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Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey

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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.

320 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2007

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About the author

Chuck Palahniuk

178 books127k followers
Written in stolen moments under truck chassis and on park benches to a soundtrack of The Downward Spiral and Pablo Honey, Fight Club came into existence. The adaptation of Fight Club was a flop at the box office, but achieved cult status on DVD. The film’s popularity drove sales of the novel. Chuck put out two novels in 1999, Survivor and Invisible Monsters. Choke, published in 2001, became Chuck’s first New York Times bestseller. Chuck’s work has always been infused with personal experience, and his next novel, Lullaby, was no exception. Chuck credits writing Lullaby with helping him cope with the tragic death of his father. Diary and the non-fiction guide to Portland, Fugitives and Refugees, were released in 2003. While on the road in support of Diary, Chuck began reading a short story entitled 'Guts,' which would eventually become part of the novel Haunted.

In the years that followed, he continued to write, publishing the bestselling Rant, Snuff, Pygmy, Tell-All, a 'remix' of Invisible Monsters, Damned, and most recently, Doomed.

Chuck also enjoys giving back to his fans, and teaching the art of storytelling has been an important part of that. In 2004, Chuck began submitting essays to ChuckPalahniuk.net on the craft of writing. These were 'How To' pieces, straight out of Chuck's personal bag of tricks, based on the tenants of minimalism he learned from Tom Spanbauer. Every month, a “Homework Assignment” would accompany the lesson, so Workshop members could apply what they had learned. (all 36 of these essays can currently be found on The Cult's sister-site, LitReactor.com).

Then, in 2009, Chuck increased his involvement by committing to read and review a selection of fan-written stories each month. The best stories are currently set to be published in Burnt Tongues, a forthcoming anthology, with an introduction written by Chuck himself.

His next novel, Beautiful You, is due out in October 2014.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,201 reviews
Profile Image for Shannon.
546 reviews97 followers
November 13, 2014
I can't do it. I can't finish this book. Usually Palahniuk creates fairly unsympathetic characters, as in this book, and that I'm used to. Because it WORKS; the plot-lines of his books are always ridiculous in a totally fascinating way, which makes up for the stupid characters. However, Rant bored the fuck out of me. I tried. I read more than half and I do not care about this nutjob guy and his rabies and his slobbering all over the ladies, or the driving around in cars being obnoxious or whatever other bullshit he's engaging in. Seriously, the ONE nice thing I can say about Palahniuk's writing is that it's amusing. It's all about as deep as a kiddie-pool (FILLED WITH PEE) but at least it's interesting. So this book fails in the one arena that Palahniuk is totally capable of: being morbidly amusing.

Also: in the first like.. 10 pages or so.. he managed to work in: used maxi pads, black widow bites, rabies... I don't know, I forget now, but I'm pretty sure semen and excrement was in there too.

See what you have reduced me to, Palahnkuik? I have mentioned pee, semen, and feces in this review of my DISLIKING of your stupid book. BEING DISGUSTING IS NOT BEING EDGY. For either one of us.

Stop writing books, Palahniuk. I put a pox upon you. (I will take the pox off when you stop writing like a caricature of yourself and actually develop some substance rather than relying on shock-value and things that only a hipster dbag would find meaningful).

Grade: F+ (Plus because I like the cover design).

Edit: I realize I misspelled his name a few times in this review but: suck it, Palalalahiuk and all Palankik fans. It's your punishment (respectively) for pandering to hipsters/being a trendy hipster. Also.. I think I will have to actually go back and read this in its entirety someday. Because I'm still a bit curious. But.. someday. I'm too much of an elitist bitch to be able to enjoy it right now.

Profile Image for Baba.
3,530 reviews790 followers
May 12, 2022
Yet another great piece of original and innovative fiction by Chuck Palahniuk, as he constructs an 'oral history' of the life and times of Buster 'Rant' Casey; this is a dark pseudo-science horror, slash off-key comedy, told in excerpts using the transcripts of interviews from people whose lives Rant had crossed. A Palahniuk masterclass in twisted fiction. 8 out of 12.

2013 read
Profile Image for Jen.
25 reviews4 followers
July 20, 2007
I'm not a Chuck P fan simply because he is "edgy" or because I get off on the so-called depravity of his often violent and sexual themes. I know a few folks like that. What I enjoyed most about this book was the structure, the measured reveal. Based on the oral tradition, each chapter is composed of brief statements from a cast of dozens. Individually, these narrators are hopelessly unreliable, but taken together they form a whole picture that is more true than any single testimony could be. (I'm a sucker for an unreliable narrator, so give me a couple dozen and I'm in heaven.)

Some critics accuse the author of choosing gruesome subject matter for shock value, but (in this book, at least) I found the weaving of those violent themes to be compelling rather than repugnant.

Another aspect I appreciated was the inclusion of "experts" whose testimonies were full of academic and theoretical pontifications. I think that was Chuck poking fun at himself and his "edgy" reputation.
Profile Image for Laurie  (barksbooks).
1,706 reviews661 followers
April 4, 2012
WTF did I just read and why did I finish it? This book is a mish-mash of narrators, grossness, time travel, car crashes, a rabies plague, segregation and dull characters. I kept hoping it would improve and then it was just over.

This story somewhat follows a dull-witted character named Buster or Rant (as he's better known) who gets off on catching rabies. His attraction to pain and rabies eventually leads to a rabies plague. The story is told from the various and far too many points of view of people who stumbled across “Rant” during his life. In this world people are either “daytimers” or “nighttimers”. The two don't mix, they have curfews and are fined if they break 'em. The problem here, besides 20 too many narrators, is that they all have different opinions about what Rant did or didn’t do and it's hard to discern what is truth, lie or confusion. It took many a rewinding before I just let the frigging thing go and then things started to gel somewhat.

From what I can gather Rant grows up in a stereotypical small white-trashy town which appears to be the dumping ground for unwanted dogs, tampons and used condoms. Somehow he has a superhuman sense of smell and can sniff out a soiled condom or tampon and know from whom it once belonged to. Now that’s a talent there I’ll never envy. Lucky for Rant there seems to be lots of them floating about in this town as the “sex tornado” hits constantly and strews everyone’s gross trash hither and fro. This book is gross for no other than to ick out the reader. This is fine if the book is fun but it's not. It's boring and the characters unsympathetic.

So what did I learn? Rant, our dashing lead whom all the woman later adore, spends his toddlerhood picking his nose when he’s supposed to be napping, rolling it into black balls of goo and sticking it on the wall above his head. Did I really need to know that? He "inoculates" himself with venom from various critters and rabid animals at an early age. When he reaches his teens he can not only sniff out the owner of a tampon but he gets a close looksee at most of the female genitalia in town and can name the previous owner of every bloody tampon he finds littering his yard simply by its “shape”. There are some things we never need to know about a person. Seriously.

The book then rambles about with more people adding their two cents about mostly boring bits of Rant/Buster's life as he purposely infects himself with rabies and then spreads the infection all about. And then time travel enters the picture and my brain explodes.

