Explain Why I Was Able to Like This Book Despite it Being Minimalist Plebeian Garbage Some criticism I’ve gathered from what I’ve heard of Palahniuk is that his books are all the same and that he reuses the same trope in all his books: distention from society’s norms with a main character that is a mysterious, sexy figure that just doesn’t care about all us moralizing, materialistic “sheep” of society. This is more or less a strawman of his work. But it’s done to make to illustrate a point. I think there is some substance to this criticism because in many ways, that is what a lot of his books are about. And it’s easy to associate all the morally heinous things in Palahniuk’s books with the guy himself and write him off as a sensationalist writer who writes books that are devoid of anything but nihilism, and not even sexy, intellectual nihilism a la Nietzsche, but hip nihilism a la Bret Easton Ellis or any other author that DFW would criticize. And to this I would probably agree. And I would probably cede a lot of ground about Palahniuk at this level, that he often does play up this anti-society, moral-less shtick because it’s cool and it sells (ironically). But I think that for a person like me, I can still enjoy something purely for its fun and entertainment, even if for many other concerns it is not successful. Why I Was Able to Like This Book Despite it Being Minimalist Plebeian Garbage (cont.) Because the experience of a book is almost completely contingent on the expectations you bring to it and the frame by which you judge it. And for many other books, I do bring a high expectation to the table, see all the “high-brow” literature that primes me for having such expectations. But there comes a point when such judgement seems unnecessary. I think there is an impulse to draw large conclusions about all the disparate parts of a book because I’m used to that type of reading so often. But if you really asked Palahniuk, I’m sure his priorities are to telling a story, just that. He isn’t really interested in making any point at all (even if that point is that there is no point). And with many such works that don’t really even get to that place that so many authors aspire (that mysterious realm of thematic weight and important, earth shattering lessons about human experience) I can’t really bring the same criticism that I normally would to other books. In short, this book was just a lot of fun and it had enough clever things in it to keep me entertained and my brain distracted enough that it allowed me to revel in the crass, irreverent humor and fun. This is probably not doing much to convince anyone who already hates Chuck P. but I guess that’s not really my intention here because I would totally understand anyone not enjoying it. Spoiler Section Where I Talk About One of Those “Clever Things” (view spoiler)[I found all the self-referential jabs to be great. The car salesmen was cool, Palahniuk’s reminder that all of the oral retellings (and then of course the book by extension, then of course all writing by extension) are rhetorical constructions that are meant to lead you in believing certain things determined by each author’s own personal bias and intention. That coupled with several other plays on the “reality” of the text kept me distracted enough to allow the entertainment to stream in mostly un-judged and un-analyzed to death. P. added in several real flesh and blood people into his story, as doctors, anthropologists, etc. to help explain what was going on and used fact-dump paragraphs to explain how some of the bizarre events could actually be possible. And then there was the Palahniuk trademark plot-twist gimmick at the end which was only made bearable by the fact that it also contributed to this “messing” with the “reality” of the story/blurring the line between fact and fiction. In that, because of the rules of time travel (let’s not get into it) it is possible that none of the events in the book could have “happened” if Rant was not successful in impregnating his mother. . . or something. Anyway, the take-home message is that all these things could have “happened” in real life, but never “happened” because time travel is screwy and makes my head hurt. (hide spoiler)] Where I get to show off my music tastes and you get to act impressed in the comments So Greg said that this song reminded him of this book. While I see where he is coming from, given the context in his review, I couldn’t stop thinking of this song the entire time. The song sounds like a Palahniuk book waiting to be written. Some will die in hot pursuit and fiery auto crashes, Some will die in hot pursuit while sifting through my ashes, Some will fall in love with life and drink it from a fountain That is pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain Here’s another song that I like that is completely unrelated to this review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D39OFZ...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Darwin8u

    “History is nothing except monsters or victims. Or witnesses.” ― Chuck Palahniuk, Rant HE was close. He was so damn close. He just didn't close it at the end. It was a poem that ended in a whimper. The mixture was nearly perfect, just not flammable. But don't say Chuck didn't try. I imagine Palahniuk had Ballard's Crash and Benford's Timescape, several Oral Histories, and perhaps even Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid sitting on his shelf as he wrote this. Reading Rant was “History is nothing except monsters or victims. Or witnesses.” ― Chuck Palahniuk, Rant HE was close. He was so damn close. He just didn't close it at the end. It was a poem that ended in a whimper. The mixture was nearly perfect, just not flammable. But don't say Chuck didn't try. I imagine Palahniuk had Ballard's Crash and Benford's Timescape, several Oral Histories, and perhaps even Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid sitting on his shelf as he wrote this. Reading Rant was like watching a blind guy juggle a bunch of balls, some are on fire, and some you realize are actually burning cats. Palahniuk exists on an edge of grotesque, absurdity and social criticism that sometimes makes you lose sight of the shore. You forget what the normal is. You forget the boundaries. You are caught between a weird night and equally bizarre day. You aren't sure what to do so you just keep digging/reading. Five major takeaways from this novel (which I might one day delve into deeper if I ever find myself with too much Liminal time or space in-between): 1. Rabies & Bites 2. Hyperosmia/Hypergeusia 3. Time Travel + Incest 4. Party Crashing + Night & Day 5. Oral History/Myth-making/Christianity Anyway, I enjoyed the novel. It flew. But it just ended meh. No bang. No cliff. Just a strange, absurd, grotesque, incestuous loop.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Edward Lorn

