Reading: Rant by Chuck Palahniuk

Chuck Palahniuk
is one of the most interesting writers around, cramming his books with all manner of ephemera and ideas, making subversive observations about society and weighing up the mainstream by focussing on subcultures. Best known for writing Fight Club, there's also a movie version of another of his novels, Choke, coming up at the Sundance Film Festival soon.

It's hard to tell too much of the story of Rant without giving the whole thing away but let's say that it's an oral history of a man who likes to be bitten by poisonous spiders and rabid animals, who sets up a tooth museum and who joins a bizarre team sport called party crashing which involves people decorating their cars and crashing into each other in night time traffic.

There's time travel, full sensory input media, a weird city system that revolves around a day/night curfew to ensure better use of public facilities (you're either a daytimer or a nighttimer)and Rant's girlfriend, a deformed hooker who clients pay not to have sex with.

It gets a little confusing at the end - I have to admit that as much as I love the man's work, he does seem to have a problem coming to satisfying conclusions. Perhaps this is how he likes it - why should everything be wrapped up with a tidy bow and explained and resolved? Still, when you've enjoyed the first 95% of the story, it sometimes feels a little rushed or something.

Anyways, this book is still well worth a look - I might even go back for another try to see if I can make more sense of the ending second time around. (Don't get me wrong, generally I got it but there's this whole layers on layers thing)