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Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Caseyby Chuck Palahniuk
"The mold of Palahniuk's eighth novel, Rant, remains the same. There's a pain-and-violence-obsessed young outcast. There is rabies, there is time travel, there is incest. Maybe. The characters are indistinguishable. They toe the company line. They raise their right hand and repeat after me. It's like Fight Club. Again. And Again. And again." James Boice, Esquire (read the entire Esquire review)
Synopses & Reviews
Rant takes the form of a (fictional) oral history of Buster "Rant" Casey, in which an assortment of friends, enemies, admirers, detractors, and relations have their say on this evil character, who may or may not be the most efficient serial killer of our time.
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 for 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 designated markings in order to stalk and crash into each other. It's in this violent, late-night hunting game that Casey meets 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...
Expect hilarity and horror, and blazing insight into the desperate and surreal contemporary human condition as only Chuck Palahniuk can deliver it. He's the postmillennial Jonathan Swift, the visionary to watch to learn what's — uh-oh — coming next.
"Buster Casey, destined to live fast, die young and murder as many people as he can, is the rotten seed at the core of Palahniuk's comically nasty eighth novel (after Haunted; Lullaby; Diary; etc.). Set in a future where urbanites are segregated by strict curfews into Daytimers and Nighttimers, the narrative unfolds as an oral history comprising contradictory accounts from people who knew Buster. These include childhood friends horrified by the boy's macabre behavior (getting snakes, scorpions and spiders to bite him and induce instant erections; repeatedly infecting himself with rabies), policemen and doctors who had dealings with the rabies 'superspreader'; and Party Crashers, thrill-seeking Nighttimers who turn city streets into demolition derby arenas. After liberally infecting his hometown peers with rabies, Buster hits the big city and takes up with the Party Crashers. A series of deaths lead to a police investigation of Buster (long-since known as 'Rant' — the sound children make while vomiting) that peaks just as Buster apparently commits suicide in a blaze of car-crash glory. This dark religious parable (there's even a resurrection) from the master of grotesque excess may not attract new readers, but it will delight old ones." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Viciously incisive and lethally funny social commentary....Many of the themes in the author's exploration of the dark underbelly of modern life and culture will be familiar to his ardent fans, but the formal inventiveness of the fictional oral biography provides a fresh twist." Kirkus Reviews
"Outrageous but not quite over the top, full of energetic humor, Rant...is a memorable portrait of the cults that gather around authentically different people and a portrait of dystopia that feels unsettlingly contemporary." Booklist
"Chuck Palahniuk's eighth novel is frantic, inventive, sporadically insightful and frequently sickening. His fans will love it; those of you who are not part of the Chuckgeist may find Rant tough to savor." Steve Almond, The Los Angeles Times
"Rant won't be everyone's cup of tea — or spider venom — but it's another revealing peek into the eternal darkness of Palahniuk's fascinatingly far-from-spotless mind." Hartford Courant
"The writing is vivid, raw and mordantly knowing...." Chicago Sun-Times
"Mr. Palahniuk's imagination no longer appears as boundless as it once did." Wall Street Journal
"[Palahniuk] writes at the edge of crazy, and you can feel his desperate urge to get at the truth of things, even if he is not sure where the truth lies and it's making him nuts." Seattle Times
In this fictional oral history, Buster "Rant" Casey's friends, enemies, admirers, detractors, and relations have their say about him — an evil character who may or may not be the most efficient serial killer of our time.
About the Author
Chuck Palahniuk is the bestselling author of seven novels: Haunted, Lullaby, Fight Club — which was made into a film by director David Fincher — Diary, Survivor, Invisible Monsters, and Choke. He is also the author of the nonfiction profile of Portland, Fugitives and Refugees, published as part of the Crown Journeys series, and the nonfiction collection Stranger Than Fiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.
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