Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey
by Chuck Palahniuk
The Sausage Factory Never Closes
A review by James Boice
Chuck Palahniuk novels are not written; they are manufactured. They are material poured into a mold, then sold to disciples. They are escapist, mindless entertainment. This is not bad in itself. This is bad because they give the illusion of being above a culture of escapist, mindless entertainment. That's Palahniuk's genius.
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.
Perhaps Palahniuk's age, success, and popularity have diluted his ability to keep up with young outcasts with crap jobs. If that's the case, he should consider doing a bit more market testing and sign up for a MySpace account before writing the next installment. Because Rant isn't an interesting book to read. What would be interesting is if for the next book Palahniuk had the part of his brain that knows how to write Chuck Palahniuk books surgically removed. Then wrote a book about it. Unless he has an eye on a particular yacht. In which case, carry on.
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