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Now in our eighth calendar year!
PCR #391 (Vol. 8, No. 38) This edition is for the week of September 17--23, 2007.

The Tampa Film Review for September  by Nolan Canova and Chris Woods
"3:10 to Yuma"  by Mike Smith
Book Review: Rant by Chuck Palahniuk  by Lisa Ciurro
Reviewing a Reviewer: The Story Behind Bob Ross  by Paul Guzzo
Loose In Las Vegas: Ray Steckler Update  by ED Tucker
Movie Premiere: Secrets of a Medicine Man Documentary  by Andy Lalino
Ocean's 14 .... Barry Bonds .... Sid Won't be There .... No Shadow Puppets This Year .... She Was So Drunk (How Drunk Was She?) .... Bond. James Bond .... Whatever Happened To -- ? Chapter 28: George Dzundza  by Mike Smith
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FANGRRL by Lisa Ciurro

Chuck Palahniuk

Plot Summary:
Rant is an oral history of Buster "Rant" Casey, told through interviews with Rant's schoolmates, friends, enemies, fans, doctors and others who have been influenced by this most unusual man. As a child, Rant sought out venomous animals and insects in order to be bitten and stung as often as possible. He enjoyed the side effects of black widow spider bites and inadvertently spread rabies -- transferred through saliva, like mono -- to a fairly large percentage of the local female population.

As an adult, Rant Casey led an urban demolition derby called Party Crashing, where participants look for others with specific markings on their cars in order to stalk and crash into them. The world Rant inhabits has curfews to separate the uninfected citizens from those with rabies, computer programs for people with ports on their necks that allow them to have vivid experiences from the comfort of their homes, and an obsession with daredevil Party Crashing antics.

Rant's infamous crashing exploits and fiery death cement his legendary status. Plus there's that pesky worldwide rabies plague that he started.

About the Author:
Chuck Palahniuk is the bestselling author of two non-fiction and seven fiction books, including Fight Club, Survivor and Haunted. He has one of the most active online fan followings around, known as "The Cult."

What I Liked:
Rant's childhood story was fascinating, albeit weird and twisted. I enjoyed the storyline of a world overcome with the rabies virus, which played well upon our current society's fears of SARS, avian flu and AIDS.

There was a whole section of Rant that I adored, which explained how society was divided according to who had the virus and who didn't. Virus-ridden citizens, the Nighttimers, were allowed out only at night and didn't have the civil rights that uninfected citizens have. Palahniuk has created one creepy, eerie, twisted world.

What I Disliked:
The format. While creative, the oral history format (brief statements presenting different viewpoints from characters you weren't familiar with) was choppy and difficult to follow.

Bottom Line: Part fascinating futuristic fun that messes with your mind, part tedious text that tries too hard. I'm not ready to join The Cult just yet, but I am a Palahniuk fan.

Rating: B

"FANGRRL" is ©2007 by Lisa Ciurro.   All graphics, except where otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.