Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey by Chuck Palahniuk

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(Paperback - Reprint)

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( 265 customer ratings )

  • Pub. Date: May 2008
  • 336pp
  • Sales Rank: 110,325
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    Hardcover$19.43
     
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    Product Details

    • Pub. Date: May 2008
    • Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
    • Format: Paperback, 336pp
    • Sales Rank: 110,325

    Synopsis

    “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.”
    —Rant Casey

    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.

    Publishers Weekly

    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. (May)

    Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

    More Reviews and Recommendations

    Biography

    With a disturbing but mordantly funny body of work that began with 1996's Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk has become a cult author who regularly attracts both the interest of Hollywood and the bewilderment of readers who have never seen writing so fearless, modern, and smart.

    More About the Author

    Customer Reviews

    A reviewerby Anonymous

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    May 27, 2007: Other reviewers say that if you like Palahniuk you will love this book. I could not disagree more. This book is just a recycled 'Fight Club'. Let's review. We are shaped by our families, culture and the media. If we do not understand that then we are leading someone else's life. If we do see through that veil we can follow our own true path within our society. Or we can Chuck the whole thing and realise we are just clever animals. We can take the idea that life is 'nasty, brutish and short' to its extreme conclusion. Your garden variety rebel distills life to sex and drugs and rock and roll. Your true rebel distills life to sex and destruction and rant and rage. The trap is that for every authentic anti-hero, like Tyler Durden or Rant Casey, there is a pathetic cast of wannabes ironically trying to live someone else's life. This book would have been OK if 'Fight Club' had not been written first. Chuck Palahniuk rages against the tame homogenized life so many of us live. I think that puts a greater burden on him not to recycle his earlier successes.

    Pick any other Palahniuk but this oneby Anonymous

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    February 27, 2011: I love Palahniuk's books. I give them to everyone after reading.

    I wanted to throw this one in the garbage after reading.

    It is as interesting as all the rest of the books until the last few pages. It's as if Chuck was simply tired of writing the story and finished it at 9am before a 10am deadline.


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