    It's not everyday you read a book about rabies, the origins of God, time travel, and bumper cars. Seeing that this is a Chuck Palahniuk book, I shouldn't be surprised that this novel hops barriers and barrels through genres without a single fuck given for your comfort or confusion level. Buster "Rant" Casey can tell you what you had for breakfast three days ago, what kind of flowers you have waiting in a vase back at home, and whether your shower head is steel or bronze simply by eating your pus It's not everyday you read a book about rabies, the origins of God, time travel, and bumper cars. Seeing that this is a Chuck Palahniuk book, I shouldn't be surprised that this novel hops barriers and barrels through genres without a single fuck given for your comfort or confusion level. Buster "Rant" Casey can tell you what you had for breakfast three days ago, what kind of flowers you have waiting in a vase back at home, and whether your shower head is steel or bronze simply by eating your pussy. That's talent folks. Of course, all this is explained, but for a while all you can do is laugh. Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey is so fucking absurd that you will begin to think you are reading bizarro fiction. And then, about 2/3 of the way through, everything starts making a shade of lunatic sense. Before it's all over everything is explained and you're left wondering how in the Greater Balls of Christ Palahniuk managed to juggle all these different voices and plot threads into one cogent narrative. Invisible Monsters is still my favorite of his works, but this is the new runner up. Sorry Choke, but this book is smarter than you. Don't feel bad. You're still good, but not as good as Rant Funny side note: I didn't finish this the first time I read it because it seemed like a book full of character interviews and I fucking hate that shit. This time I powered through. Damn glad I did. All the fucking stars! In summation: You'll need your thinking caps if you're going to appreciate this one. The book is written the way it is for a reason. Every character is important, and all thread tie together by the end. A lot of people will hate this book. I get that. But it does not deserve their hatred. Final Judgment: Fight Club references are rad.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    First off, a disclaimer. I love Chuck P. like a brother. If the man was on dialysis I'd give him a kidney even if I only had one good one left and consider it payback for all the stories of his that I've enjoyed since discovering his work. The lowdown: Rant tells the story of Rant Casey - a small town kid that turns his little town on it's ear before moving to the city to continue his work. The book is comprised of accounts from people that knew Rant with only second hand accounts of his words a First off, a disclaimer. I love Chuck P. like a brother. If the man was on dialysis I'd give him a kidney even if I only had one good one left and consider it payback for all the stories of his that I've enjoyed since discovering his work. The lowdown: Rant tells the story of Rant Casey - a small town kid that turns his little town on it's ear before moving to the city to continue his work. The book is comprised of accounts from people that knew Rant with only second hand accounts of his words and deeds and no perspective from our hero. In that way, it's almost Biblical. Although it is science fiction and a pretty far departure on the whole from Chuck Palahniuk's previous books, it's not as far off from what I expect out of him as Diary. But Palahniuk's voice and eye are still there and elements of the book like character relationships and atmosphere are reminiscent of earlier books like Choke. From the beginning, it's not clear where or when the setting is. The place seemed to me to be a small desert town. Time seemed to be anytime in the past century. It's a brilliant device that Palahniuk never wavers from in the first half of the book. It makes the reading a bit unsettling. The significance of that displacement just builds throughout the book. The characterization in this book is pretty amazing. A strong and compelling vision of Rant is built as a charismatic, smart, wild man, but nobody describes him as such throughout the book. Nobody says, "Rant was crazy" or sexy or maddening or 6'2" with brown hair and hazel eyes, but as the characters tell of their relationships with Rant the picture of him starts to come into focus. The very memorable and alluring characters that populate the story by contributing to the oral history are intriguing and become fully fleshed out as the story progresses as well. I really don't want to give it away, so if you haven't read the book, don't read the next line, but... the most interesting thing about this book to me was the future Palahnik creates out of what seems to be the past time. It's very real and although it's not clear if it's 20 years down the road or 200, it's very believable which makes the book frightening to contemplate at times. I very much loved how the past of Rant's childhood could have been the 1930s or the 1990s or any time until Bodie talks about plugging in. The sci-fi aspect of Rant really set the wheels of the story into motion and made it so much more interesting than if Rant had been stuck in Middleton trading gold for teeth the entire book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    When I hear this song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUZf24...) one of the things I think of is Chuck Palahniuk. I lied. I actually never heard this song until about four minutes before typing the previous sentence. For the sake of accuracy, when I heard the Elf Power cover of the song, which until about five minutes ago I didn't even realize was a cover, but which I should have assumed since the whole album it is one is made up of cover songs. I wanted to share the Elf Power version, but this When I hear this song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUZf24...) one of the things I think of is Chuck Palahniuk. I lied. I actually