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Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey by…
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Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey (2007)

by Chuck Palahniuk

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4,140851,721 (3.7)82
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English (82)  French (1)  German (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (85)
Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
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 |
The first third of the book, Rant's childhood, ham-handedly recalls Fight Club with its overlapping attractive/repulsive imagery, bio-chemical jargon and treatment of themes of consumerism, authenticity and masculinity. The second third has the most concise vision and direction; the characters are well developed, the pace benefits from Palahniuk omitting most of the self-analysis (we understand the points you're trying to make, Chuck) which bogs down the first and third sections. In this section, the multi-narrator structure provides nice texture and productive meanderings around the plot. Although the bulk of this section revolves around car crashes, they serve as a logical organizing principal for the story. Unfortunately, the final third falls apart. Palahniuk tries to revisit more ideas from Fight Club and his topical, leap-of-faith connection does everything to remind you how ridiculous the core of this story is. ( )
  michaeljoyce | Dec 4, 2017 |
Twenty pages into this book I had resolved never to recommend it to anybody. Two hundred pages in, I was still reading and occasionally laughing out loud. The last 50 pages ruined it.

This is an appalling but very together, funny read. Appalling because of the candid discussions of bodily parts, functions and activity which, frankly, tainted the book for me. I didn’t know about some of the things he describes and didn’t want to either. The removal of a relatively small amount of salacious material could have made this a book I’d recommend to my teenage kids for its madness and imagination, but frankly it stands no chance as published.

Black WidowThat said, this is an inventive and belly-achingly funny mocumentary about a dystopian world where people get their kicks joy-riding and knocking out each others’ cars according to a very strict code. All the characters are very weird, not the least Rant who is addicted to been bitten by poisonous creatures. Palahniuk manages to build up a picture of this world slowly and subtly in apparently disconnected snippets which gradually coalesce to produce a marvelously coherent whole. The parts are sown together from lots of separate, sometimes contradictory, testimonies so that the reader comes to feel he sees more of what is going on than the participants; the result is irony-laden. (I was disappointed that the author underestimated his readers’ intelligence and felt he needed to help them deal with the contradictions in an Author’s Note). Sadly, in the last few chapters, the story resolves into a complex and implausible time-travel story. I also had the feeling that the author rushed to finish it because the characters started to recount the story directly rather than letting it emerge from a more subtle web of not-obviously related accounts.

The writing is clever but not excellent. I found that no character had a distinctive voice so that almost anything said could have been said by any of them. Eventually, as connections form, one begins to get a feel for the personalities, but the absence of voice makes for a rather flat read. This is compensated for by the shock or surprise in every chapter so that I became more involved in observing the author’s cleverness than in getting inside the story.

Favourite Line:

Death and me, separated at birth

Verdict: I’ve enjoyed it the way one enjoys a very funny but rather coarse stand-up comedian; you feel embarrassed for laughing at such vulgarity, but it is funny. Definitely not literature. ( )
  tchelyzt | Jul 15, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 82 (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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Epigraph
Do you ever wish you'd never been born?
Dedication
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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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307275833, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:04 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

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.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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