Patient Zero
June 9, 2007 1:40 PM   Subscribe

Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey is Chuck Palahniuk's eighth novel. It takes the form of an oral history of one Buster 'Rant' Casey, in which an assortment of friends, enemies, admirers, detractors and relations have their say on this (in Chuck Palahniuk's words) 'evil, gender-conflicted Forrest Gump character'. His work is controversial, but I imagine a few Palahniuk fans who read The Blue might have missed the fact that he has a new book out. [ Previously ]
posted by chuckdarwin (24 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
There's a short Q&A with him this month's Playboy.

"Chucky P" is famous for answering his mail personally and sending care packages to his fans and his readings are usually standing room only affairs (fainting spells notwithstanding).

Has anyone else here gotten a care package?

posted by chuckdarwin at 1:41 PM on June 9, 2007

care packages
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:43 PM on June 9, 2007

The care packages are awesome. I want one.
posted by pruner at 2:06 PM on June 9, 2007

BTW, thanks for the post.

I'm a big Palahniuk fan, and I had no idea he has a new book out.
posted by pruner at 2:08 PM on June 9, 2007

Hmm, I wouldn't want to eat anything sent to me in the mail by Chuck Palahniuk.

Erm, anyway. I liked fight club but I was surprised by how uneven it was. I tried reading another one of his books and I thought it kinda sucked.
posted by delmoi at 2:10 PM on June 9, 2007

Otherwise known as "The Same Palahniuk Book: Part 8." He has more of an authorial drone, than an authorial voice.
posted by Falconetti at 2:36 PM on June 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

No care package for you, Falconetti!
posted by Dave Faris at 2:44 PM on June 9, 2007

Interview about rant on Rick Kleffel's Agony Column Podcast

Rick was master of decomposing thinnet, Gnu tools and sending backup tapes off to "the mountain" at E-mu when I worked there. His son was the "feels better" undiapered kid in a Logitech ad in the before time; the long long ago.
posted by morganw at 2:51 PM on June 9, 2007

He has more of an authorial drone, than an authorial voice.

Yeah bingo. I read Fight Club, was in love. Read Survivor, thought it was great. Then I forget what I read next, but I was like, uh, this is the same book. Choke? Diary? Lullaby? Whatever. The next was just the same book again, and again, and again. I think he's a wonderful guy but really the thought of reading that book over again just bores me to tears.
posted by xmutex at 2:53 PM on June 9, 2007

It seems to me that Palahniuk releases a new beach book for nihilists once a year or so, not that there's anything wrong with that. Fight Club, Survivor and Choke (the ones I read) were entertaining enough, but they all sound pretty much exactly the same. I lost interest after about thirty pages of Diary, and the premise of this one doesn't immediately grab, but to see whether Palahniuk can really write a novel in a variety of voices -- that aren't all, you know, Chuck Palahniuk -- now that might be worth checking out. God knows I'm tired of his voice!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:53 PM on June 9, 2007

Good lord, I'd completely forgotten about Lullaby. I read that one, too! They really are all the same; I think that one had kinda merged with Choke in my memory.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:57 PM on June 9, 2007

The other book I'd started to read was invisible monsters.
posted by delmoi at 3:13 PM on June 9, 2007

I managed to buy a USED copy of Rant at Powell's when I was visiting Portland last week. Seems good so far.

I like Lullaby the most, which puts me in a minority of CP fans I know. I'd loooove to see it made into a film- cannot believe they're turning that piece of shite Choke into a film- my least fave by far.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 3:16 PM on June 9, 2007

It's not just the voice, there's a great set of stock characters he uses. I figure Survivor for the sort of ur-novel from which his others all come. Everything else is just ... shadows of Amber, I guess, with Choke being my least favorite. I read it twice, just to make sure I didn't like it.

Also, sign me up for when he decides to release in smaller paperbacks than trades. I just don't have the space for trades.
posted by adipocere at 4:06 PM on June 9, 2007

I liked it. It's the first Palanhiuk book I've read (have seen Fight Club of course) but I picked it up because it's supposed to be the first genre book (at least my genre: sf/f) that he's written.

It's supposed to be the first of 3 dealing with this character (or multiple iterations of him) he's going to write. I'll buy the next one in hardcover (which is basically my 'stamp of approval' for an author).
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 4:09 PM on June 9, 2007

Lullaby stands out as my favourite.

I met Chuck in Toronto once, and he has to be one of the nicest, most genuine authors I've ever met (6 years working in book retail=I've met a lot of authors). He's very clever and articulate in front of a crowd, and much less intimidating than, say, Coupland.

One thing that really struck me was how damn scrawny the dude is. Those book-jacket photos of his massive pipes are either an attractive camera angle or a holdover from a bygone era. I remember thinking to myself, what is wrong with this picture? I could drop the guy who wrote Fight Club in one punch.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 4:26 PM on June 9, 2007

Maybe not, Schlimmbesserung. Skinny guys fight 'til they're burger.
posted by adipocere at 5:16 PM on June 9, 2007

I think invisble monsters is the only one I haven't read yet (besides the new one)... am I correct to assume that you didn't like what you read of it, delmoi?
posted by pruner at 5:56 PM on June 9, 2007

I loved Fight Club, then read Choke at the earnest request of a friend and... eesh. It was so bad, it kind of made me like Fight Club less. This let's-all-wear-loincloths-and-chant Masculinity! seemed organic in Fight Club, but then I read this other book and -- that's all he's got. That, and page after page of gross or violent imagery -- book as endurance test. Are you macho enough to keep turning those pages, buddy, or do you want to go read your girlfriend's Jane Austen books like a big pussy?
posted by Methylviolet at 6:07 PM on June 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

I think invisble monsters is the only one I haven't read yet (besides the new one)... am I correct to assume that you didn't like what you read of it, delmoi?

It was alright, but I have a tendancy to either spend every free moment I have with a book, or put it down and never pick it back up again. I don't remember how far into Invisible Monsters I got in terms of pages but but it just wasn't that engaging.
posted by delmoi at 6:28 PM on June 9, 2007

I liked it, and I'm glad that he seems to be moving out of the horror-ish groove he's been in for the last few books. I liked Diary, but Lullaby and Haunted both felt stiff to me.
posted by aaronetc at 8:07 PM on June 9, 2007

Haunted is a not only a bad book but a badly written book. It'll be along time before I give another of his books a chance again.
posted by oh pollo! at 1:27 AM on June 11, 2007

He's definitely written the same book a dozen times, but Fight Club was a special kind of magic, and Chuck as a presence in a room is pretty awesome... I went to a reading by him a couple of weeks ago, where he handed out fake wedding bouquets and rubber gorily-separated legs to the audience. I now have a disembodied bloody rubber leg propped up against the foot of my bed; it's a good conversation piece, if nothing else. (And I will NEVER tire of leaving it hanging out from under the blanket, eliciting a startled squeak from my girlfriend every time)
posted by Mayor West at 9:57 AM on June 11, 2007

Invisible Monsters is actually my favorite Chuck book. Sort of like Fight Club for girls.

If you get a chance, and are into them, check out the audiobooks of Chuck's books. Chuck himself reads Choke (not a good paper read IMO, but excellent as audio). Diary is read by Martha Plimpton. Haunted is read by a bunch of professionals who do a wonderful job. Lullaby and Invisible Monsters are also excellent. I'm still waiting for Rant to come in at the library.

I almost went to the reading he did in Portland, but decided to go see mefi's own John Scalzi instead.
posted by monopas at 7:08 PM on June 12, 2007

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