Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse by Robert Rankin

When you're looking for a light, humorous read, how could The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse escape your notice.

The story follows an adolescent by the name of Jack. He's decided to leave his small factory town home to find his fortune in the big city. The city is Toy City, which is inhabited by toys and nursery rhyme characters. Here he meets up with a teddy bear by the name of Eddie, whose owner, detective and author of a series of hard-boiled detective novels based on his own experiences, real or imagined, Bill Winkie has mysteriously disappeared while investigating the murder of Humpty Dumpty. Soon after Jack and Eddie team up to find what has happened to Bill, Little Boy Blue is found viciously murdered in his mansion.

This book is a strange combination of light-heartedness and dark humor. The descriptions of the victims after death are especially brutal when your mind is seeing the innocent characters whose rhymes we all grew up chanting. The story, itself, is quite entertaining as a traditional who-dun-it. It suffers a bit from political overtones and religious debate, especially towards the purposely chatty climax. This may well be the over-all purpose of the writing but the book as a whole didn't support this being the theme with the exception of a few passages which, at the time, seemed a bit off topic.

Much of the humor of this book felt a bit forced. The continuing quirk of Eddie's inability to "...do corroborative nouns.", which leaves the reader with an endless string of unfinished comparisons as tiring as... All of the food in Toy Town is alliterate to the point of often making no sense. And the word of the day for the writing style of this book is repetitive. Phrases, which are often amusing the first time, are repeated three and four times within a single page.

This is the first encounter I've had with a Robert Rankin book and although I found his style here more than a little annoying, I found the story an enjoyable escape.

Title: The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse
Author: Robert Rankin
Publisher: Orion Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780575074019


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