Chuck Palahniuk's "Rant"

With Rant, Palahniuk continues to build cred as a master of stylish modern fiction. This book is presented as an "oral history". That is, each chapter is a thematic selection of snippets from apparently longer interviews. The book contains over forty chapters, and over sixty people are interviewed. On top of a top notch story, this style enables Palahniuk to build mystery and show multiple viewpoints on the story and interpretations of the facts as they are known. Like a good documentary, it ends with you having to decide what you believe. In my opinion, it's a Science Fiction novel, but you might feel differently.

Anyway, as I read through the book, I wrote down all the people. When I started, I didn't realize there is actually a list in the book; it is essentially the final chapter. Didn't feel silly about all the extra effort when, comparing the two lists, I discovered which characters are not in the final chapter. Also, in a nice touch, one (possibly two) of the characters are not interviewed at all in the book, and this has meaning.

This book is less unpleasant to read than some of Palahniuk's other work. More along the lines of Survivor or Invisible Monsters than the highly icky Haunted or twisted Fight Club. Stylistically and storywise, it's right behind my favorite Palahniuk novel, Diary.

2008.07.01 at 12:00pm EDT