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Buster Casey was every small kid born in a small town, searching for real thrills in a world of video games and action/adventure movies. The high school rebel who always wins – and a childhood murderer? – Rant Casey escapes from his hometown of Middleton into the big city and becomes the leader of an urban demolition derby called Party Crashing, where, on designated nights, the participants recognize each other by dressing their cars with tin-can tails, “Just Married” toothpaste graffiti, and other refuse, then look for special markings in order to stalk and crash into each other. It’s in this violent, late-night hunting game that Casey makes three friends. And after his spectacular death, these friends gather the testimony needed to build an oral history of his short life. Their collected anecdotes explore the charges that his saliva infected hundreds and caused a silent, urban plague of rabies.

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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 doesnt 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 dont 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 characters (Buster @[email protected] 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 doesnt use its genre moorings as a crutch. @[email protected] 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 arent going to read many books as unique or as much fun as Rant. Theres other stuff too, but dont read up about it, go in clean. Youll come out dirty, but youll have been highly entertained in the process.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
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.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
First off, a disclaimer. I love Chuck P. like a brother. If the man was on dialysis Id give him a kidney even if I only had one good one left and consider it payback for all the stories of his that Ive enjoyed since discovering his work.

The lowdown: Rant tells the story of Rant Casey - a small town kid that turns his little town on its 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, its almost Biblical.

Although it is science fiction and a pretty far departure on the whole from Chuck Palahniuks previous books, its not as far off from what I expect out of him as Diary. But Palahniuks 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, its 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. Its 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 [email protected] or sexy or maddening or [email protected] 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 dont want to give it away, so if you havent read the book, dont 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. Its very real and although its not clear if its 20 years down the road or 200, its very believable which makes the book frightening to contemplate at times. I very much loved how the past of Rants 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.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Its not everyday you read a book about rabies, the origins of God, time travel, and bumper cars. Seeing that this is a Chuck Palahniuk book, I shouldnt be surprised that this novel hops barriers and barrels through genres without a single fuck given for your comfort or confusion level.

Buster @[email protected] Casey can tell you what you had for breakfast three days ago, what kind of flowers you have waiting in a vase back at home, and whether your shower head is steel or bronze simply by eating your pussy. Thats talent folks. Of course, all this is explained, but for a while all you can do is laugh. Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey is so fucking absurd that you will begin to think you are reading bizarro fiction. And then, about 2/3 of the way through, everything starts making a shade of lunatic sense. Before its all over everything is explained and youre left wondering how in the Greater Balls of Christ Palahniuk managed to juggle all these different voices and plot threads into one cogent narrative.

Invisible Monsters is still my favorite of his works, but this is the new runner up. Sorry Choke, but this book is smarter than you. Dont feel bad. Youre still good, but not as good as Rant

Funny side note: I didnt finish this the first time I read it because it seemed like a book full of character interviews and I fucking hate that shit. This time I powered through. Damn glad I did. All the fucking stars!

In summation: Youll need your thinking caps if youre going to appreciate this one. The book is written the way it is for a reason. Every character is important, and all thread tie together by the end. A lot of people will hate this book. I get that. But it does not deserve their hatred.

Final Judgment: Fight Club references are rad.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
“History is nothing except monsters or victims. Or witnesses.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Rant


HE was close. He was so damn close. He just didnt close it at the end. It was a poem that ended in a whimper. The mixture was nearly perfect, just not flammable. But dont say Chuck didnt try. I imagine Palahniuk had Ballards Crash and Benfords Timescape, several Oral Histories, and perhaps even Hofstadters 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 arent 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.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
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