→ 21 Feb 12 at 8 pm
Rant by Chuck Palahniuk
Where You Know Him From: He is the author of Fight Club, Diary, Invisible Monsters and others.
If You Like…: If you like Vonnegut you will like Palahniuk as well.
Be careful. You may be infected with rabies.
Buster “Rant” Casey uncovers a huge wealth that turns his tiny rural town on its head. He needs to get out of there. So he becomes obsessed with getting bitten by anything venomous—snakes, spiders, and whatever else he can find. Loving the side effect that is a big ol’ erection, he uses it to get an early diploma and a nice fat check to get him out of town.
Rant arrives in the city which the reader discovers is the opposite of a utopian society. All the residents take on their appropriate character of respectable Daytimers and oppressed Nighttimers—all due to a strictly enforced curfew.
A new Nighttimer, Rant tries to fit in with the “Party Crashers”, a group of demolition derby-ers who crash into other cars adorned with that night’s “flag”. A mattress on top of the car, words written on the rear windshield. As Rant becomes more entwined in the life of the “Party Crashers” he meets and falls in love with Echo Lawrence. He also starts a nationwide rabies epidemic that causes everyone who is infected to be shot and killed on the spot.
Rant comes from the point of view of people who knew Rant Casey. Through changes in space and time, you find out that Rant may be present in more than one person, could possibly be dead, and may have tried to kill or marry his mother. Seriously.
So, next time you think about tying a mattress or Christmas tree to the top of your car, think again, my friends.
My Thoughts on the Way It’s Written:
Rant is written in the style of an oral history. You hear from a multitude of characters, some of which I loved to hear from, some… not so much. At the beginning it was very hard to get into because of this style, but as the novel progresses you get more and more used to the oral history aspect of it. In fact, you sort of begin to ignore it. I didn’t find myself reading the names anymore; I knew just by the style of writing/speaking who was talking.
On a technical aspect, Palahniuk is a master of words. Each character obviously has their own unique voice and personality. None of the characters are really flat or lifeless, which I greatly appreciate. Not to mention, his diction is gorgeous. Just simply gorgeous. He has a style that sometimes you don’t know where he’s going, but he always brings it back together with a repeated phrase, much like Vonnegut. I also learn a lot outside of the basis premise of his novels. He obviously researches very much and I greatly appreciate it. For instance, in Rant I learned more about time than I ever thought was possible.
My Thoughts on the Plot/Characters/etc:
Oh, my god. Just… oh, my god. The plot hit me in the face like a wreaking ball except with more subtly. I literally was not expecting the turn the plot took. You think it’s just a simple novel about a guy with rabies BUT IT’S NOT. I literally couldn’t fall asleep for hours after finishing it because my mind was just going… all over the place.
One character you never hear from, oddly enough, is Rant Casey. But in a way… you do hear from him. And it’s a complete and total mind-fuck, I swear to god. But it’s made me think about time in a whole new way, about our society in a whole new way.
Echo and Shot were two of my other favorite characters as well, simply for the view points they gave. Shot was a person who felt cheated, while Echo never felt the need to be pitied in any way. Yet Echo is the one who inspires more pity.
In all, the novel is just… mind-blowing. It will definitely change your world and the way you think about time and deities.
Rating for this book: 9.5/10