I like weird books but they have to be interesting. This one just wasn't.
Profile Image for HaMiT.
163 reviews23 followers
November 14, 2020
میخواین یه ریویوی کوتاه و موزون بگم؟

چـــــــاک چـــــــاک
وات عه سیک فاک

جدا از شوخی چه کتاب عجیب غریب و وقیحی بود. از اون کتاب‌هایی که وقتی دارید میخونید پیش خودتون میگین این یه کتاب عادی نیست و حتی نمیتونم ژانر کتاب رو تشخیص بدم. ترسناک، دیستوپیا، جنایی، طنز؟ شاید بیشتر از همه علمی-تخیلی باشه ولی مطمئن نیستم
دیگه کل عالم و آدم پالانیک رو از اون کتابی که نباید قانون اول و دوم رو در موردش بشکنم، میشناسیم و این کتابم شباهت زیادی بهش داشت
یه شخصیت اصلی که دشمن سبک زندگی عادیه و دنبال یه واکسن برای روزمرگی می‌گرده، یه گروه یا فرقه‌ی ضدهنجارهای جامعه به اسم شب‌زنده‌داران که شبها با کوبوندن ماشین‌هاشون به همدیگه و تجربه‌ی نزدیک به مرگ، حس تولدی دوباره پیدا میکنن، اجتماعی رو به نابودی
همون لحن انتقادانه نسبت به مذهب، فرهنگ، سیاست، اجتماع و کوفت و زهرمار
و صد البته مایندفاک بودن

خلاصه‌ای که از کتاب نوشته شده حالا چه برای نسخه‌ی فارسی یا انگلیسی، خیلی گمراه کننده‌اس
من انتظار داشتم که برم یه کتاب در مورد یه شخصیتی مثل اد کمپر یا جان دو بخونم ولی چیزی که درگیرش شدم کاملا با تصوراتم فرق میکرد
بنظرم بهترین خلاصه‌ی داستانی که میشه نوشت رو پدر باستر کیسی همون سه چهار صفحه‌ی اول کتاب توی یه گفتگو با یه شخصیت دیگه میگه که با مقداری دستکاری متن براتون مینویسم

- بلیت هواپیما چقدر برات آب خورد؟
- پنجاه دلار یه بلیت دو طرفه. بهش میگن کرایه‌ی سوگ
- امکان نداره، هیچ بلیتی اینقدر ارزون پات در نمی‌آد. چطوری همچین قیمتی نصیبت شده؟
اولی کاری که باید بکنی اینه که از تیمارستان روانی‌ای که توش زندونی شدی فرار کنی. تو جاده‌های فرعی سواری مفتی بگیری، نباید هیچ چیز دیگه‌ای جز پاپوش پلاستیکی و روپوش کاغذی پشت باز به تن داشته باشی. باید همه‌اش یه ثانیه دیرتر برسی تا نتونی منحرف سابقه‌داری رو که به زنت و همینطور مادرت تعرض کرده گیر بندازی. باید پسری رو که از اون تعرض به عمل او��ده بزرگ کنی، پسری که یه انبار تمام از دندون‌های قدیمی و دورانداخته‌ی مردم جمع میکنه. بچه‌ی دیوونه‌ات بعد از دبیرستان میزنه به چاک و وارد فرقه‌ای میشه که فقط شب‌ها سروکله‌شون بیرون پیدا میشه. ماشینش رو هزار بار چپ میکنه و بعد از اون با یه جور هرزه‌ی تقریباً نصفه‌ونیمه میریزن رو هم. در طول این راه بچه‌ات جرقه‌ی طاعونی رو میزنه که هزاران نفر رو میکشه. شیوع وسیعی که کار رو به حکومت نظامی و تهدیدی برای سرنگونی رهبران جهان میکشه. و سر آخر پسرت داخل جهنم بزرگ و شعله‌ور و سوزانی، درست جلوی چشم همه‌ی آدمهای دنیا که از تلویزیون صحنه رو تماشا میکنن، جون میکَنه. به همین سادگی. بعد وقتی میری که جنازه‌اش رو برای خاکسپاری تحویل بگیری شرکت هوایی قیمت ویژه‌ی ارزونی پای بلیتت میزنه

و از اینجا به بعد راوی‌های داستان از جمله دوستان و خونواده یا شخصیت‌هایی که به طرق گوناگون به رنت مرتبط هستند شروع به تعریف کردن اتفاقات مختلف میکنن
اینم بدونید که کتاب به صورت مصاحبه‌طور نوشته شده و هر شخصیت بین یک تا ده خط صحبت میکنه و راوی تند تند عوض میشه. تعداد کل راوی‌ها هم فکر میکنم بیشتر از ده نفر باشه و خیلی وقت‌ها ممکنه فکر کنید دارن حرف بی‌ربط میزنن ولی همه‌ی اون موضوعات در ظاهر بی‌ربط هم در انتها بهم وصل میشن. پس با توجه به این موضوعات باید آدم صبوری باشید
در مورد نسخه‌ی فارسی هم باید بگم لابد این همه سانسور و سلاخی کردن کتاب‌ها هم تقصیر تحریم‌هاست
ترجمه‌ی کتابی که چندین راوی متفاوت داره که هرکدوم با لحن خاص خودشون حرف میزنن و همچنین اصطلاحات علمی متنوع در مورد ویروس، بیماری، اپیدمی و زمان داره، کار راحتی نیست و بنظرم مترجم از عهده‌ی این کار برامده و میشد زحمتی که برای کتاب کشیده رو حس کرد و حاصلش یه ترجمه‌ی روون و خوب شده بود
با این حال نمیتونم خیلی راحت ترجمه‌اش رو بهتون پیشنهاد بدم
پالانیک در مورد موارد جنسی راحته و سکس یا تجاوز رو با جزئیات بعضاً منزجرکننده تعریف میکنه. مترجم هم تمام تلاشش رو کرده بود تا منظور رو برسونه ولی بازم به کتاب ضربه خورده بود
حالا یا باید انگلیسی بخونید یا مثل من هر دو نسخه‌ی فارسی و اصلی جلوتون باز باشه
Profile Image for Cesare Cantelli.
42 reviews1,637 followers
February 5, 2021
Tutto molto bello finché non mi diventa un “fantastica avventura misto fuck off jesus christ con una punta di fast and furious” e allora ci rimango male.
Profile Image for Matt Quann.
616 reviews377 followers
May 25, 2019
Chuck Palahniuk is the literary equivalent of punk rock. In a book that pulls on varied and important themes, Rant: An Oral History of Buster Casey manages to feature an exceptionally peculiar storyline that never stops at its primary goal: being a hell of a good time. This is a book that deals with important topics, like religion and the meaning of life, but doesn't keep itself neatly organized and stacked with pristine white pages. Instead, Rant is a beautiful book with pages askew that just happens to be covered in the dirt and slime of real life.

Pulling on the underused oral biography format, Palahniuk is able to fully flesh out a huge cast of characters and an immense story in a relatively quick read. Essentially, this is a novel with the long expositional passages replaced with non-stop dialogue. It is initially jarring, but this novel pulls from a history of stories being told conversationally. The format of oral history reinforces the themes of the novel: the development of fame and legend through, essentially, word of mouth, while also being a stylistic and enjoyable experience.

The plot? Honestly, I don't even want to talk too much about what happens in Rant. There is a lot of joy in not knowing what you are in for. The novel is roughly divided into three acts, and each one plays on a different part of our main character's (Buster "Rant" Casey) life. This novel never stays stagnant, and moves with the speed of a Party Crashing vehicle on a collision course.