never heard this song until about four minutes before typing the previous sentence. For the sake of accuracy, when I heard the Elf Power cover of the song, which until about five minutes ago I didn't even realize was a cover, but which I should have assumed since the whole album it is one is made up of cover songs. I wanted to share the Elf Power version, but this this particular version by The Frogs (who did the song originally) is really fucking good. Like Jeff Buckley "Hallelujah" or "I Know it's Over" good, but different because those are good covers and this is the original, which I didn't know was the original until just now. There is another version that is more 'rocking' and produced by Corgan (billy?) and it's not really that good, it's ok, but the Elf Power version is better than the Corgan produced EP version. While I was going to the bathroom prior to looking for the above mentioned song I was thinking I should write a review for this book (actually I thought that while walking to the bathroom, while actually going to the bathroom I thought what follows) and that it's been almost eleven years to the day (ten years and 11 months to be more exact, it's a commitment to extreme honesty in the minutiae that got me to be the third most popular reviewer on goodreads.com, people love the details (or just don't really love anything about my reviews but they are appealing enough to enough people and I write enough of them that viola! I come off looking better in the numbers than I really am, but seriously isn't my neurotic attempts at truthfully recording all the details of my review writing process more interesting than reading another long winded blah blah blah fest about chess? (like my recent blah blah blah ramblings about fighting are much of an improvement), anyway back to the review where I just gave an amount of time, and I'm sure you are waiting anxiously to find out what it's been eleven years (or ten years and 11 months) since....) since I read a Chuck Palahniuk book that I could say I really enjoyed. Did you actually click the link above to listen to the song? If you didn't go click it now. This is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUZf24..., there is no excuse not to do it, it's a great fucking song and if you're deaf than guess what you don't get to hear a great fucking song, but most likely this isn't the first great fucking song you didn't get to hear in your life, but since I'm a sensitive person I'll let you know that you can read the lyrics here: http://www.lyricsmania.com/weird_on_t.... If you are recently deaf then you can imagine the words with just a couple of guitar chords being strummed behind them. If you've been deaf your whole life, well I don't know what to say. Sorry? (And can you fucking believe that the band that did that song also did this one? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63FlHK... (this song you should listen to, too. It's a funny and gay song in that very Big Black-esque Chicago sludge 90's style). I hope you have taken my advice and listened to the first song I asked you to listen to while reading this review. It will save me from having to make too many more asides, and believe me I'll know if you are cheating and I will hold up the review again until I think everyone is doing what is expected of them. Anyway, back to the review, but wait, remember the last time I wrote a review for a Chuck Palahniuk book and I got myself and a bunch of other people all blocked by that pretentious weiny with the stupid 90's hair? That was fun. Yes? The book wasn't any good, but having a girl fight the battle for that twit and then have him block everyone that was fun. Ah, the good times of book reviewing social networking websites. I just thought that this song by Elf Power reminds me him, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZ0jWT.... Oh, you can read that review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... And, no I'm not trying to get more votes. Before Rant the last book by Chuck Palahniuk I enjoyed was Survivor. I don't think this one is as good as Survivor, but I'm an older if not more mature reader now than I was then. But I was also more pretentious then, sort of more like that guy from the other review, but I don't think I was ever a walking backside orifice like I imagine him to be in real life. I hope that you have actually gone and listened to those songs by now. I'm working on the honor system for a bit here. At one point in Rant I groaned to myself because I was afraid that Chuck Palahniuk was becoming too much like Chuck Palahniuk, like a caricature of himself, sort of like what he was throughout most of Tell-All and in the majority of those other books of his that weren't Fight Club or Survivor, but which actually could have been Fight Club or Survivor but to me at least, his schtick wasn't feeling like a schtick yet. When I first had this thought while reading Rant this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9acFE7..., started playing in my head. You don't need to listen to this song if you don't want, it's only a Mudhoney song, and if you've heard one Mudhoney song you've sort of heard them all. Sort of the way I've felt about Chuck P for most of his middle to recent novels. But not this book. I liked this one. There was some kind of humanity to this one even in the disgustingness of disease and a town where used condoms and tampons dangle from trees and people drive around in wedding dresses looking to get into car accidents there was something that felt real and not just weird for weirds sake in this strange and increasingly convoluted novel. Yeah! So that last paragraph and a sentence or two in maybe three of the paragraphs prior to that one is my review. I hope you enjoyed it. P.S. I just noticed that I started this book exactly one year after I finished my last Chuck Palahniuk review. I didn't do that on purpose, at all! Honestly! Isn't that fucking weird? Like Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy and Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln weird?

