:: Article

On Ranting

rant.jpg

Chuck Palahniuk, Rant, Jonathan Cape, 2007

Here we have a muscular tale told in the style of an oral history; a compilation of disparate voices that intertwine and contradict. The anti-hero, Rant, is a sometime biological serial killer, a self-made God in good old Christian triumvirate form, hard and fast Party-Crasher and spider-bite Priapus. Set in a dystopian future, riven by a Malthusian conflict, where the population is divided into day and night timers and sensations are captured, distilled and fed back to punters via a port in their neck, Rant Casey is the phenomenological hero of a nocturnal generation placated by ersatz experiences.

Getting his kicks from animal bites, the Rabies he spreads disables the ports and forces the populace back into the ‘real’. He is supported by a cast of subversive and deviant acolytes whose individual voices combine to create a highly effective and engrossing satire, which is just a little over-egged by the time travel story threading through the narrative. Time travel aside, Chuck Palahniuk has delivered a jaunty tale of a bleak over-crowded world, where if you time it right, just about anyone can become a God.

heidi.jpg
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Heidi James‘ novella The Mesmerist’s Daughter (published by Apis Books) will be launched in July 2007, likewise her novel Carbon (published by Wrecking Ball Press). She has a column in Dazed and Confused, is a regular contributor to Another Level and Arts Editor for 3:AM. Her essays and short stories are published in a variety of anthologies and magazines. She is the proprietor of Social Disease and is a recipient of the Sophie Warne fellowship.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Monday, June 25th, 2007.