©2007 Chuck Palahniuk; (P)2007 Recorded Books
"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)
"Outrageous but not quite over the top, full of energetic humor, Rant...is a memorable portrait of the cults that gather around authentically different people and a portrait of dystopia that feels unsettlingly contemporary." (Booklist)
If you've read other Chuck Palahniuk books, you know that it will not be ordinary. This one is no exception. I suspect the author of having a few interesting ideas, e.g. boosting, that he wanted to write about and put them all into one bizarre manuscript. I use that word on purpose because "story" doesn't seem to be the right word. The format is more documentary, but fictional. Some parts of it are truly gross (big surprise), but it makes your mind stretch so much that I have to give it good marks for creativity and originality. I am not sure if this author is classified as sci-fi, but his themes and commentary sure fit the best of the genre.
This is one of the best audiobooks I've ever owned. The book was actually much easier to follow in spoken form vs written form. The character voices were great! I would recomend listening to this on audiobook over reading the hardcopy any day.
As for the story, just like other Palahniuk tales it is strange, captivating and just plain gross at times. It's occasionally hard to follow, but it's a story that will make you think. I've listened to it three times now and every time I've caught something new that I missed the time before. I can't wait for a sequel!
If you enjoy a dark sense of sarcasm and can tolerate a certain level of brash honesty regarding human nature, this book is for you.
Palahniuk disguises his message behind a creative, crude plot. Pay particular attention to the boosting and daytimer/nighttimer concepts. Therein lies interesting insight about life in the 21st century.
I loved that Palahniuk effectively weaves together the many points of view from the characters into a cohesive story. At first it was a little hard to follow, but once I caught on, it was pure entertainment. There are definitely some memorable chapters.
Listeners be warned, this is not for the faint of heart; crude, even disgusting at times. Still, you should've known if you're picking up a Palahniuk.
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
But that's what Palahniuk fans expect. Buried in amongst all the time loop craziness and the bizarre goings on, is some intriguing insights into just what it is that makes us all the way we are. Palahniuk specializes in creating worlds that are just like ours except that some key features are simply grossly exaggerated. At his best, this forces the reader to look at the world we actually live in in a new way.
Don't get me wrong. It's certainly not a waste of time. I really liked the ensemble cast and find Palahniuk quite imaginative and funny. I was just expecting the book to say more. Part way through I really thought this book had the potential to be great. I felt the end didn't live up to the beginning. Maybe I just didn't get it.
I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^
“History is nothing except monsters or victims. Or witnesses.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Rant
HE was close. He was so damn close. He just didn't close it at the end. It was a poem that ended in a whimper. The mixture was nearly perfect, just not flammable. But don't say Chuck didn't try. I imagine Palahniuk had Ballard's 'Crash' and Benford's 'Timescape', several oral histories, and perhaps even Hofstadter's 'Gödel, Escher, Bach' sitting on his shelf as he wrote this.
Reading Rant was like watching a blind guy juggle a bunch of balls, some are on fire, and some you realize are actually burning cats. Palahniuk exists on an edge of grotesque, absurdity and social criticism that sometimes makes you lose sight of the shore. You forget what the normal is. You forget the boundaries. You are caught between a weird night and equally bizarre day. You aren't sure what to do so you just keep digging/reading.
Five major takeaways from this novel (which I might one day delve into deeper if I ever find myself with too much Liminal time or space in-between):
1. Rabies & Bites
3. Time Travel + Incest
4. Party Crashing + Night & Day
5. Oral History/Myth-making/Christianity
Anyway, I enjoyed the novel. It flew. But it just ended meh. No bang. No cliff. Just a strange, absurd, grotesque, incestuous loop.
I was a big Chuck Palahniuk fan; I have listened to his entire list of book and was looking forward to the next. After listening to Haunted I was so turned off on Palahniuk I did not buy his next two books. I took a chance on Rant. The book did state a little slow for me, but it ended up restoring my faith in Palahniuk’s talents. The store was as creative as Diary & Lullaby and as interesting as Choke. It is still not as good as Fight Club. The time travel part was a little far fetched but overall the store was well worth the time.
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