Book Review

by Terri Schlichenmeyer & r & Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey by Chuck Palahniuk & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & A & lt;/span & ll the Party Crashers are talking about the night Rant died. Everybody knows about the crash and how Rant's body was never found. In the new novel Rant by Chuck Palahniuk, you might find out what happened to Rant Casey.

And then again -- like the Party Crashers -- you might not.

Almost all the Nighttimers are into Party Crashing. Nobody knows who started it, but it happens almost every night of the week: teams of three or four or five drive around, looking for flagged cars, waiting to chase or be chased. Points are racked up for catching and crashing. "Sharks" are what they call the crashers. Just a little nibble-dent on the vehicle's side or rear panels. T-boning not allowed, innocents and Daytimers are off-limits.

On the night that Rant Casey disappeared, rumors swirled around Middleton. People said that Rant was asking to die. Some called him a god. Others said he was a serial killer. They said that he was at the root of an out-of-control rabies epidemic. Echo Lawrence remembers when she met him. He was standing on the sidewalk, looking for a team. It wasn't long before Echo fell in love with Rant, maybe because he didn't notice her handicaps. Her withered arm and droopy mouth didn't seem to bother Rant Casey.

But Bodie Carlyle knew more than Echo did. He knew the kind of guy Rant was because Bodie grew up following Rant through the woods outside their Middleton neighborhood. He watched as Rant put his hands down burrows in the ground, until the wild animals there chewed his arms. Bodie saw how Rant invited the bites of poisonous spiders and snakes.

I love the masterful way that Palahniuk gives you clues about his characters that you can't quite grasp and what's-to-come hints that your brain refuses to comprehend until the end of this brilliantly written book. Rant is hallmark Palahniuk and fans of his works won't be disappointed.

Be aware that parts of Rant are not for the sensitive-stomached, but if you're in the mood for a wild chase of a book, I can't possibly "rant" enough about this one.