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ranters and ravers

‘Rant’ and Raves for Chuck Palahniuk

Courtesy of Doubleday

For those who aren't immediately drawn to vomit or burned flesh, Chuck Palahniuk is an acquired taste. And in Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey, he's still thriving on subjects some consider disgusting. (Don't believe us? Check out our excerpt.) Many critics — particularly those already well inured to the Cult of Palahniuk — loved his latest offering. For others, though, Rant provided an opportunity to do just what the title suggests. —Marc Tracy

Rave: "[Palahniuk would] like to stick a long and presumably unwashed finger down your throat to make you retch … When you're not in danger of upchucking at his grossness yourself, you'll be marveling at his brilliant and provocative take on where civilization just may be heading." —Carole Goldberg, Hartford Courant

Rant: "Professional subversive is not a career that promises longevity, and Mr. Palahniuk's elbow may be growing sore from heaving so many Molotov cocktails … [He] may justly fear the same fate as the gruesome 1990s rocker Marilyn Manson, who, as a mock headline in the Onion once put it, is 'Now Going Door to Door Trying to Shock People.'" —Kyle Smith, Wall Street Journal