Thursday, October 9, 2014

Review: "Rant" by Chuck Palahniuk

For at least the first part, Chuck Palahniuk’s Rant works really well describing our main character's early life. I haven’t read any of his books since high school, feeling I have outgrown him, but felt like taking a trip back into his bizarre fictional world. I had my doubts, but I had no idea how uninteresting this book would be. I used to really bash Palahniuk, but I feel really bad that I did. For one, he gets a lot of people reading books that normally would not, and that is always a good thing. Second, he has been described as Swiftian in past reviews, and that is very accurate. He takes brutal looks at harden American values, and points out the seeping flaws in all of them. Whether that be masculinity in Fight Club, the idea of beauty in Invisible Monsters (which I hated when I read it, and still do), or romance in Choke, he sees how hollow these ideas have become, and has a laugh while doing so, but not at the expense of the reader. But a majority of this book simply doesn’t work. It takes the form of an oral biography, where many people are interviewed about a subject, and that subject is Rant Casey, a perverted messiah to people in a dystopian future, as well as patient zero for a rabies epidemic. He is a fascinating character, a sort of detached sociopath who wreaks havoc in ingenious and cruel ways. But once he becomes a “party crasher”, someone who participates in a public demolition derby, I found myself tuning out. A lot of work went into this book, as with all of his other books, with many obtuse details we didn’t know and don’t want to know, but it is merely a fancy coat of paint on a novel that never seems to take off. I will say that my opinion of Palahniuk has changed, even if this book didn’t help.

Rating: 3/5

No comments:

Post a Comment