All the same, on this second read, it had me flipping back to the start to pick up the trail of candy crumbs (pill capsules?) Palahniuk has deftly interwoven for a stellar finish. This novel is sci-fi, in that it is set in the future, but doesn't use its genre moorings as a crutch. "Rant" is a character study through and through. Oh, and its weird. As in, some of the weirdest stuff you may have ever read in a novel.

Bottom line, you aren't going to read many books as unique or as much fun as Rant. There's other stuff too, but don't read up about it, go in clean. You'll come out dirty, but you'll have been highly entertained in the process.
Profile Image for ☆LaurA☆.
189 reviews57 followers
March 27, 2023
Da DRVR Radio Traffico Esplicito:* Brutte notizie per chi viaggia sulla Milano Lecco in direzione nord. Una fiat 500 si è fermata di colpo facendosi tamponare da una decina di macchine che, sfortunatamente per loro,le stavano dietro.
La conducente è in stato di shock.
I paramedici del vagone carne ci dicono che la donna di trentasette anni al volante sta blaterando qualcosa su di un libro che ha letto; la pressione sanguigna è alle stelle, sta avendo un attacco di cuore. Torneremo con altri aggiornamenti fra un quarto d'ora. DRVR Radio Traffico Esplicito: perché noi sappiamo cosa volete vedere...

*☆LaurA☆ (Party Crasher☾)*
Io Rent non lo conoscevo,ma avrei voluto tanto farlo. Rant Casey non era cattivo. Era più come se cercasse di trovare qualcosa di vero.
Al giorno d'oggi i bambini crescono isolati da tutto, passano il loro tempo connessi e vivono vite incanalate per loro da qualcun altro. Avventure di seconda mano. Rant voleva solo che tutti quanti vivessero almeno un'avventura come si deve. Come una comunità. Qualcosa che legasse le persone.

Chuck Palahniuk o lo ami o lo odi e ne ho avuto conferma con questo libro.
Per qualcuno è puro trash, schifezza, perdita di tempo....si sto parlando con te.
Ma bisogna saper guardare dentro a queste storie, viverle.
Ma facciamo la seria per una volta, magari ti faccio cambiare idea!

Rabbia si sviluppa in una trama complessa e ricca di sottotrame.
Il romanzo ruota tutto attorno alla bizzarra figura di Buster "Rant" Casey, ragazzo sociopatico figlio della tipica famiglia americana di provincia. Rant si dedica a una strana abitudine: ama farsi mordere da qualsiasi genere di animale purché velenoso o infetto . Diventa così immune a tutti i veleni, e si trasforma in una sorta di veicolo di contagio senziente della rabbia, che propaga tra i suoi amici dediti al gioco del party crashing.
Si tratta di un gioco nel quale i partecipanti si scontrano con la macchina, cercando di fare più danni possibile.
Il gioco si svolge di notte, e i partecipanti fanno parte della sfera sociale dei notturni, separata da quella dai diurni in un'ambientazione molto cyberpunk, per via degli innesti neurali che tutti i partecipanti hanno per "introdurre" emozioni artificiali, in una sorta di "droga cibernetica".

Una trama contorta e delirante.
Forse anche troppo, e in effetti capita di perdersi nelle spirali visionarie di Palahniuk durante la lettura.

Una discesa nella follia collettiva contagiata dalla rabbia, e guidata dalla figura di Rant, che man mano si fa sempre meno chiara e sempre più velata di leggenda. E sullo sfondo di questa società atrofizzata (un po' futuristica ma assolutamente odierna) il party crushing, violenta forma di rifiuto di tutte le regole, rituale dell'autodistruzione compiuto di notte, quando i "diurni", la gente per bene, non esce di casa.

Sicuramente un libro non semplice da digerire, come tutti quelli di Palahniuk, ma assolutamente affascinante, con una trama originale, uno stile fuori dal comune, e una critica al mondo e al sistema.

Un altro meraviglioso, scintillante antieroe. O il più spietato criminale della nostra epoca? Agiva secondo un piano preciso, o forse era del tutto folle? Rant è morto in un incidente nel tentativo di perseguire i suoi piani diabolici.O di salvare sua madre? Forse è stato ucciso, capro espiatorio e vittima del sistema. O magari si è suicidato, per la follia causata dal virus della rabbia? O per trascendere la natura umana mortale ancorata allo spazio ed al tempo? Forse invece Rant ha soltanto fatto perdere le sue tracce. È ancora vivo, come Elvis Presley e Jim Morrison. O magari è risorto, come Gesù Cristo. Ma forse è solo una leggenda, una storia che raccontiamo noi che gli siamo sopravvissuti: un mito, un martire per l'umanità.
Forse Rant non era... cazzuto e in gamba come ce lo ricordiamo. Forse è così che si creano le figure religiose. Sono i loro amici che ne cantano le lodi, ingigantendole, al solo scopo di rimorchiare. Me lo immagino san Pietro in un bar, mentre dice a una bella ragazza: «Sì, io Gesù Cristo lo conoscevo. Eravamo amicissimi...».

E dalla vostra Laura qualcosa è tutto. Non credo vi terrò aggiornati mai più su questa storia! È tutto troppo assurdo, no di più
Profile Image for Megs ♥.
160 reviews1,281 followers
February 15, 2012
What the hell?

Let me first say I love Chuck P. I love his usually disturbing stories and weird characters. I don't mind the fact that he seems a little crazy, and I don't mind all of the sex he writes about. I also don't mind the gory/gross factor. I like him!

This book was just bad in my opinion. Maybe if I knew it had an amazing ending I could have pushed through the last half, but after the first half of this book I realized I didn't care at all about Buster, or his story. So I stopped reading. This book seemed to be over the top in grossness which seemed like he was relying on pure shock value. I also didn't much enjoy the writing in oral history fashion, but he made it clear this is how it was going to be since page one so that's my own fault.

I'm giving this two stars instead of one, because I so always enjoy his humor, and it's present in this book again. The writing is still good, I just found the story lacking.

I don't think I would recommend this book to anyone.

I want to read another Chuck P. book right away, so that this isn't the last experience in my mind...Not sure which one to move onto next, though.
Profile Image for Kemper.
1,390 reviews6,745 followers
November 1, 2011
This is the story of a small town hell raiser named Buster ’Rant’ Casey who did some slightly unusual things when he was growing up like collecting bucketfuls of his classmate’s teeth. Young Rant also angers more animals than Steve Irwin so that they’ll bite him and infect him with rabies which he deliberately spreads to his class mates. After he grows up and moves to the city, Rant joins a disenfranchised part of society forced by law to stay in their homes during the day and who get their kicks by crashing cars into each other. After his spectacular fiery death, the government labels him a bio-terrorist who unleashed a deadly outbreak of rabies while others claim that Rant may have had a larger destiny than anyone can imagine.

And that’s not even the weirdest or most twisted part of the story…

This is my second favorite Chuck Palahniuk novel after Fight Club. Rant’s story is told as an oral history by a variety of friends and enemies. The mishmash of weird anecdotes about a guy who seems to be completely fucked in the head eventually coalesce into a wild narrative that almost makes an audible click as the story starts locking together.

