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Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey

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Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey Cover

ISBN13: 9780385517874
ISBN10: 0385517874
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

 

Review-A-Day

"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

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"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.)

Review:

"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

Review:

"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

Review:

"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

Review:

"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

Review:

"The writing is vivid, raw and mordantly knowing...." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"Mr. Palahniuk's imagination no longer appears as boundless as it once did." Wall Street Journal

Review:

"[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

Synopsis:

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

Shoshana, May 17, 2008 (view all comments by Shoshana)
After Rant, I feel much more hopeful about Palahniuk's future works. It isn't perfect, and still doesn't attain the crispness of his earlier work, but it marks a return to the characteristics that made that earlier work interesting and engaging. Palahniuk still doesn't trust his reader and undermines his work (here, by a ham-handed and entirely unnecessary front note telling the reader that oral histories may be contradictory. Yes, we know this.

The oral history aspect of the novel works well; the plot doesn't always cohere across those multiple, unreliable narrators, and some of the devices are not well-explored. Still, this "biography" is interesting and engaging and represents a welcome return to Palahniuk's earlier style, with much more of his pleasing world-building. If you haven't read Haunted, just skip it. If you have,you'll find Rant less gross for the sake of gross.
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(1 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Clark, April 11, 2008 (view all comments by Clark)
Chuck Palahniuk has taken my mind through a ride that is hard to forget. This book is deep and philosophical on so many levels. The characters are amazing, you'll be hard-pressed to find similiar characters elsewhere. The plot is genius, a plot only Palahniuk could deliver. The idea of "creating the future" is refreshing, an interesting way of looking at the world around you. I have read this book two times now, and I would recommend re-reading this one because it is better the second time around. Rant is a mind-blowing book that should be read by everyone.
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(3 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
mailethiesen, August 28, 2007 (view all comments by mailethiesen)
While the character description of Buster Casey is disgusting and wonderful...the rest of the book is seriously lacking in interesting subject matter.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385517874
Author:
Palahniuk, Chuck
Publisher:
Doubleday Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Demolition derbies
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st
Publication Date:
May 1, 2007
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.15 x 5.8 x 1 in 1.05 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Locked Case

Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Doubleday - English 9780385517874 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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.)
"Review A Day" by , "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." (read the entire Esquire review)
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "The writing is vivid, raw and mordantly knowing...."
"Review" by , "Mr. Palahniuk's imagination no longer appears as boundless as it once did."
"Review" by , "[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."
"Synopsis" by , 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.
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