Review – The Rabbit Back Literature Society

Posted 21 November, 2017 by Nikki in Reviews / 2 Comments

Cover of The Rabbit Back Literature SocietyThe Rabbit Back Literature Society, Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen, trans. Lola Rogers

There’s some interesting elements to this book: the mysterious book viruses, which changes the plots and corrupts the narratives of various books in the Rabbit Back library; the disappearance of Laura White; the mystery of the original tenth member of the society. But mostly it felt unfocused, because there’s a lot going on: the society, the game they play, their pasts, the disappearance, the main character’s experiences with her family…

And honestly, the more I read, the more I felt like I was reading the fantasies of your stereotypical dirty old man. I felt like he undressed all the characters in his mind, in more ways than one, and took delight in displaying that to the reader. It felt prurient, and I was grossed out by some of the revelations. Also, I don’t think people honestly walk around being so conscious of their own nicely shaped lips in the way that his main character does.

The resolutions to the mysteries — the ones we actually get, since there isn’t a resolution to Laura White’s disappearance, for instance — are kind of anti-climatic. I did keep reading, because I wanted to know how it would all come together, but… I kind of regret bothering. It just never comes to anything. There’s some clever writing and some intriguing ideas, but it’s all surface.

Rating: 2/5

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