Like all of Chuck P.’s books, it’s disturbing and gory and gross and funny and definitely not for the faint of heart or easily offended. As soon as I finished it the first time a few years ago, I knew I’d come back to it again because this is one of those story where knowing the ending gives you a whole different spin on things your second time through.
Profile Image for Stephen M.
137 reviews594 followers
January 2, 2013
A Brief Caveat

It feels somewhat strange and almost in bad taste to be reviewing a Chuck Palahnuik book because this just happened. (If you don’t want to search through the link: Paquita (one of the coolest peeps on Goodreads) made mention of the fact that Chuck P. had recommended the book she had just read and if she had known that, then she probably wouldn’t have read the book because she doesn’t care much for the stylings of Mr. Palahniuk. Enter a crazed, rabid fan of Chuck P. who starts criticizing Paquita’s tastes. A bit of witty banter ensues which leads to the most insane, misogynistic troll tirade I’ve ever seen. That crazed fan was promptly shouted down by a loyal troll-fighting clan of goodreaders but then several sock-puppets joined in on the bashing). I’d like to leave all that emotional baggage at the door and continue this review as if none of this happened and attempt to address the book and its author on their own terms.

Introductionary Quote, S.penkevich Style, to Set the Mood/Thematic Weight

“Me and Death, separated at birth”


I’m drawing from an extremely small sample-size, but there seems to be a positive correlation between my fellow literature lovers and those who dislike the cut of Palahniuk’s jib. The opposite seems to be true as well: I know several people who fashion themselves as “casual readers” but still “love to read Chuck Palahniuk; haven’t you read Fight Club? It’s the greatest thing ever, dude!”

It seems natural for a person such as myself then to associate the two together and draw a larger conclusion, given the data presented, that Chuck P., while very well being a good writer for the plebeians, may not be the writer that I could ever get into, only one about whom I could have a full-arms-extended appreciation and to which I could say “well, I certainly see the appeal, but it’s not my cup of tea”. Zounds! Induction be damned, because I’m here to say that I straight-up loved this book. Sure, it’s not perfect. Sure, he is “pulp” in a certain sense. Sure, he wears his Vonnegut/Pynchon inspiration on his sleeve but the guy still knows a thing or two about writing that I think we all can appreciate, hold hands and sing kumbaya to.

Plot Summary

This book centers around the enigmatic figure of Buster “Rant” Casey, a character that is involved in a variety of juvenile activities as a child and eventually joins a group of people called “nighttimers” that participate in party crashing (not what you’re thinking here. The act of “party crashing” involves tagging a target car and allowing everyone else to attack said targeted car in an attempt to destroy it/the people inside).

Writing Style

The book is told in “oral biography” format, which means that the book is a series of interviews with all the people in Rant’s life, as they talk about all of his misadventures and shenanigans. The only person who doesn’t get a voice is Rant himself . For anyone who’s read The Savage Detectives this should probably sound familiar. In fact, it was very difficult at first to not think of Señor Belaño during this whole book and compare and contrast their differences. While SD is a sprawling masterpiece, filled with tons of side stories and with every last conceivable minutiae about its characters detailed in long paragraph chunks, Rant is a much more focused piece of writing. The chapters are much shorter. The characters are consistent and there are very few un-introduced characters through the middle and end.

A Brief Digression about Bolaño

At first, I longer for Bolaño’s sprawling, all-encompassing style. SD just covers so much ground. As I wrote about in my review, he is able to dissect an entire cultural/literary movement through the eyes of everyone that came into contact with his two main characters. You got a sense for an entire era of intellectuals and bourgeoning writers and most importantly, each character that is interviewed gets a long time to talk. A lot of the character’s monologues had short story length. Thus, the novel took on that “whole-composed-of-simultaneously-operating-parts” that such short-story driven novels function as.

Name any book from my top ten favorite books and it’s bound to be of this type of novel.

Writing Style (cont.)

What I came to realize though, was that not every book ought to be of this maximalist, sprawling style in order to appeal to me. I can also love a book that strips away everything it deems unnecessary and stick to just the story at hand. Now, don’t get me wrong; I’ve been a basher of the minimalist style for as long as I’ve been forced to read Hemingway. So, I think there has to be a reason why I can enjoy a book that limits itself to just a small slice of its world and not the entire pie. It was fun to spend some time in a book that is focused and controlled and never rambled on for too long and each chapter title was explicitly clear as to the content therein.

Why I Was Able to Like This Book Despite it Being Minimalist Plebeian Garbage

This is difficult to address head-on, so it might take a bit of set-up to get there.

A Bit of Set-Up in Order to Explain Why I Was Able to Like This Book Despite it Being Minimalist Plebeian Garbage

Some criticism I’ve gathered from what I’ve heard of Palahniuk is that his books are all the same and that he reuses the same trope in all his books: distention from society’s norms with a main character that is a mysterious, sexy figure that just doesn’t care about all us moralizing, materialistic “sheep” of society. This is more or less a strawman of his work. But it’s done to make to illustrate a point. I think there is some substance to this criticism because in many ways, that is what a lot of his books are about. And it’s easy to associate all the morally heinous things in Palahniuk’s books with the guy himself and write him off as a sensationalist writer who writes books that are devoid of anything but nihilism, and not even sexy, intellectual nihilism a la Nietzsche, but hip nihilism a la Bret Easton Ellis or any other author that DFW would criticize. And to this I would probably agree. And I would probably cede a lot of ground about Palahniuk at this level, that he often does play up this anti-society, moral-less shtick because it’s cool and it sells (ironically).

But I think that for a person like me, I can still enjoy something purely for its fun and entertainment, even if for many other concerns it is not successful.

Why I Was Able to Like This Book Despite it Being Minimalist Plebeian Garbage (cont.)

Because the experience of a book is almost completely contingent on the expectations you bring to it and the frame by which you judge it. And for many other books, I do bring a high expectation to the table, see all the “high-brow” literature that primes me for having such expectations. But there comes a point when such judgement seems unnecessary. I think there is an impulse to draw large conclusions about all the disparate parts of a book because I’m used to that type of reading so often. But if you really asked Palahniuk, I’m sure his priorities are to telling a story, just that. He isn’t really interested in making any point at all (even if that point is that there is no point). And with many such works that don’t really even get to that place that so many authors aspire (that mysterious realm of thematic weight and important, earth shattering lessons about human experience) I can’t really bring the same criticism that I normally would to other books.

In short, this book was just a lot of fun and it had enough clever things in it to keep me entertained and my brain distracted enough that it allowed me to revel in the crass, irreverent humor and fun.

This is probably not doing much to convince anyone who already hates Chuck P. but I guess that’s not really my intention here because I would totally understand anyone not enjoying it.

Spoiler Section Where I Talk About One of Those “Clever Things”

Where I get to show off my music tastes and you get to act impressed in the comments

So Greg said that this song reminded him of this book. While I see where he is coming from, given the context in his review, I couldn’t stop thinking of this song the entire time. The song sounds like a Palahniuk book waiting to be written.

