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BOOK REPORT: Chuck Palahniuk's RANT

A crazy book, but a worthy book too.

Rant is a total trip. It’s about eight books in 300 pages, so I’ll throw you a list mode to get you equipped on the themes. Wrap your brain around this, the topics Rant covers. Time travel. Governmental control. Immortality. Epidemics. Murder. Rape. Car crashes. Mythology. History. Okay, that’s all I got, and I’m sure I’ve missed some. If that’s not enough for you in one book then you might want to try out an Encyclopedia instead.

Among this broad swath of topics lies the strength and weakness of Rant. The plot, VERY loosely, is of Rant “Buster” Casey, a bad-ass rebel werewolf style of human. The book is written from the point-of-view of alternating characters (with nothing from Rant himself), so you’ll get one paragraph from Rant’s mom, the next from Rant’s friends, the next from a Sheriff in the town Rant grew up in. This style makes the book really hard to get into because keeping track of the changing voices is rough. I’d bet plenty of people will read 50 pages and then put this one down for life. The story is not really set up so much as it’s thrown at you piece by piece. Some makes sense, some doesn’t, and it’s all in different tones. If you do manage to stick with it Rant becomes a crazy dynamic story, plots ranging all over the universe, with each passing page the book becomes something bigger and more important. Free advice: stick with it if you love complex books.

Rant was written by Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club) and going in I automatically looked for a way for it to become a movie. Now that I’ve read it I’d say the chance is there, but it would be absolute hell to pull off. I personally feel like I could do it in a Twelve Monkeys style mindbender but I bet once this gets in the hands of a hack it will be obliterated, if in fact Palahniuk even options it out. Chuck, if you’re out there, let me take a crack, free of charge. Fight Club was a freaking pop-up book compared to the complexity presented here.

This book does defy judgment in a traditional sense because it’s meant for a certain type of reader. While the pages do fly I’d never call this light reading. There are themes and ideas woven in that require real introspection. This isn’t a summer beach book, though that’s exactly the timeframe it’s being released in. Rant is a funny and satirical look at everything we believe in as children and as adults, heck our world as a whole. I don’t think I understand everything Chuck is saying, but I like that he’s prodding at people’s brains, and I hope plenty of people try this on for size. It’s good to be challenged by literature, isn’t it? Otherwise all we’d have left are the Encyclopedias, and I think Palahniuk himself would tell you that sometimes those lie.

"Rant" hits bookshelves on May 1, 2007, the official synopsis is below and you can check out Chuck Palahniuk's official site here.

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 about 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 testimonies 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.

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  • amnesiac01

    Has Chuckie P ever written a dissapointment? Hell no. I can't wait for this book, and the signing/reading that he's doing at a theater near my house.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com andre

    lullabye is probably my favorite. he's ridiculously clever.

  • amnesiac01

    Lullabye is awesome. I think that Survivor is my favorite book of all time. <br> <br>I met him at a signing last year, and he was a surprisingly normal guy. I told him that I had been reading his stuff since 8th grade, and told him how it all started when I saw Fight Club. He said, "Damn. Shouldn't you be reading Harry Potter?", and I told him that I like books that were well written. He laughed and gave me a big rubber rat. It was one the very best moments of my life.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com andre

    Ha! Survivor is a very smart book, definitely one of his darkest. They've been talking about making that one into a movie for a while now but they better nail the script because it's extremely tricky material.

  • amnesiac01

    Yeah, I heard about that. Had it been in pre-production until 9/11. While we're on the subject of Chuck adaptations, has anyone heard anything about Choke (which I read a rumor about that would include Ryan Gosling) and Haunted (maybe an HBO mini-series)? Any of the three (and all of his books, really), could amazing movies, as Fight Club has taught us.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com andre

    9/11 definitely nixed survivor. I honestly had never heard about the news you mentioned with Haunted, but did read somewhere something about Diary going to HBO

  • amnesiac01

    Diary is definitely my least favorite of his books, but I'll take it. Even when he's not at his best, Chuckie P is still better than most.