Shannon's Reviews > Rant

Rant by Chuck Palahniuk
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Jun 13, 08

Read in June, 2008

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.
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mattyc This is EXACTLY my problem with his book. I like his writing style and his tone...etc etc....but then he always screws it up. The "twist" in this one just left so many inconsistencies. It makes me wonder if he actually reads them after he's done to make sure they are consistent within themselves.


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