Katy-Del's Reviews > Rant

Rant by Chuck Palahniuk
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Jun 25, 08

Read in June, 2007

** spoiler alert ** I read Rant by Chuck Palahuik over the weekend. He is so good at having a book be one thing, until about two thirds the way through, and then, suddenly, it’s something else entirely. And then I have to go back to the beginning to re-read all the little clues I missed to figure out what the fuck really happened.

He must have really liked the way his last book, Haunted, used lots of different points of view, because the book is the oral history of a supposedly diseased man, named Rant Casey. In a maybe, not so distant future, Rant is named responsible for spreading a mutated form of serum resistant Rabies. So we are viewing his life from the multiple views of his parents, the kids he grew up with, the people who met him after he moved to the big city.

You are plunged into a reality where the people talking all know about “boosting” and “Party Crashing” and you have to pick up what they are talking about as they go along. And You aren’t given descriptions of these people, so there are a few that, after you feel like you have gotten to know them a bit, you suddenly realize they are vastly different than what you have pictured them as. I found that kind of disturbing, because, I had fleshed out a vision and voice for all the characters.


Then about two thirds of the way through, there started being talk of jumping back in time. Some combination of rabies and car crashes and whamp, there you are in the past. And the people who can prevent themselves from being born, are suddenly immortal, existing some how out of their own timeline. And it’s pretty easy that the man who raised Rant, is Rant. That the warning he gave him about getting back before the lunatic attacks his mom is a warning about getting back before he is conceived, not before she is killed after he has left home.

But the thing’s I am trying to figure out now are… Who is Green? Green is to young to be Rant again, so I think Green is an older Neddy. Neddy and Chet, aka older Rant disappear together near the end of the book. Does that mean that eventually Rant does prevent the tragic conceptions of himself, his mom and his grandmother? How many times does Rant jump backwards? According to the PI Rant hires when he moves to the big city. Chet worked in the city until 16 years before and then disappeared in a car crash (the one that killed Echo’s parents and left her with a partially paralyzing brain injury). That would have been when Rant was 3 or 4. Is that when he jumped backward and showed up to marry his own mother and help raise himself? So that’s at least twice. Unless Neddy is the kid he would have been if his mom had been single and moved to the city when he was young. But I got the feeling that Neddy is younger than Rant.

This book made my brain hurt. As you can see I keep trying to pick it apart, more and more.

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