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Rant: The Oral Biography of Buster Casey Kindle Edition
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.
—The Washington Post
“Brilliant. . . extremely fun. . . . With his love of contemporary fairytales that are gritty and dirty rather than pretty, Palahniuk is the likeliest inheritor of Vonnegut's place in American writing.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Mr. Palahniuk doesn't write for tourists. He writes for hard-core devotees drawn to the wild, angry imagination on display and the taboo-busting humor.”
—The New York Times
“Unpredictably hilarious. . . . The writing is vivid, raw, and mordantly knowing.”
“Truly unique. He writes at the edge of crazy, and you can feel his desperate urge to get at the truth of things.”
—The Seattle Times
“Twisted? Come on, it's Palahniuk. Impossible to put down? Same answer.”
“It's a rare novel that's as funny and as brain-bending as this one. Buckle up.”
—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“A white-knuckled what-if, Rant is the author's most idiosyncratic work to date.”
—The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“A strong dose of gore and sinewy prose.”
—Time Out New York
“So funny that your facial muscles soon tire.”
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B00199B2YO
- Publisher : Anchor; Reprint edition (May 6, 2008)
- Publication date : May 6, 2008
- Language : English
- File size : 2265 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 338 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #120,257 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on June 29, 2020
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Top reviews from the United States
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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.
Edit: Now that I've listened to this on audiobook, I have to say it has to be in my top 3 when it comes to Chuck Palahniuk. He's a great writer, and although some of his newer books (Tell All, Damned, Pygmy) were not that great, I'd have to say that this was his last great novel, as most of the books he has put out since this one were not up to the same quality. I had thought he was going to make this into a three-part series, but I'm still waiting on the next installment. I pray that he comes up with something a little more original for whatever book he writes next. This ranks behind Survivor and Fight Club IMO. The sad part is that it must be infinitely harder to keep publishing books every year like he has recently and I think it would be better if he took his time writing his novels so that some of them would be better.
A crazy book from Chuck that will make you question even the laws of time and space, and a whole host of other things. I also love the way he told it, as an oral biography. Although he made subtle hints at the whole time travel theme in the first few pages, it's pretty interesting some of the theories he has about it in the last third of the book. This guy is my favorite author, and he sure as hell makes you think when you read one of his crazy novels.
Top reviews from other countries
Rant is written in the style of an oral history, a collection of anecdotes about Buster "Rant" Casey, told by friends, family members and others who knew him. If you have read any of Palahniuk's work previously, then you know this is not going to be a straightforward tale with a happy ending. It is very weird from start to finish, and the ending left me wishing for a sequel.
As with most of his writing, this is not one to read if you are squeamish or faint hearted, but if you like your books on the dark side, you will most likely enjoy this one.
The story itself is unique and I really enjoyed it although I got confused with some aspects but then it made sense in the end.
First Chuck palaniuk book Ive read, since then. I have brought Snuff And I'm currently reading Fight Club Both I would Recommend especially Snuff.
If your familiar with Chuck palaniuk I'd recommend this book as it has his certain things that only he does. If your not familiar with him I would suggest any of his other titles as Rant is not a standard written novel Its paragraphs from different people so its like a long interview of people having their say.
But it's not just attack for attack's sake. The genius of Palahniuk's work - and of Rant in particular - is in the way it deals with the truly bizarre and uses it to raise questions in our minds about what is really possible. He asks, who says we can't do that? Yes, Rant is complicated, and occasionally shocking. However, look beyond all that and you'll find insights into the human condition, which, however disturbing and far-fetched they may be, are startlingly reminiscent of the truth. I enjoyed this book immensely and even found myself laughing out loud on a number of occasions at the sheer audacity of some of the story's twists.