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jason Pettus

    (Full review can be found at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com].) So before anything else, a horrible confession: that this is the first novel by Chuck Palahniuk I've ever actually read from cover to cover. Yeah, I know, shame on me! And the reason this is such a big deal, of course, is that I'm an obsessive fan of the movie version of Fight Club, adapted from another of Palahniuk's novels, a film I have officially now seen one zillion freaking times. And why do I (Full review can be found at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com].) So before anything else, a horrible confession: that this is the first novel by Chuck Palahniuk I've ever actually read from cover to cover. Yeah, I know, shame on me! And the reason this is such a big deal, of course, is that I'm an obsessive fan of the movie version of Fight Club, adapted from another of Palahniuk's novels, a film I have officially now seen one zillion freaking times. And why do I like that movie so much? Here's why I like that movie so much: --Because it takes a profoundly original and compelling idea and makes you think it's going to be the theme of the entire project, just to later prove that it was actually a ruse to hide an even more profoundly original and compelling idea as its real theme. --Because it unmasks the simmering hatred of the modern world so many young intellectuals have these days, this incessant desire to do something, anything, to break out of the usual corporate-manufactured, safely lobotomized, "synergetic cultural experience." --And because the story pulls off such heady things through a slim, minimalist personal style, which much like Vonnegut attempts to use the least words possible to convey the greatest amount of information possible. And thus do we come to Palahniuk's latest novel, Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey, which just randomly happens to be my first book of his simply because of opening CCLaP this particular year. And you know what? It too manages to pull off all the things just mentioned, and in fact does it even better; that this book even manages to head into legitimate science-fiction territory at points, even while being a grounded examination of the human condition at the same time. It's dense for sure, with a plot that's impossible to keep up with at times; but if such things, for example, made you love Donnie Darko instead of detest it, then you're seriously going to want to run out and pick up a copy of Rant as soon as you possibly can. In fact...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dustin Reade

    MY REVIEW FROM AMAZON: Look, if you are one of those people who consider themselves "fans" of an author's work so long as it is constantly the same, then forget all about this one. Don't read it expecting Fight Club. In fact, don't read any book by Palahniuk expecting Fight Club but Fight Club. He is a talented writer, with more to offer than the same book reprinted fifty-thousand times. Most of the reviews so far written for this book seem to have been written by the above-mentioned sort of fan MY REVIEW FROM AMAZON: Look, if you are one of those people who consider themselves "fans" of an author's work so long as it is constantly the same, then forget all about this one. Don't read it expecting Fight Club. In fact, don't read any book by Palahniuk expecting Fight Club but Fight Club. He is a talented writer, with more to offer than the same book reprinted fifty-thousand times. Most of the reviews so far written for this book seem to have been written by the above-mentioned sort of fan. If these same people had opened their minds a bit, they might have noticed that "RANT" is one of Palahniuk's best books. The style is interesting--it is written in the "Oral Biography" tradition, which if you are unfamiliar with, has been done by many authors and is incredibly hard to do--and the story itself is complex and well done. Chuck does a great job of fleshing out the characters and giving them unique voices that seem authentic and remain consistent throughout the book. Anyone paying attention should have no trouble realizing who is who without having to reference the names over and over again. Sure, some of the stuff in the book is a little gross, but is that really a reason to give it a bad review? If you don't like gross stuff in your fiction, don't read ANYTHING by this author. But going on Amazon and saying a book sucks because it grossed you out is about as smart as saying television sucks because it offends you. You don't have to read this book, or watch television. Nobody will twist your arm. That said, I reccomend this book to anyone who likes to see a great author stretching his arms and experimenting a bit. The end result is definietely worth the price.