Some will die in hot pursuit and fiery auto crashes,
Some will die in hot pursuit while sifting through my ashes,
Some will fall in love with life and drink it from a fountain
That is pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain

Here’s another song that I like that is completely unrelated to this review:
Profile Image for Darwin8u.
1,559 reviews8,671 followers
February 8, 2016
“History is nothing except monsters or victims. Or witnesses.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Rant


HE was close. He was so damn close. He just didn't close it at the end. It was a poem that ended in a whimper. The mixture was nearly perfect, just not flammable. But don't say Chuck didn't try. I imagine Palahniuk had Ballard's Crash and Benford's Timescape, several Oral Histories, and perhaps even Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid sitting on his shelf as he wrote this.

Reading Rant was like watching a blind guy juggle a bunch of balls, some are on fire, and some you realize are actually burning cats. Palahniuk exists on an edge of grotesque, absurdity and social criticism that sometimes makes you lose sight of the shore. You forget what the normal is. You forget the boundaries. You are caught between a weird night and equally bizarre day. You aren't sure what to do so you just keep digging/reading.

Five major takeaways from this novel (which I might one day delve into deeper if I ever find myself with too much Liminal time or space in-between):

1. Rabies & Bites
2. Hyperosmia/Hypergeusia
3. Time Travel + Incest
4. Party Crashing + Night & Day
5. Oral History/Myth-making/Christianity

Anyway, I enjoyed the novel. It flew. But it just ended meh. No bang. No cliff. Just a strange, absurd, grotesque, incestuous loop.
Profile Image for rachael.
11 reviews21 followers
April 2, 2009
What an amazing Clusterfuck.
Profile Image for Carrie.
4 reviews10 followers
August 18, 2007
First off, a disclaimer. I love Chuck P. like a brother. If the man was on dialysis I'd give him a kidney even if I only had one good one left and consider it payback for all the stories of his that I've enjoyed since discovering his work.

The lowdown: Rant tells the story of Rant Casey - a small town kid that turns his little town on it's ear before moving to the city to continue his work. The book is comprised of accounts from people that knew Rant with only second hand accounts of his words and deeds and no perspective from our hero. In that way, it's almost Biblical.

Although it is science fiction and a pretty far departure on the whole from Chuck Palahniuk's previous books, it's not as far off from what I expect out of him as Diary. But Palahniuk's voice and eye are still there and elements of the book like character relationships and atmosphere are reminiscent of earlier books like Choke.

From the beginning, it's not clear where or when the setting is. The place seemed to me to be a small desert town. Time seemed to be anytime in the past century. It's a brilliant device that Palahniuk never wavers from in the first half of the book. It makes the reading a bit unsettling. The significance of that displacement just builds throughout the book.

The characterization in this book is pretty amazing. A strong and compelling vision of Rant is built as a charismatic, smart, wild man, but nobody describes him as such throughout the book. Nobody says, "Rant was crazy" or sexy or maddening or 6'2" with brown hair and hazel eyes, but as the characters tell of their relationships with Rant the picture of him starts to come into focus. The very memorable and alluring characters that populate the story by contributing to the oral history are intriguing and become fully fleshed out as the story progresses as well.

I really don't want to give it away, so if you haven't read the book, don't read the next line, but...

the most interesting thing about this book to me was the future Palahnik creates out of what seems to be the past time. It's very real and although it's not clear if it's 20 years down the road or 200, it's very believable which makes the book frightening to contemplate at times. I very much loved how the past of Rant's childhood could have been the 1930s or the 1990s or any time until Bodie talks about plugging in. The sci-fi aspect of Rant really set the wheels of the story into motion and made it so much more interesting than if Rant had been stuck in Middleton trading gold for teeth the entire book.
Profile Image for Jason Pettus.
Author 12 books1,267 followers
July 24, 2007
(Full review can be found at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com].)

So before anything else, a horrible confession: that this is the first novel by Chuck Palahniuk I've ever actually read from cover to cover. Yeah, I know, shame on me! And the reason this is such a big deal, of course, is that I'm an obsessive fan of the movie version of Fight Club, adapted from another of Palahniuk's novels, a film I have officially now seen one zillion freaking times. And why do I like that movie so much? Here's why I like that movie so much:

--Because it takes a profoundly original and compelling idea and makes you think it's going to be the theme of the entire project, just to later prove that it was actually a ruse to hide an even more profoundly original and compelling idea as its real theme.

--Because it unmasks the simmering hatred of the modern world so many young intellectuals have these days, this incessant desire to do something, anything, to break out of the usual corporate-manufactured, safely lobotomized, "synergetic cultural experience."

--And because the story pulls off such heady things through a slim, minimalist personal style, which much like Vonnegut attempts to use the least words possible to convey the greatest amount of information possible.

And thus do we come to Palahniuk's latest novel, Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey, which just randomly happens to be my first book of his simply because of opening CCLaP this particular year. And you know what? It too manages to pull off all the things just mentioned, and in fact does it even better; that this book even manages to head into legitimate science-fiction territory at points, even while being a grounded examination of the human condition at the same time. It's dense for sure, with a plot that's impossible to keep up with at times; but if such things, for example, made you love Donnie Darko instead of detest it, then you're seriously going to want to run out and pick up a copy of Rant as soon as you possibly can.

In fact...
Profile Image for Dustin Reade.
Author 22 books49 followers
May 26, 2011
MY REVIEW FROM AMAZON: Look, if you are one of those people who consider themselves "fans" of an author's work so long as it is constantly the same, then forget all about this one. Don't read it expecting Fight Club. In fact, don't read any book by Palahniuk expecting Fight Club but Fight Club. He is a talented writer, with more to offer than the same book reprinted fifty-thousand times. Most of the reviews so far written for this book seem to have been written by the above-mentioned sort of fan. If these same people had opened their minds a bit, they might have noticed that "RANT" is one of Palahniuk's best books. The style is interesting--it is written in the "Oral Biography" tradition, which if you are unfamiliar with, has been done by many authors and is incredibly hard to do--and the story itself is complex and well done. Chuck does a great job of fleshing out the characters and giving them unique voices that seem authentic and remain consistent throughout the book. Anyone paying attention should have no trouble realizing who is who without having to reference the names over and over again. Sure, some of the stuff in the book is a little gross, but is that really a reason to give it a bad review? If you don't like gross stuff in your fiction, don't read ANYTHING by this author. But going on Amazon and saying a book sucks because it grossed you out is about as smart as saying television sucks because it offends you. You don't have to read this book, or watch television. Nobody will twist your arm. That said, I reccomend this book to anyone who likes to see a great author stretching his arms and experimenting a bit. The end result is definietely worth the price.
Profile Image for PUMPKINHEAD.
41 reviews13 followers
May 13, 2017
So far I've enjoyed everything from Chuck Palahniuk I've come into contact with, though fellow readers have warned me to stick to his earlier, and supposedly better, books (people don't seem to have much good to say about his last several offerings). Well, I took their advice and dove into RANT, a novel that many have raved about.

And rave about it they should! This is one brilliantly twisted tale, full of all sorts of intrigue, shock, and awe. It reads at a great pace, and lures you along expertly. I went in relatively blind (which I find I'm doing more and more often with books these days), and I must admit I wasn't sure where the story was going for awhile, though it captivated me nonetheless and kept me glued to the pages. It's hard to describe what this story is about, and I think to say anymore would be giving away some great twists and surprising plot lines. Better if you just grab a copy and experience it for yourself.

