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Rant by Chuck Palahniuk

Rant (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Chuck Palahniuk (Author), Various (Narrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,942831,303 (3.69)81
Authors:Chuck Palahniuk (Author)
Other authors:Various (Narrator)
Info:Recorded Books (2007)
Collections:Read in 2015, Read
Tags:Read but unowned

Work details

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


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English (80)  French (1)  German (1)  Italian (1)  All (83)
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
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 |
Palahniuk's distinctive style guarantees a good read but also feels repetitive and at times forced. His stylistic reliance on convoluted storytelling becomes tedious rather than mysterious and a familiarity with his other works leads to a disappointing predictability. ( )
  bensdad00 | Jan 10, 2017 |
2007 ( )
  ChrisPisarczyk | Mar 17, 2016 |
This is a strange, strange book. I'm not exactly sure what it's about - You get time travel, Party Crashing (Demo Derby on the streets), "night" and "day" people, and Rabies - all told in a style of people being "interviewed" about the main, character, "Rant".

This is one of those books that I think you will feel strongly about. The writing was spot on - but it is so difficult to figure out what was happening. Also, the dichotomy of the city vs the rural small town was difficult to figure out. Based on the first part of the book, I made the assumption that it was set in the 1960's or 70's. But, the way the city was set up - a bit of dystopian city vibe going, with the residents in the city divided into classes who can only move during night or day, to keep crowds manageable - it was very odd.

The secondary story about Rabies - I really don't get it. Maybe there isn't anything to get. I just don't know. But the book is complete, all is explained, and it ends in a way that makes, sense kind of.

So - Did I like it? I'm not sure. I found it intriguing - but also found it distasteful. A bit uncomfortable. I won't be reading it again - but I will keep an eye out for this author. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Jan 2, 2016 |
4.5 stars ( )
  BooksOn23rd | Nov 25, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 80 (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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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)

(summary from another edition)

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