  14. 4 out of 5

    PUMPKINHEAD

    So far I've enjoyed everything from Chuck Palahniuk I've come into contact with, though fellow readers have warned me to stick to his earlier, and supposedly better, books (people don't seem to have much good to say about his last several offerings). Well, I took their advice and dove into RANT, a novel that many have raved about. And rave about it they should! This is one brilliantly twisted tale, full of all sorts of intrigue, shock, and awe. It reads at a great pace, and lures you along exper So far I've enjoyed everything from Chuck Palahniuk I've come into contact with, though fellow readers have warned me to stick to his earlier, and supposedly better, books (people don't seem to have much good to say about his last several offerings). Well, I took their advice and dove into RANT, a novel that many have raved about. And rave about it they should! This is one brilliantly twisted tale, full of all sorts of intrigue, shock, and awe. It reads at a great pace, and lures you along expertly. I went in relatively blind (which I find I'm doing more and more often with books these days), and I must admit I wasn't sure where the story was going for awhile, though it captivated me nonetheless and kept me glued to the pages. It's hard to describe what this story is about, and I think to say anymore would be giving away some great twists and surprising plot lines. Better if you just grab a copy and experience it for yourself. I will say this however: like the other stuff I've read by Chuck, RANT is a bit of everything. It's a bit thriller, a bit horror, a bit mystery, a bit comedy, a bit drama. It's also a bit sick, and a bit unexpectedly heartwarming too. This novel evoked all kinds of reactions and emotions from me; a rollercoaster reading experience. I find Palahniuk has that effect on me. I'm gonna try one of his later books, one called DAMNED, about a teenage girl in Hell. It sounds interesting. Hope it's as good as this one.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Wow. How can I possibly describe this book? Mediocre? Unfocused? Half-assed? I am a big fan of Palahniuk. I love Fight Club, Invisible Monsters, Survivor, Choke, Diary, and Lullaby. I even like Haunted a bit. I think he is great at picking some aspect of American Culture and flipping it over so it's soft white underbelly is clearly visible. Unfortunately, with Haunted, he appears to have developed a taste for the 'big gross-out.' Rant continues that trend. And what is worse is that the book is wri Wow. How can I possibly describe this book? Mediocre? Unfocused? Half-assed? I am a big fan of Palahniuk. I love Fight Club, Invisible Monsters, Survivor, Choke, Diary, and Lullaby. I even like Haunted a bit. I think he is great at picking some aspect of American Culture and flipping it over so it's soft white underbelly is clearly visible. Unfortunately, with Haunted, he appears to have developed a taste for the 'big gross-out.' Rant continues that trend. And what is worse is that the book is written in an oral history fashion that at it's best is merely distracting. At it's worst, it's damn confusing. I am still not exactly sure what the message of this book was supposed to be. It starts by spouting all the redneck/trailer trash stereotypes that the media is currently so fond of. I was hoping he was going to shine his penetrating insight on that and finally explain the fascination. No such luck. The second section of the book is a not-so-subtle jab at the current administration and the USAPatriot Act and the ever-exciting topic of epedimiology. This section flows better and is actually entertaining. The third section of the book is a metaphysical exploration of the subject of time travel that, while interesting, left me wondering WTF it had to do with the rest of the book? I've only read one one other book written in this style: 'Please Kill Me,' a history of the New York Punk scene in the mid-70s. It was a fascinating read. 'Rant' was not. I honestly can't recommend this book to anyone except die-hard Chuck Palahniuk fans. And to them I only recommend it in the hopes that someone who gets it can explain it to me.

  16. 4 out of 5

    rachael

    What an amazing Clusterfuck.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Wayne Barrett

    3.5 Is he the protagonist, or the antagonist? Good question about our Mr. Buster Casey, also known as 'Rant' which is also a pretty good description of this story. I mean, this thing is all over the place. To figure it out you might have to partake in some time traveling and still you'd be left with filtering facts from rabid infested party crashers with gold coins in their pockets and Christmas trees tied to the roofs of their cars. Still confused? You should be. After all, this is classic Palah 3.5 Is he the protagonist, or the antagonist? Good question about our Mr. Buster Casey, also known as 'Rant' which is also a pretty good description of this story. I mean, this thing is all over the place. To figure it out you might have to partake in some time traveling and still you'd be left with filtering facts from rabid infested party crashers with gold coins in their pockets and Christmas trees tied to the roofs of their cars. Still confused? You should be. After all, this is classic Palahniuk and with him, confusion can be a very entertaining experience.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Trin

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Yeah, I just read a Chuck Palahniuk book; I feel like I’m back in high school and should begin loudly listening to Garbage CDs and writing “I finally seem to be breaking out of his mold at least a little; I skipped reading Haunted because I wasn’t in the mood to be squicked, but what had been irritating me about all his previous books was that they all seemed the same. They all utilized a near-identical style of narratio Yeah, I just read a Chuck Palahniuk book; I feel like I’m back in high school and should begin loudly listening to Garbage CDs and writing “I <3 Spike” all over my notebook any second now. In fairness, Palahniuk does finally seem to be breaking out of his mold at least a little; I skipped reading Haunted because I wasn’t in the mood to be squicked, but what had been irritating me about all his previous books was that they all seemed the same. They all utilized a near-identical style of narration, just with different “choruses” thrown in. And I say this as someone who was totally obsessed with Fight Club (though more the film than the book) and still gets gleeful amusement out of her memories of Invisible Monsters. (Which was also the book that introduced me to the concept of “felching”! Chuck, you and Lauren Groff need to have a word.) Rant, presented in the style of an oral history, is not only quite different in its telling from Palahniuk’s previous books, it’s different from anything I’ve read in a long while. The myriad POVs are cool in that I always like to see characters through a variety of different perspectives. However, the character of Buster Casey, a.k.a. Rant, remains frustratingly obtuse. Palahniuk spends quite some time on his childhood, in which we are treated to lengthy descriptions of menstrual blood stains (mental category: did not need), and strangely less on his adulthood, though we do get lengthy descriptions of his ability to tell what his girlfriend last ate by licking her pussy (mental category: REALLY DID NOT NEED). Palahniuk certainly never runs out of new ways to shock and horrify. Unfortunately, that kind of thing was rather more tantalizing to me when I was in high school. However, like I said, I really did feel like Palahniuk was stretching himself a bit here; he’s got a sort of interesting time travel plot going on, and I actually really liked the characters of Shot and Echo, and the idea of the dystopian Daytimer/Nighttimer future society. So I guess where I think this book really suffers is in the simple fact that there’s just too much going on. I mean, just on the most basic level there’s: 1) Rant’s fucked up childhood, 2) rabies outbreak, 3) party crashing, 4) future dystopia, and 5) time travel—and these never stop being rather disparate things. Worse, as I mentioned before, Rant remains a total cypher. I think this book would have worked a thousand times better if he’d felt like a real, vibrant anti-hero. Instead, we get pages and pages of Rant the cunning linguist. (Seriously, WTF? Was that supposed to be sexy? Echo seemed to think it was sexy, and otherwise, she seemed almost sensible. I have some weird kinks myself, but OMG NO.) I loved the idea Palahniuk almost seemed to be reaching for toward the end, about the ways Echo and Shot and the other party crashers would remake the world, but it’s surrounded by so much muddle. Ultimately, this felt like the first draft of what could have been a legitimately incredible novel; as-is, it’s just kind of…confusing.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amanda NEVER MANDY

