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RANT_beyond Fight Club

October 21, 2009

The future you have tomorrow won’t be the same future you had yesterday.

This isn’t quite the follow up to Fight Club_book vs. movie that I promised a few weeks ago.  Instead of reading Chuck Palahnuik’s Choke and then immediately watching the movie, I read the book and then immediately picked up another of his novels.  The thing is, I watch so little of television and so rarely rent movies that it could be years, and I seriously mean years, before I sit down and watch the damn movie and this blog must go on.

So, like I said, I kept on reading and, with the recommendation of a friend, I picked up Rant.  Now, I was really hesitant to give the book a shot.  Before sitting down to reread Fight Club and Choke, I glanced online at what Palahnuik’s written since and the quick reviews I saw left me with low expectations.  But, to make a long story short, I picked up the book anyway and I couldn’t put it town.  In no way was I expecting to enjoy this novel as much as I did and, in fact, this may be my favorite of Palahnuik’s novels.

So what’s so great about it?  Once again, many of Palahnuik’s trademarks are present (note: I called these clichés in the previous post but that seems too harsh since these are things I enjoy in his work.)  As I’ve pointed out before, each of Palahnuik’s novels (that I’ve read) has a Tyler Durden-like character.  Each of them, throughout the course of the book, becomes an almost mythological character.

Fight Club has, of course, Tyler Durden.  Survivor has Tender Brandson.  Choke has Victor’s mother.  And even Lullaby has the character Oyster but, admittedly, he is never propped up as high as the others.  These are the characters we love and/or hate.  These are the characters that change the way we look at the world.  Rant is no different.  Rant has Rant Casey.

Another of Palahnuik’s trademarks: the structure.  Rant, like most of his novels, starts at the end of the story and works it’s way back to the beginning but Palahnuik is so good at how he does this, and how he sets up his plot twists, that it never gets old.  It just hooks you that much more.  And as for those plot twists, there’s a great one in Rant.  It’s so far out in left field that I had no idea it was coming, nor have any idea where it came from.  It’s the kind of crazy crap that I can only hope to include one day in my own writing.

The other great thing about this novel: the format.  The entire story is presented as an oral biography.  So instead of your traditional first-person narrative, we’re presented with numerous characters all discussing and sharing their stories of Rant Casey.  Some of the stories conflict and some of them don’t quite add up but it all makes for an enjoyable, mind-blowing read. Palahniuk took a big chance experimenting with this format.  It’s radically different than his previous novels, and, if done wrong, could have made for a terribly boring piece of literature.  But, fortunately, Palahniuk nailed it.

So, there you have it.  My thoughts on Rant.  Man, just writing about the novel makes me want to read it again…

Rant

Rant

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Hack Riven permalink
    October 21, 2009 7:28 pm

    …you just made me finally decide what book to read next.

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