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Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey (2007)

by Chuck Palahniuk

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4,359871,828 (3.68)84
After 21st century serial killer Buster "Rant" Casey dies in a fiery blaze of glory, three of his closest compatriots--a gang of urban demolition derby aficionados affiliated with a group calling themselves The Party Crashers--travel back to his hometown of Middleton to record an oral history of their fallen idol. Conducting interviews with Rant's family and childhood friends and enemies, they compile stories about Rant's fascination with vermin, the plague of rabies he unleashed on the world, the formation of the Party Crashers, and other legends surrounding America's newest and greatest celebrity mass murderer. But the question remains: "Who was Rant Casey?"… (more)
Recently added byprivate library, jstichler1, Lyssy, Polluxjones, m1chaelbj, oconnorsnider, tdwatson2, KinzieThings

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English (84)  French (1)  German (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (87)
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
At first, this novel looked pretty straight-forward. The subtitle of the book lays it all up. Buster Casey's life is opened wide by people who knew him and even by some who knew of him. So, what's special? I can't really write much without giving the plot up, which would lend itself to quite some internal stirring.

It's obvious that this book is written by the same person who wrote "Fight Club". Palahniuk's style, never avoiding, super-sizing or contrasting what's taboo in modern western society makes for very interesting reading where sex, death and The Nuclear Family are involved.

There are some quite substantial layers here. After 3/4 of the book everything was turned on its head. I thought I had this whole thing thought-out, but no! And then some.

At times, the dialogue feels as contrived and ham-fisted as if it were lifted from detective pulp fiction. At its best, it sails over the past, in more than one sense of the word, freeing the reader, making the plausible possible.

All in all, it's a very complex, finely written tale which is exciting, funny beyond time and rabid like some of its inhabitants. ( )
  pivic | Mar 20, 2020 |
Wow. My husband asked me what this book was about. I told him that it was about a poor rural kid who moves to a city. In the same way that Fight Club is about a guy who doesn't like his job. He saw the movie, so he kind of understands.

Palahniuk has moved into my favorite authors category. I am devouring his books. I'm taking a break and then going back to them. ( )
  authenticjoy | Mar 29, 2019 |
You know, I thought I'd lost all interest in [a:Chuck Palahniuk|2546|Chuck Palahniuk|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1264506988p2/2546.jpg] and his writing after being disappointed one too many times. Hell, my review of [b:Geek Love|13872|Geek Love|Katherine Dunn|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1366699063s/13872.jpg|1474375] should affirm that I'd gotten pretty tired of the shock writing of the late 90s and early 2000s. Nevertheless, I enjoyed [b:Rant|22285|Rant|Chuck Palahniuk|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1320410097s/22285.jpg|2902758] and have a tiny bit of hope that reading more [a:Chuck Palahniuk|2546|Chuck Palahniuk|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1264506988p2/2546.jpg] won't disappoint me.

[b:Rant|22285|Rant|Chuck Palahniuk|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1320410097s/22285.jpg|2902758], to put it bluntly, was extremely fun satire. While trying too hard at several points, the overall wry commentary continued to be entertaining rather than overbearing for the most part. The story itself was interesting, though the ending did leave me a bit cold and could have been better presented.

As an oral biography, the book did well. The interviews with the Car Salesman helped to further establish the differences in the voices, and they didn't sound overly repetitive to me. The nature of the unreliable narration was also interesting to explore, and the entire idea of biography writing in general was fascinating to me.

So, as a literary experiment I think Rant worked quite well. As an entertaining read I think Rant worked. As an amazing piece of literature? Well, it suffers where Chuck tends to suffer in terms of creating something wholly believable and poignant. Still, I don't regret giving old Chuck another try. Maybe he is still for me. Maybe it just helped that I'd read and enjoyed [b:Sirens of Titan|4982|The Sirens of Titan|Kurt Vonnegut|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1340744277s/4982.jpg|905970] so close to this one. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
It was weird and completely unexpected from Palahniuk. But as usual, he fails to disappoint. ( )
  chikadee09 | Dec 27, 2017 |
The book tries too hard to be hip. ( )
  LaurelPoe | Dec 25, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
At its best, Palahniuk’s prose has the rat-a-tat immediacy of a bravura spoken word performance. When he misses, which he does often in “Rant,” it’s just overcooked and indulgent.
An altogether more complex novel than that earlier faux-Nietzschean call to arms, this ‘Rant’ is anything but.
His latest novel, Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey, is even more ambitious, but here Palahniuk's swirl of characters and plotlines never gels, and the story lurches dangerously toward incoherence.
added by stephmo | editThe Washington Post, Joe Hill (May 20, 2007)
Reading the latest Chuck Palahniuk novel is an invariably gripping, always disturbing, and -- more and more often -- ultimately disappointing experience.
added by stephmo | editBoston Globe, Kevin O'Kelly (May 16, 2007)
There is no question that Palahniuk is an important writer, with a huge popular following. But as his conceits grow ever more ludicrous, his books become more like art-statements than novels. The plot of Rant is so overheated it approaches self-parody, and occasionally trivialises what are clearly serious concerns.
added by stephmo | editThe Independent, Matt Thorne (May 13, 2007)

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Do you ever wish you'd never been born?
For my father, Fred Leander Palahniuk. Look up from the sidewalk. Please.
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Like most people, I didn't meet and talk to Rant Casey until after he was dead.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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