The Oral History of Buster Casey

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9780099520856: The Oral History of Buster Casey

"Rant" is the oral history of one Buster 'Rant' Casey, in which an assortment of friends, enemies, detractors, lovers and relations have their say on the man who may or may not be the most efficient serial killer of our time. Rant is a darkly glittering anti-hero whose recreational drug of choice is rabies, and whose own personal Viagra is the venom of a black widow spider. He soon leaves his half-feral hometown for the big city, where he becomes the leader of an urban demolition derby called Party Crashing. On designated nights, the Party Crashers chase each other in cars in the hope of a collision, and all the while Rant, the 'superspreader', transmits his lethal disease...

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Product Description:

Buster “Rant” Casey just may be the most efficient serial killer of our time. A high school rebel, Rant Casey escapes from his small town home for the big city where he becomes the leader of an urban demolition derby called Party Crashing. Rant Casey will die a spectacular highway death, after which his friends gather the testimony needed to build an oral history of his short, violent life. With hilarity, horror, and blazing insight, Rant is a mind-bending vision of the future, as only Chuck Palahniuk could ever imagine.

Review:

Chuck Palahniuk is, of course, best known for Fight Club, a remarkable novel which gave rise to an equally remarkable movie. As a writer, his specialty has been in having no speciality -- other than that of refusing to conform to any expectations readers might have of him. Except in one regard: a book by Palahniuk will be edgy, dark and iconoclastic. Which is very much the case with Rant, The Oral History of Buster Casey. This is a novel that leaves the reader notably off-kilter for a number of reasons; its coal-black vision of a society in a state of near savagery and its sardonically funny approach to the scabrous narrative. The ‘Oral History’ here relates to Buster ‘Rant’ Casey -- and the picture we receive of him is conveyed through a motley group of enemies, friends, relations and sexual partners. Through their wildly differing accounts, we build up a picture of a very unusual man indeed: a charismatic, sinister figure with a predilection for one recreational drug (the main component of which is rabies, no less). His other substance-of-choice (in terms of highly dangerous stimulants) is the venom of a black widow spider (for its aphrodisiac qualities). Living in a small town which is barely civilised (and the passages relating to this bizarre locale are conveyed in Palahniuk’s most phantasmagorical writing), Rant opts to strike out for the big town, and quickly establishes himself at the head honcho of an urban demolition derby which goes by the name of ‘Party Crashing’. The group, on selected nights, conducts a demented game of lethal dodgems, seeking out each other in cars to bring about satisfying motorway mayhem. And in the midst of this madness, Rant, a truly toxic figure, is spreading a variety of very nasty things among those he encounters.

This is nothing less than a vision of society plunged into insanity, with every comforting conventional aspect ruthlessly torn away. It's futuristic, it's very dark, and it's very funny. And (as the foregoing might suggest) it is most definitely not for those who like their literature sedate and unshocking. And in that way, of course, it's a typical Chuck Palahniuk novel. --Barry Forshaw

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Palahniuk, Chuck
Published by Vintage Books (2008)
ISBN 10: 0099520850 ISBN 13: 9780099520856
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Book Description Vintage Books, 2008. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # A124B9780099520856

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