    I haven’t been loving Chuck books lately and it is not like me to keep coming back to something after it disappoints so many times in a row. I think it is the author’s voice that has me whipped. He has a way with words that is quite unique and I have not seen it repeated elsewhere. I love that he is able to stamp things his own with this writing style but that he is also able to step out of the box and try new things. The only negative is that I don't always love the end result. The reading jour I haven’t been loving Chuck books lately and it is not like me to keep coming back to something after it disappoints so many times in a row. I think it is the author’s voice that has me whipped. He has a way with words that is quite unique and I have not seen it repeated elsewhere. I love that he is able to stamp things his own with this writing style but that he is also able to step out of the box and try new things. The only negative is that I don't always love the end result. The reading journey I agreed to go with him on might suck but the man himself is fascinating. A guy by the name of Buster, known to everyone else as Rant goes from small town living to big city thriving. His love for toxic critter bites paves the way for quite an extraordinary but brief existence. This is the story of that life told by friends, family and anyone else that cares to speak. The beginning and middle of the read were interesting and fun, but the ending left a lot to be desired. The characters ran together and at one point I had to backread to figure out who was what because the thing I was relying on changed and it left me quite confused. If the momentum had carried this would have been a truly excellent read. Three stars to a book that was better than the last few but not as great as I wanted it to be.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Danya

    wow .. and can't really even begin to comment on this . Complete mindblower with a really sadistic and twisted view of our society ! Loved it !

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dane Cobain

    Rant is the first Palahniuk book that I’ve ever read, but it’s really turned me on to him as a writer – I can’t believe how exciting it was, and how vividly Palahniuk was able to show his semi-fictional world to us. Loosely speaking, it’s the story of Rant Casey, who’s described as “the man who may or may not be the most efficient serial killer of our time.” Rant is a crazy young man with an addiction to everything that’s base and degenerate – he deliberately allows himself to be bitten by poison Rant is the first Palahniuk book that I’ve ever read, but it’s really turned me on to him as a writer – I can’t believe how exciting it was, and how vividly Palahniuk was able to show his semi-fictional world to us. Loosely speaking, it’s the story of Rant Casey, who’s described as “the man who may or may not be the most efficient serial killer of our time.” Rant is a crazy young man with an addiction to everything that’s base and degenerate – he deliberately allows himself to be bitten by poisonous animals, and he can tell who a used tampon belongs to purely from the smell of it. Palahniuk’s novel is essentially a collection of reminiscences from Rant’s former friends, lovers, enemies and relations, assorted in to a roughly chronological order. As we read the novel, we feel like we get to know him just as much as they do. But the true genius in this novel is the way in which the unusual narrative style allows Palahniuk to build up a picture of his protagonist – it’s a rare case of when telling is showing, and when the strong dialogue of a whole host of peripheral characters manages to focus on a central character who we never actually meet. Considering Casey is effectively a walking version of the bubonic plague, that can only be a good thing. In fact, Rant is so good that I upped my rating of it from 8/10 to 9/10 while writing the review, purely because once I got started I remembered facets of the novel that I’d previously forgotten about. It does us all to have a little rant every now and then, even if it’s only about how good a book is. If the rest of Palahniuk’s work is this good then I’m in for a treat.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan K

    After reading Fight Club, which blew me away due to the innovate approach, I decided to read others, this one included. The authors attempt at telling the story via what he calls an oral biography is in my opinion, lame. Far too much back story via anecdotes from those who knew or were associated with the character, it meanders continually without continuity. You find yourself asking, when will the story begin? Rather than trudge through the incongruity, I decided to let sleeping dogs lie.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sonia

