Book review – The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen

rabbThis quirky book is by the Finnish author Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen and is translated by Lola M Rogers. I’ve literally just finished it and I feel quite deflated!

Ella is a young teacher of literature who discovers that books in the local library are doing odd things, with words and plots changing. The librarian, who herself is an author, acts strangely when Ella confronts her about the books. Then Ella has a story published in the local newspaper and finds herself invited to join the Rabbit Back Literature Society – a group of nine talented writers led by author Laura White, who has gained worldwide fame through her mythical children’s books. When Ella attends a special party at Laura White’s house, Laura disappears in the middle of a sudden and violent snow storm.

At first I found the book promising and I loved the strangeness of the changing books and the slight air of mystery surrounding Laura White and the Society, and I was expecting a magical tale with twists and turns. But instead it just fell a bit flat for me.

Much of the story was told through The Game – which is when one member of the society challenges another to tell them a totally truthful answer to the question. It was when Ella began playing this game that the book lost its edge for me. She discovers that the society may, in years gone by, have had a tenth member, and she is trying to get to the bottom of this mystery. But I found the story didn’t go anywhere and was maybe just a bit too odd for me.

By the end of the book I found I didn’t really care about any of the characters – Ella herself was a bit too unbelievable and the other members of the society were all a bit creepy – particularly Martii Winter who I found very unpleasant!

Overall I found this book really disappointing. Maybe it was just a bit too weird for me and I didn’t get it, but I did fell pretty underwhelmed by it. However I think other people would love it – it is one of those books that is going to divide people.

My rating: 4 out of 10


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