The book is the story — the mythology — of one Rant (aka Buster, aka Buddy) Casey, either a villain or an iconoclast for reasons that are revealed layer by layer as the book unfolds. The mystery of Rant's significance combines with the near-future SF-setting to leave the reader with the kind of disorientation felt by an adult entering a childhood bedroom after the house hass been sold.
There are no spaceships, no teleporters, no aliens, no nuclear holocausts, but there are phrases, appalations, take-for-granted details that are left unexplained. Like clouds gathering before the storm, they fill up more and more of the story, keeping you reading your way toward the thunderclap payoff.
Rant has me standing by my previous assessment: Chuck Palahniuk is a mighty good writer. Even better, though, is the sure knowledge that he's still got surprises tucked up his sleeve, surprises like Rant Casey.