    Reading a book by Chuck Palahniuk is like learning to do something new. At first, you have no idea what is it about and you even may think of quitting, but then, slowly, it stars making sense and you make yourself keep reading hoping you will understand more and more (mostly because you like the way the book is written), so when you get to the end, you realize that at the beginning you HAD NO IDEA (and you feel good because is like being on top of the world now, but at the same time you want to Reading a book by Chuck Palahniuk is like learning to do something new. At first, you have no idea what is it about and you even may think of quitting, but then, slowly, it stars making sense and you make yourself keep reading hoping you will understand more and more (mostly because you like the way the book is written), so when you get to the end, you realize that at the beginning you HAD NO IDEA (and you feel good because is like being on top of the world now, but at the same time you want to punch yourself in the face cause you first felt like you were the most idiot person ever) Then you think you should read it again and understand some stuff you don't even know you've read but they're there, too deep or too wicked. The thing is that it doesn't matter how many times you read it, you feel like you keep missing things and you should read it over and over again, but they're just excuses. You're still ignoring a piece of the genius thoughts of Palahniuk and even tho you can read it like you're an expert, you still got some things that you'll never understand. The most unbelievable thing about this author's work is, that it doesn't matter how disgusting, or weird, or detestable are the characters, you still develop curiousness for them, and maybe a little, a little sympathy too. All this happened to me when I was reading fight club, and it's happening again. I don't feel bad anymore, I think these books are worth my time and the occasional thoughts that I'm a useless child that hasn't live enough don't make me so sad neither. The only thing I don't quite like about Palahniuk is that he always uses the same. Always sex, always depravation and it kinda bores me to a point. I mean, you can find a person interesting until you realize you don't want to know him to the point of feeling disgusted. You read ONE book and it may blow your mind a little, but when you read another one and you use the came characteristics, people start thinking there's no much in your repertory. I think that, even tho I liked this one a little (cause of the edgy characters, but not specially Buster), I may have too think it twice to read another one by C. Palahniuk

  24. 5 out of 5

    R.

    Rant kicked so much ass. Part of the joy is the idea of a car...with a flaming Christmas tree on top...flying through the air into a body of water...to the, you know, strains of Philip Glass' Violin Concerto II. Part of the joy comes from the fact this is the first third of a trilogy, apparently. Part of the joy is that the book is entirely a greatest-hits package of Chuck's strengths...remixed in the "oral biography" form. Like, like if Guns n' Roses wrote ten variations on "Sweet Child o' Mine" Rant kicked so much ass. Part of the joy is the idea of a car...with a flaming Christmas tree on top...flying through the air into a body of water...to the, you know, strains of Philip Glass' Violin Concerto II. Part of the joy comes from the fact this is the first third of a trilogy, apparently. Part of the joy is that the book is entirely a greatest-hits package of Chuck's strengths...remixed in the "oral biography" form. Like, like if Guns n' Roses wrote ten variations on "Sweet Child o' Mine" and handed the mastertapes over to...to Moby! Part of the joy comes from the main character deciding to break the habit of time...go back through it and save his mother from being killed (thereby creating the hole for a plot for one of the two other books). Part of the joy comes in receiving a Just Married bumper sticker in the mail for contacting Doubleday and telling them...in effect...that you were bit by a spider (or, what happens when you click on the spider at their promo site). Part of the joy comes in recognizing party-crashing culture in my own life...OK, you guys remember the night: I had my El Dorado all gassed up, and Dave--well-respeced R.A. Dave--was dressed up as a woman that some of us guys had dropped jaws and were like, "Dude. You're so hot, and that's not cool. Wow, uh, Dave. Wanna sit next to me?" and we went sharking through Spokane one street and the next, and the next with about six or seven people (three up front, four in the back?) blaring, at Lady Dave's request, an 8-track of Bing Crosby's Greatest Hits and Chella ended up flirting with a carload of boys and, finally, we all ended up at Denny's at 2 in the morning, fixing the local sports commentator's car (he didn't know how to change a tire, but between Carlos, Me, and Sean, we got it done), eating pie, drinking coffee, and watching Chella get uncomfortable around this new guy and, generally, probably, making the guy second-guess what was wrong with this chick that her friends were such an Addam's Family *snap-snap*.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shannon O'Mara

