British author Robert Rankin’s 33 novels are hard to categorize. He’s long described his work as “far-fetched fiction,” hoping to garner his own shelf in bookshops. (Usually though, you’ll find him shelved in science fiction.) Rankin’s a teller of tall tales, with fantastical plots and a distinctive, playful style.
His novel, “The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse,” is a gem. The reader is catapulted into a waking dream, in which 13-year-old Jack heads to the big city to seek his fortune. Toy City, though, isn’t what he’d anticipated. Sure, its inhabitants act like humans, but are, in fact, toys straight out of nursery rhymes. After meeting detective teddy bear Eddie, who is investigating the murder of Humpty Dumpty, it’s clear that a serial killer is on the loose. The reader quickly realizes that the ensuing victims are based on historical figures, and curiosity propels you onward. What initially seems hokey unfolds as linguistic magic and carefully plotted comic fantasy that will leave you wanting more.
Of the same ilk as Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s series, but with a darker/edgier tone. If you’re a fan of Adams, or British humor in general, then you should definitely check this one out.
Keena KimmelOwner of White Rabbit Books and Curiosities