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Rant: The 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
Like most people I didn't meet Rant Casey until after he was dead. That's how it works for most celebrities: After they croak, their circle of friends just explodes...
Rant is the mind-bending new novel from Chuck Palahniuk, the literary provocateur responsible for such books as the generation-defining classic Fight Club and the pedal-to-the-metal horrorfest Haunted. It takes the form of an oral history of one Buster Rant Casey, who may or may not be the most efficient serial killer of our time.
What 'Typhoid Mary' Mallon was to typhoid, what Gaetan Dugas was to AIDS, and Liu Jian-lun was to SARS, Buster Casey would become for rabies.
A high school rebel who always wins (and a childhood murderer?), Rant Casey escapes from his small hometown of Middleton for the big city. He becomes the leader of an urban demolition derby called Party Crashing. On appointed nights participants recognize one another by such designated car markings as "Just Married" toothpaste graffiti and then stalk and crash into each other. Rant Casey will die a spectacular highway death, after which his friends gather testimony needed to build an oral history of his short, violent life. Their collected anecdotes explore the possibility that his saliva caused a silent urban plague of rabies and that he found a way to escape the prison house of linear time...
"The future you have, tomorrow, won't be the same future you had, yesterday."
Expect hilarity, 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
"[Rant] has the gallows humor and gleeful adolescent malevolence that can make Mr. Palahniuk so bleakly entertaining. But its ingredients feel arbitrarily slapped together....And this book's structure as oral history is a tactical misstep." Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"Palahniuk's swirl of characters and plotlines never gels, and the story lurches dangerously toward incoherence....Palahniuk lays the shocks on pretty thick...but maybe the most shocking thing about Rant is how derivative it is." Joe Hill, The Washington Post Book World
"Palahniuk employs dexterous storytelling....Palahniuk's caustic wit and minimalist storytelling fit his subject matter to a 'T.'...A sensationalist yet oddly persuasive yarn that sticks in your throat. Not for the faint of heart." Rocky Mountain News
Palahniuk's mind-bending new novel takes the form of an oral history of Buster "Rant" Casey, who may or may not be the most efficient serial killer of the day.
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. With hilarity, horror, and blazing insight, Rant is a mind-bending vision of the future, as only Chuck Palahniuk could ever imagine.
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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