    Here's what happened as I read that book- I enjoyed it. Then I got angry. I enjoyed the pacing during the middle part that was mostly chronicling the party crashing, appreciating where he'd pulled inspiration- secret raves, art car culture, cruising culture, etc. I definitely picked up vibes of Ballard's Crash too- that almost became too obvious to me. I liked the overt political use of Night-timer vs. Daytimer. All of that, including the early history of Rant, was finely crafted storytelling. How Here's what happened as I read that book- I enjoyed it. Then I got angry. I enjoyed the pacing during the middle part that was mostly chronicling the party crashing, appreciating where he'd pulled inspiration- secret raves, art car culture, cruising culture, etc. I definitely picked up vibes of Ballard's Crash too- that almost became too obvious to me. I liked the overt political use of Night-timer vs. Daytimer. All of that, including the early history of Rant, was finely crafted storytelling. However. I lost my enthusiasm when he pulled out the Chuck trick. The one where he pulls the "now I'm going to make you suspend your disbelief and try to explain it away with some junky spiritual/scientific talk that I expect you to be too lazy to know anything about yourself and I bet you never saw this coming" crap. It worked fine in fight club but I guess that was too binary for him, because every trick he's pulled since seems to need more elements. Which only makes it- the trick- more convoluted to the good story line he's got going. I recognize this from Lullaby, Diary and Haunted. Once it happens I can't trust his storytelling and I read the rest of the book because I've committed a lot so far, but there's the pattern that I finish a Chuck book, at least the last quarter, very pissed off. I went from enjoying a fun set up to being pissed off and thinking, yeah yeah, will you just get me to your point and get over yourself? I know. I'm a super tough critic. But he's going to get that from me after making me endure his smug grossness in Haunted. I probably have to get over myself a little bit too, but until that happens, and until he can do a trick that's not so obvious to me, he and I are in a stalemate.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    Literary speaking... holy s***, Chuck Palahniuk! Holy s***! As I've read below I pressume this is what most of the people call 'punk'. Gotta type it at my favourites! Well... literary speaking:'This is an addiction!'. I am so ready for you Chuck Palahniuk, you have no idea! I will put my 'lack of words' on the back of my 'blown away mind', on my 'superdrugged electric-pinching synapses', 'teary of excitement eyes' and most of all on my 'HOLY MOTHER OF PIES'! I am so sad that I can give this book Literary speaking... holy s***, Chuck Palahniuk! Holy s***! As I've read below I pressume this is what most of the people call 'punk'. Gotta type it at my favourites! Well... literary speaking:'This is an addiction!'. I am so ready for you Chuck Palahniuk, you have no idea! I will put my 'lack of words' on the back of my 'blown away mind', on my 'superdrugged electric-pinching synapses', 'teary of excitement eyes' and most of all on my 'HOLY MOTHER OF PIES'! I am so sad that I can give this book a max. of only 5 stars. If you are still alive and you are reading this right now (I do not care how many stars you'll give this book in the end, how wrong I might be in thinking that you will adore it or how short this review is) read this book, like really! REALLY! P.S: I am kind of ashamed of my short review but some books are better left untold, but explored. If I put a word more about it, it will be like stealing a dose of your LSD... not too pleasant huh? When everything will be over I'll whisper an alluring: 'Trust me!'.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Trang Tran (Bookidote)

    OMG CHUCK DID IT AGAIN!! Through a whole of witnesses, you have to glue the pieces together to understand.. and then comes the ending and you're completely MINDBLOWN. Taboos, disgusting elements and the magic of dark humor, you'll find another book worth of Chuck's name. OMG CHUCK DID IT AGAIN!! Through a whole of witnesses, you have to glue the pieces together to understand.. and then comes the ending and you're completely MINDBLOWN. Taboos, disgusting elements and the magic of dark humor, you'll find another book worth of Chuck's name.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sara Zovko

    “History is nothing except monsters or victims. Or witnesses.” ― Chuck Palahniuk, Rant Besmisao života u svom punom sjaju.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    Chuck Palahniuk keeps disappointing me. Pros: I liked the way he told the story. It was odd, but I liked it. Cons: Everything else. There are some dark, sick and disturbing images described (which are to be expected since it is a Palahniuk book) but some stuff made me uncomfortable even reading. By the end of this book I was so thoroughly confused that I re-read it. It was clever but it seemed kind of pointless. By the last page you're not sure of anything and annoyed that you spent so much time Chuck Palahniuk keeps disappointing me. Pros: I liked the way he told the story. It was odd, but I liked it. Cons: Everything else. There are some dark, sick and disturbing images described (which are to be expected since it is a Palahniuk book) but some stuff made me uncomfortable even reading. By the end of this book I was so thoroughly confused that I re-read it. It was clever but it seemed kind of pointless. By the last page you're not sure of anything and annoyed that you spent so much time trying to figure out what the hell he was talking about.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Girish Gowda

    I'm at a loss. Tell me, should I rate it based on the experience of reading it or how it messed my entire afternoon after I finished it. What warrants fiction whatever the appraisal we readers give. Should I rate it low because of how harrowingly ambiguous Chuck is or high because how accurately ambiguous Chuck P is in this book. I'm so conflicted. The most engrossing book I've read all year.Period. But also the most painfully convoluted one. My brain still hurts, but that's good. Why even bother I'm at a loss. Tell me, should I rate it based on the experience of reading it or how it messed my entire afternoon after I finished it. What warrants fiction whatever the appraisal we readers give. Should I rate it low because of how harrowingly ambiguous Chuck is or high because how accurately ambiguous Chuck P is in this book. I'm so conflicted. The most engrossing book I've read all year.Period. But also the most painfully convoluted one. My brain still hurts, but that's good. Why even bother investing time in reading if it doesn't screw with your mind a little.

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