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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel

There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey


Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey Cover

ISBN13: 9780385517874
ISBN10: 0385517874
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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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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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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(3 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)
Jan Warner-Poole, August 16, 2007 (view all comments by Jan Warner-Poole)
Ok, so I haven't read this yet. I have a beautiful signed copy that my daughter keeps "forgetting" to get back to me. She loved it. We both love Chuck P. so I can say I'll probably love this too. You approach all his books with a "what is he going to do now?????" attitude. I've seen Chuck P. at book signings and conventions. He's very funny. I wish he'd write about the Christmas elves.
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Paul McFarland, July 11, 2007 (view all comments by Paul McFarland)
A multilayered book containing a classic science fiction time travel story wrapped in a social commentary and studded with troubling facts. This novel by the author of Fight Club contains some disturbing ideas but those are far outweighed by the shear creativity of the story. Told as a series of short interviews it puts together the Biography of Buster Casey. The man at the center of this whirlwind of ideas. I will not say you will enjoy this book but you will come away thoughtful. And than can be a rare thing in current books.
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Product Details

Palahniuk, Chuck
Doubleday Books
Demolition derbies
Psychological fiction
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
Edition Number:
Publication Date:
May 1, 2007
Grade Level:
8.15 x 5.8 x 1 in 1.05 lb

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Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey Used Hardcover
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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, 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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