Nicholas's Reviews > Rant

Rant by Chuck Palahniuk
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Jul 18, 2008

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bookshelves: biography-memoir
Read in July, 2007

** spoiler alert ** Pure Palahniuk. Good story. Hard to follow and end was sort of a cop out. The foreshadowing was good. and as usual the essence of the book is in the quotes.


Quotes:

"Anywhere you find yourself you can improve your skills."

"Despite the dreary scenery, it's all very sexual, these towns. It's only the individual who attains an early beauty and sexuality who becomes trapped here. The young men and women who acquire perfect breasts and muscles before they know how best to use that power, they end up pregnant and mired so close to home. This cycle concentrates the best genetics in places you'd never imagine. Like Middleton. Little nests of wildly attractive idiots who give birth and survive into a long, ugly adulthood. Venuses and Apollos. Small-town gods and goddesses. If Middleton has produced one remarkable product in the tedious, dull, dust history of this community that extraordinary product was Rant Casey."

"Life's greatest comfort is being able to look over you shoulder and see people worse off, waiting in like behind you."

"You're a different human being to everybody you meet."

"The future you have tomorrow won't be the same future you had yesterday."

"Some people are just born human. The rest of us, we take a lifetime to get there."

"We all have this moment, when you folks first see you as someone not growing up to be them."

"Times like that, you look like a failed experiment your parents will have to face for the rest of their lives. A booby prize. And you mom and dad, they look like a God too retarded to fashion anything better than you. You grow up to become living proof of your parent's limitations. Their less-than-masterpiece."

"Love is a skill you learn."

"Us lying to our folks, them lying to us, nobody wanted to admit to being the liar. Everybody got caught trapped in the same Tooth Fairy lie. You can get plenty of folks telling the same lie if they got a stake in it. You get everybody telling the same lie and it ain't a lie, not no more."

"Money you don't work to earn, you spend very quickly."

"Adults lying about the Tooth Fairy. Kids lying. Everybody knowing that everybody was lying. Then adults selling helium balloons for a hundred bucks to kids who didn't know any better. Adults stealing from kids, then merchants stealing from folks. Greed on top of greed. Cross my heart, the summer of the Tooth Fairy destroyed all credibility anybody had in Middleton. Since then, nobody's word stands up. To everybody, everybody else is a liar. But folks still smile and act nice."

"Folks really will sell you anything for the right price. And I learned a cash-bought merit badge ain't worth shit."

"He was trying to find something real in the world. Kids grow up connected to nothing these days, plugged in and living lives boosted to them from other people. Hand-me-down adventures. I think Rant wanted everybody to experience just one real adventure. As a community, something to bond folks."

"A child who is disillusioned abruptly, by his peers or siblings, being ridiculed for his faith and imagination, may choose never to believe in anything-tangible or intangible-again. To never trust or wonder. But a child who relinquishe the illusions of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, that child may come away with the most important skill set. That child ma recognize the strength of his own imagination and faith. He will embrace the ability to create his own reality. That child becomes his own authority. He determines the nature of his world. His own vision. And by doing so, by the power of his example, he determines the reality of the other two types: those who can't imagine, and those who can't trust."

"You are your own favorite hobby. You're an expert on you. All a good salesman doe is make eye contact, mimic your body language, nod or laugh or grunt to prove he's spellbound - those noises or gestures, they're called 'verbal attends.' A salesman only has to prove that he's just as obsessed with you as you are with yourself. After that, the two of you share a common passion: you. There's lots more comes after that: embedded commands, objection bridging, hot buttons, tie-down and add-on questions, control questions...you name it. And your truly effective salesman, he knows how to fake that he really, truly does give a shit."

"Most guys are keeping score with every lap of their tongue. Every time they come up for air, they're clocking your pleasure. And, lick for lick, you know this had better balance out with the pleasure you give them back. So, lick after lick, you never can relax and get off, not when you know that meter is always running. Every lick and investment in getting licked back. That's every guy-except Rant Casey. He's stick his tongue into you and years would pass. Mountains erode."

"'What seems to be the problem, Me. Casey?' And Rant doucks his head, his chin nodding down, he tilts his hips up, points with gin fingers of both hands at his crotch, where the zipper is tented, pointed, poked out so stiff you can see the silver teeth of the steel metal inside. 'Mr. Wyland, sir, I've had a serious erection here for going on two hours...As a fellow matured male, Mr. Wyland, you can appreciate the painful and potentially injurious nature of this situation."

"If we were talking about naturally sprung boners, that would be another kettle of fish. But there here were store-bought, chemically engineered woodies sprouted on purpose to disrupt the peaceful classroom environment."

"If some asswipe's handing over his time, he should get the train trip sweetened by having the whole mess rewitnessed through a Playboy Bunny on heroin. Morphine at least. Watch those boring, bullshit mountains roll past while zonked on opiates and fondling your own set of love-a-luscious titties. You want to wish the old man a happy Father's Day, that would be my gift of choice."

"There are regular people watching their lives squeezed down into dollars, all the hours and days of their life compressed the way the crumple zones of a car get sacrificed. The total hours of their waiting tables or sorting mail or selling shoes, it gets screwed down until they have enough money to pool and buy wheels. A wedding dress. String some tin cans and buy some shaving cream."

"Insisting that the journey is always a means to some greater end, and the excitement and danger of the journey minimized. Perpetuation the fallacy that the journey itself is of little value."

"Hidden inside that hard, polished paint and glass is another person just as soft and scared as you."

"There's worse ways to be dead than dying."

"What if reality is nothing but some disease."

"No matter what happens, it's always now...I think what Rant meant was, we live in the present moment of reality, and no matter what's come before, no matter how much we loved a person or a dog, when it attacks us we'll react to that moment of danger."

"Everyone wants to feel special-attain a special status among their peers-but not too special. Most kids only want to be special the same way their friends are special."

"How can you say Rant Casey overreacted? How's an intelligent person supposed to react when he discovers that he's merely the product of a corrupt and evil system? How do you continue to live after you learn that your every breath, every dollar you pay in taxes, every baby you conceive and love will only perpetuate some evil system? How do you live knowing your every cell and drop of blood are part of the big evil?"

"Maybe this is how any religious figure gets create-his friends brag him up, huger and huger, so they can get laid. You can picture St. Peter in a bar telling some pretty girl, 'Yeah, I hung with Jesus Christ. We were best buds..."

"Ask yourself: What did I eat for breakfast today? What did I eat for dinner last night? You see how fast reality fades away?"
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