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The Constant Rabbit by Jasper Fforde

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The Constant Rabbit by Jasper Fforde
UK Publication Date : 2nd July 2020
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: [★★★]

This ARC was provided by Hodder & Stoughton (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Will this book make you hopping mad?

Synopsis from Goodreads: Peter Knox lives quietly in one of those small country villages that’s up for the Village Garden of the Year award. Until Doc and Constance Rabbit move in next door, upsetting the locals (many of them members of governing political party United Kingdom Against Rabbit Population), complicating Peter’s job as a Rabbit Spotter, and forcing him to take a stand, moving from unconscious leporiphobe to active supporter of the UK’s amiable and peaceful population of anthropomorphised rabbits.

Bookworm’s Thoughts: Perhaps if I hadn’t read and loved the Thursday Next and Nursery Crimes series by Jasper Fforde this would have got a better rating as it stands compared to them I felt this book was lacking magic.

The whole of this story is a satire about the state of the UK as it stands now (albeit without the changes instigated by Covid-19) Various political issues are explored in a humorous way including fake news, Brexit, budget cuts, prejudice against anyone who appears “other” and how power can be abused by those in charge simply by how certain wording is interpreted. While taken to extremes the situation in Fforde’s UK was not unrecognisable when looking at the world today, in fact there are strong parallels to the Black Lives Matter protests and how the actions of the opposite sides of the debate are treated by law enforcement.

Sections of this book did make me laugh but to maintain a cohesive narrative featuring human sized rabbits was stretching things a bit far and some scenes just made me feel uncomfortable, the rabbit bikini and shower scene just didn’t work for me.

I liked the exploration of rabbit culture the need to burrow, the fight for mating rights, the peaceful protests, the open door policy of community inclusiveness and the simple joys of gambolling. In fact I would have liked to spend more time exploring the day to day life of the rabbits including those in the colonies compared to those living off colony.

This being Jasper Fforde there were (of course) literary references scattered throughout the story my favourite being the TwoLegsGood group of rabbit hating thugs as well as the Beatrix Potter lines of Rabbit clothing.

Overall I enjoyed the story but with some reservations.

Who would like this? If you can suspend your disbelief about anthropomorphised animals living alongside humans then this book provides a serious message in a humorous manner. If you can’t cope with giant rabbits this probably isn’t for you.

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think?

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