I will say this however: like the other stuff I've read by Chuck, RANT is a bit of everything. It's a bit thriller, a bit horror, a bit mystery, a bit comedy, a bit drama. It's also a bit sick, and a bit unexpectedly heartwarming too. This novel evoked all kinds of reactions and emotions from me; a rollercoaster reading experience. I find Palahniuk has that effect on me.

I'm gonna try one of his later books, one called DAMNED, about a teenage girl in Hell. It sounds interesting. Hope it's as good as this one.
Profile Image for Greg.
1,107 reviews1,829 followers
July 22, 2011
When I hear this song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUZf24...) one of the things I think of is Chuck Palahniuk.

I lied. I actually never heard this song until about four minutes before typing the previous sentence. For the sake of accuracy, when I heard the Elf Power cover of the song, which until about five minutes ago I didn't even realize was a cover, but which I should have assumed since the whole album it is one is made up of cover songs. I wanted to share the Elf Power version, but this this particular version by The Frogs (who did the song originally) is really fucking good. Like Jeff Buckley "Hallelujah" or "I Know it's Over" good, but different because those are good covers and this is the original, which I didn't know was the original until just now. There is another version that is more 'rocking' and produced by Corgan (billy?) and it's not really that good, it's ok, but the Elf Power version is better than the Corgan produced EP version.

While I was going to the bathroom prior to looking for the above mentioned song I was thinking I should write a review for this book (actually I thought that while walking to the bathroom, while actually going to the bathroom I thought what follows) and that it's been almost eleven years to the day (ten years and 11 months to be more exact, it's a commitment to extreme honesty in the minutiae that got me to be the third most popular reviewer on goodreads.com, people love the details (or just don't really love anything about my reviews but they are appealing enough to enough people and I write enough of them that viola! I come off looking better in the numbers than I really am, but seriously isn't my neurotic attempts at truthfully recording all the details of my review writing process more interesting than reading another long winded blah blah blah fest about chess? (like my recent blah blah blah ramblings about fighting are much of an improvement), anyway back to the review where I just gave an amount of time, and I'm sure you are waiting anxiously to find out what it's been eleven years (or ten years and 11 months) since....) since I read a Chuck Palahniuk book that I could say I really enjoyed.

Did you actually click the link above to listen to the song? If you didn't go click it now. This is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUZf24..., there is no excuse not to do it, it's a great fucking song and if you're deaf than guess what you don't get to hear a great fucking song, but most likely this isn't the first great fucking song you didn't get to hear in your life, but since I'm a sensitive person I'll let you know that you can read the lyrics here: http://www.lyricsmania.com/weird_on_t.... If you are recently deaf then you can imagine the words with just a couple of guitar chords being strummed behind them. If you've been deaf your whole life, well I don't know what to say. Sorry? (And can you fucking believe that the band that did that song also did this one? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63FlHK... (this song you should listen to, too. It's a funny and gay song in that very Big Black-esque Chicago sludge 90's style).

I hope you have taken my advice and listened to the first song I asked you to listen to while reading this review. It will save me from having to make too many more asides, and believe me I'll know if you are cheating and I will hold up the review again until I think everyone is doing what is expected of them.

Anyway, back to the review, but wait, remember the last time I wrote a review for a Chuck Palahniuk book and I got myself and a bunch of other people all blocked by that pretentious weiny with the stupid 90's hair? That was fun. Yes? The book wasn't any good, but having a girl fight the battle for that twit and then have him block everyone that was fun. Ah, the good times of book reviewing social networking websites. I just thought that this song by Elf Power reminds me him, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZ0jWT....

Oh, you can read that review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

And, no I'm not trying to get more votes.

Before Rant the last book by Chuck Palahniuk I enjoyed was Survivor. I don't think this one is as good as Survivor, but I'm an older if not more mature reader now than I was then. But I was also more pretentious then, sort of more like that guy from the other review, but I don't think I was ever a walking backside orifice like I imagine him to be in real life.

I hope that you have actually gone and listened to those songs by now. I'm working on the honor system for a bit here.

At one point in Rant I groaned to myself because I was afraid that Chuck Palahniuk was becoming too much like Chuck Palahniuk, like a caricature of himself, sort of like what he was throughout most of Tell-All and in the majority of those other books of his that weren't Fight Club or Survivor, but which actually could have been Fight Club or Survivor but to me at least, his schtick wasn't feeling like a schtick yet. When I first had this thought while reading Rant this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9acFE7..., started playing in my head. You don't need to listen to this song if you don't want, it's only a Mudhoney song, and if you've heard one Mudhoney song you've sort of heard them all. Sort of the way I've felt about Chuck P for most of his middle to recent novels.

But not this book. I liked this one. There was some kind of humanity to this one even in the disgustingness of disease and a town where used condoms and tampons dangle from trees and people drive around in wedding dresses looking to get into car accidents there was something that felt real and not just weird for weirds sake in this strange and increasingly convoluted novel.

Yeah! So that last paragraph and a sentence or two in maybe three of the paragraphs prior to that one is my review. I hope you enjoyed it.

P.S. I just noticed that I started this book exactly one year after I finished my last Chuck Palahniuk review. I didn't do that on purpose, at all! Honestly! Isn't that fucking weird? Like Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy and Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln weird?
Profile Image for Tessa Nadir.
Author 3 books232 followers
February 10, 2023
Cine nu-l iubeste pe Chuck Palahniuk, acest rebel teribil al literaturii moderne?
Devenit celebru pentru romanul cult 'Fight Club', autorul nu se dezminte nici in aceasta carte pe care eu o consider cel putin la fel de buna si in care am regasit toate elementele care mi-au placut la celelalte opere ale sale.
Uzitand de foarte multa imaginatie Palahniuk tese povesti inedite, originale, redate intr-un mod socant, fara perdea, cu descrieri amanuntite si cu mult umor negru.
In acest roman avem de-a face cu o biografie a lui Buster Casey, zis si 'Rant' Casey, iar povestea este construita intr-un mod inedit din fragmente, impresii, opinii si amintiri ale celor care l-au cunoscut. Din aceste marturii mai mult sau mai putin relevante aflam ca Rant Casey este o celebritate care a murit si care a provocat o epidemie de proportii gigantice care a dus la moartea a milioane de oameni, el fiind pacientul zero pentru epidemia de rabie.
Nascut intr-o comunitate plictisitoare de fermieri din Middleton, Rant, de mic copil iese in evidenta, mai ales pentru ca se lasa muscat de tot felul de paianjeni, serpi, viezuri si alte animale rabioase dar si pentru faptul ca descoperind niste monezi vechi, el devine un fel de 'Zana Maseluta' pentru copiii din regiune.
Plecand la oras pentru a-si cauta tatal adevarat, Rant devine membru al infamului grup "Vanatorii de Buseli" si reuseste sa transmita rabia la cat mai multe fete si baieti. Are parte de cea mai originala moarte, gonind pe sosea intr-o masina ce are un brad de Craciun in flacari legat de capota, cu toata Politia si cu o gramada de "Vanatori de Buseli" pe urmele sale, sfarsind intr-un lac si fiind apoi de negasit.
Daca ar fi sa facem o comparatie cu Fight Club, as aminti cateva momente pe care le-am gasit relevante:
Faptul ca Rant isi testeaza prietenii obligandu-i sa-si bage mainile in vizuinele animalelor salbatice si facandu-i sa suporte durerea muscaturilor iminente. Acest lucru ne aduce aminte de scena cu soda caustica turnata pe mana de catre Tyler in Fight Club.
Scena cu incondeiatul oualelor de Pasti la care Rant participa alaturi de mama lui si unde picteaza un ou in verde si galben precum o grenada MK2 duce de asemenea cu gandul la pasiunea lui Tyler pentru nitroglicerina si explozii.
Teribilul grup "Vanatorii de Buseli" care se intalnesc cu masinile ticsite de participanti pe sosea pentru a se vana unul pe celalalt si a se ciocni formeaza un fel de 'Crash Club' in loc de Fight Club in care scopul final este un fel de terapie prin buseala, trecerea prin cat mai multe accidente.
In final, oamenii devin impartiti in 'Oameni de Zi' si "Oameni de Noapte', cei nocturni fiind infectatii cu rabie care au tot felul de simptome asemanatoare unor varcolaci si care mi-aduc aminte de membrii 'Project Mayhem'.
Indubitabil este o carte de care o sa-mi aduc aminte multa vreme. Consider ca ar iesi un film foarte bun din acest roman, insa, din pacate, din cauza cenzurii, in zilele noastre nu se mai pot face asemenea filme care deschid ochii oamenilor si care rostesc unele adevaruri ale societatii.
In incheiere am selectat cateva citate din care avem cu siguranta ceva de invatat:
"Cum avea obiceiul sa zica Rant Casey: oamenii isi cladesc o reputatie luandu-se de tine cat esti viu - sau ridicandu-te in slavi dupa ce te-ai dus".
"Cea mai mare satisfactie pe care ti-o ofera viata e cand esti in stare sa te uiti peste umar si sa vezi oameni intr-o stare si mai rea decat tine asteptand in spatele tau la coada".
"Fiecare ciudat singuratic vine dintr-un barlog mai mare de ciudati".
"N-o sa mai fim niciodata asa de tineri ca in noaptea asta".
"Unii sunt pur si simplu nascuti oameni. Noua, celorlalti, ne trebuie o viata intreaga sa ajungem asa".
"Dupa ce un baiat aratos iti da rabie de doua - trei ori, te linistesti si ajungi sa te mariti cu cineva care ramane asa, mai banal, tot restu' vietii lui".
"Ingredientul secret pentru orice lucru gustos e ceva care doare".
"Voi, ceilalti, fraieri blestemati, s-aveti o moarte placuta".
Profile Image for Scott.
39 reviews3 followers
April 24, 2008
Wow. How can I possibly describe this book?

Mediocre? Unfocused? Half-assed?

I am a big fan of Palahniuk. I love Fight Club, Invisible Monsters, Survivor, Choke, Diary, and Lullaby. I even like Haunted a bit. I think he is great at picking some aspect of American Culture and flipping it over so it's soft white underbelly is clearly visible.

Unfortunately, with Haunted, he appears to have developed a taste for the 'big gross-out.' Rant continues that trend. And what is worse is that the book is written in an oral history fashion that at it's best is merely distracting. At it's worst, it's damn confusing. I am still not exactly sure what the message of this book was supposed to be.

It starts by spouting all the redneck/trailer trash stereotypes that the media is currently so fond of. I was hoping he was going to shine his penetrating insight on that and finally explain the fascination. No such luck.

The second section of the book is a not-so-subtle jab at the current administration and the USAPatriot Act and the ever-exciting topic of epedimiology. This section flows better and is actually entertaining.

The third section of the book is a metaphysical exploration of the subject of time travel that, while interesting, left me wondering WTF it had to do with the rest of the book?

I've only read one one other book written in this style: 'Please Kill Me,' a history of the New York Punk scene in the mid-70s. It was a fascinating read. 'Rant' was not.

I honestly can't recommend this book to anyone except die-hard Chuck Palahniuk fans. And to them I only recommend it in the hopes that someone who gets it can explain it to me.

Profile Image for Brittany McCann.
1,562 reviews395 followers
February 25, 2023
This book was insane! Mostly told in three parts.

Part one: Early life of Rant and his obsession with coins, poisons, and rabies: 5 Stars. I love the brilliantly intelligent mind of Chuck Palahniuk and his random intellectual facts. The questions about beliefs were fun to think about.

Part 2: The party Crashers Adult life of Rant: 5 stars. The party-crasher themes were brilliantly detailed and well-thought-out. It was so crazy and fun. Very original. That car crash, though...

Part 3: Time Travel: 3.5-4 Stars. This was the book's weakest part, even though it was the most speculative section. It was interesting to think about but less interesting to listen to.

The full-cast narration made this fun to listen to. Palahniuk's unique brand of wit and abrasive humor shines brightly again.

4.5 Stars rounded up to 5.
Profile Image for Wayne Barrett.
Author 3 books107 followers
September 1, 2016


Is he the protagonist, or the antagonist? Good question about our Mr. Buster Casey, also known as 'Rant' which is also a pretty good description of this story. I mean, this thing is all over the place. To figure it out you might have to partake in some time traveling and still you'd be left with filtering facts from rabid infested party crashers with gold coins in their pockets and Christmas trees tied to the roofs of their cars. Still confused? You should be. After all, this is classic Palahniuk and with him, confusion can be a very entertaining experience.
Profile Image for Michela De Bartolo.
163 reviews54 followers
February 15, 2018
Questo è un inno all’anticonformismo . Al mondo qui rappresentato viene tolta ogni umanità , un posto peggiore di come lo è. Il modo in cui è scritto è incredibile, non c’è un protagonista di cui percepiamo i pensieri e osserviamo le azioni , tutte le persone che incontriamo durante la lettura parlano del protagonista , Buster Casey detto “Rant “ . Chi lo descrive come un genio , chi come un folle , chi come un amico . Buster un ragazzo sociopatico figlio della classica famiglia provinciale Americana. Buster ama farsi mordere da qualsiasi insetto , o animale diventando così immune al loro veleno , ma si trasforma in un veicolo di contagio della rabbia , che propaga intenzionalmente tra tutti i suoi amici dediti al “Party Crashing “ . Si tratta di un gioco nel quale i protagonisti, notturni , si scontrano con la macchina cercando di fare più danni possibili , insomma un gioco al massacro. Persone scompariranno per apparire in altri momenti , viaggeranno nel tempo ed assieme ad altre sottotrame fanno tutte parte del complesso libro di Palahniuk. Qui c’è il suo genio il suo leitmotiv ricorrente . Un libro difficile da digerire una critica al mondo sbattuta in faccia al lettore in modo crudele e con la sua tagliente verità .
Profile Image for Trin.
1,749 reviews549 followers
September 3, 2008
Yeah, I just read a Chuck Palahniuk book; I feel like I’m back in high school and should begin loudly listening to Garbage CDs and writing “I <3 Spike” all over my notebook any second now. In fairness, Palahniuk does finally seem to be breaking out of his mold at least a little; I skipped reading Haunted because I wasn’t in the mood to be squicked, but what had been irritating me about all his previous books was that they all seemed the same. They all utilized a near-identical style of narration, just with different “choruses” thrown in. And I say this as someone who was totally obsessed with Fight Club (though more the film than the book) and still gets gleeful amusement out of her memories of Invisible Monsters. (Which was also the book that introduced me to the concept of “felching”! Chuck, you and Lauren Groff need to have a word.)

Rant, presented in the style of an oral history, is not only quite different in its telling from Palahniuk’s previous books, it’s different from anything I’ve read in a long while. The myriad POVs are cool in that I always like to see characters through a variety of different perspectives. However, the character of Buster Casey, a.k.a. Rant, remains frustratingly obtuse. Palahniuk spends quite some time on his childhood, in which we are treated to lengthy descriptions of menstrual blood stains (mental category: did not need), and strangely less on his adulthood, though we do get lengthy descriptions of his ability to tell what his girlfriend last ate by licking her pussy (mental category: REALLY DID NOT NEED). Palahniuk certainly never runs out of new ways to shock and horrify. Unfortunately, that kind of thing was rather more tantalizing to me when I was in high school.

However, like I said, I really did feel like Palahniuk was stretching himself a bit here; he’s got a sort of interesting time travel plot going on, and I actually really liked the characters of Shot and Echo, and the idea of the dystopian Daytimer/Nighttimer future society. So I guess where I think this book really suffers is in the simple fact that there’s just too much going on. I mean, just on the most basic level there’s: 1) Rant’s fucked up childhood, 2) rabies outbreak, 3) party crashing, 4) future dystopia, and 5) time travel—and these never stop being rather disparate things. Worse, as I mentioned before, Rant remains a total cypher. I think this book would have worked a thousand times better if he’d felt like a real, vibrant anti-hero. Instead, we get pages and pages of Rant the cunning linguist. (Seriously, WTF? Was that supposed to be sexy? Echo seemed to think it was sexy, and otherwise, she seemed almost sensible. I have some weird kinks myself, but OMG NO.) I loved the idea Palahniuk almost seemed to be reaching for toward the end, about the ways Echo and Shot and the other party crashers would remake the world, but it’s surrounded by so much muddle. Ultimately, this felt like the first draft of what could have been a legitimately incredible novel; as-is, it’s just kind of…confusing.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for R..
889 reviews112 followers
October 29, 2007
Rant kicked so much ass.

Part of the joy is the idea of a car...with a flaming Christmas tree on top...flying through the air into a body of water...to the, you know, strains of Philip Glass' Violin Concerto II.

Part of the joy comes from the fact this is the first third of a trilogy, apparently.

Part of the joy is that the book is entirely a greatest-hits package of Chuck's strengths...remixed in the "oral biography" form. Like, like if Guns n' Roses wrote ten variations on "Sweet Child o' Mine" and handed the mastertapes over to...to Moby!

Part of the joy comes from the main character deciding to break the habit of time...go back through it and save his mother from being killed (thereby creating the hole for a plot for one of the two other books).

Part of the joy comes in receiving a Just Married bumper sticker in the mail for contacting Doubleday and telling them...in effect...that you were bit by a spider (or, what happens when you click on the spider at their promo site).

Part of the joy comes in recognizing party-crashing culture in my own life...OK, you guys remember the night: I had my El Dorado all gassed up, and Dave--well-respeced R.A. Dave--was dressed up as a woman that some of us guys had dropped jaws and were like, "Dude. You're so hot, and that's not cool. Wow, uh, Dave. Wanna sit next to me?" and we went sharking through Spokane one street and the next, and the next with about six or seven people (three up front, four in the back?) blaring, at Lady Dave's request, an 8-track of Bing Crosby's Greatest Hits and Chella ended up flirting with a carload of boys and, finally, we all ended up at Denny's at 2 in the morning, fixing the local sports commentator's car (he didn't know how to change a tire, but between Carlos, Me, and Sean, we got it done), eating pie, drinking coffee, and watching Chella get uncomfortable around this new guy and, generally, probably, making the guy second-guess what was wrong with this chick that her friends were such an Addam's Family *snap-snap*.
Profile Image for Amanda NEVER MANDY.
446 reviews96 followers
March 15, 2019
I haven’t been loving Chuck books lately and it is not like me to keep coming back to something after it disappoints so many times in a row. I think it is the author’s voice that has me whipped. He has a way with words that is quite unique and I have not seen it repeated elsewhere. I love that he is able to stamp things his own with this writing style but that he is also able to step out of the box and try new things. The only negative is that I don't always love the end result. The reading journey I agreed to go with him on might suck but the man himself is fascinating.

A guy by the name of Buster, known to everyone else as Rant goes from small town living to big city thriving. His love for toxic critter bites paves the way for quite an extraordinary but brief existence. This is the story of that life told by friends, family and anyone else that cares to speak.

The beginning and middle of the read were interesting and fun, but the ending left a lot to be desired. The characters ran together and at one point I had to backread to figure out who was what because the thing I was relying on changed and it left me quite confused. If the momentum had carried this would have been a truly excellent read.

Three stars to a book that was better than the last few but not as great as I wanted it to be.
Profile Image for Dane Cobain.
Author 22 books308 followers
December 30, 2014
Rant is the first Palahniuk book that I’ve ever read, but it’s really turned me on to him as a writer – I can’t believe how exciting it was, and how vividly Palahniuk was able to show his semi-fictional world to us. Loosely speaking, it’s the story of Rant Casey, who’s described as “the man who may or may not be the most efficient serial killer of our time.”

Rant is a crazy young man with an addiction to everything that’s base and degenerate – he deliberately allows himself to be bitten by poisonous animals, and he can tell who a used tampon belongs to purely from the smell of it. Palahniuk’s novel is essentially a collection of reminiscences from Rant’s former friends, lovers, enemies and relations, assorted in to a roughly chronological order. As we read the novel, we feel like we get to know him just as much as they do.

But the true genius in this novel is the way in which the unusual narrative style allows Palahniuk to build up a picture of his protagonist – it’s a rare case of when telling is showing, and when the strong dialogue of a whole host of peripheral characters manages to focus on a central character who we never actually meet. Considering Casey is effectively a walking version of the bubonic plague, that can only be a good thing.

In fact, Rant is so good that I upped my rating of it from 8/10 to 9/10 while writing the review, purely because once I got started I remembered facets of the novel that I’d previously forgotten about. It does us all to have a little rant every now and then, even if it’s only about how good a book is. If the rest of Palahniuk’s work is this good then I’m in for a treat.
Profile Image for Girish Gowda.
80 reviews74 followers
October 13, 2019
I'm at a loss. Tell me, should I rate it based on the experience of reading it or how it messed my entire afternoon after I finished it. What warrants fiction whatever the appraisal we readers give. Should I rate it low because of how harrowingly ambiguous Chuck is or high because how accurately ambiguous Chuck P is in this book.

I'm so conflicted.

The most engrossing book I've read all year.Period.

But also the most painfully convoluted one.

My brain still hurts, but that's good. Why even bother investing time in reading if it doesn't screw with your mind a little.
Profile Image for Danya.
39 reviews12 followers
May 28, 2008
wow .. and can't really even begin to comment on this . Complete mindblower with a really sadistic and twisted view of our society !
Loved it !
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