Publisher: Pushkin Press
Release Date: 2013
Reviewer: Andy Angel
In the town of Rabbit Back strange things are afoot.
Ella Milana, a substitute literature teacher at Rabbit Back High School decides to investigate when she finds books from the school and from the library have different endings to the ones she remembers. Her investigations lead to the titular Rabbit Back Literature Society an elitist(ish) group of writers lead and mentored by Laura White, an extremely popular and respected author. At the time of her father’s death Ella is invited to join the Society and this is where things start to both pick up and get really weird.
At a celebration to mark Ella joining the RBLS Laura White disappears in a snow storm and this becomes the central mystery (but not the only one – not by a long way)
This is a very different kind of fantasy novel for me. I am a big fan of Nordic crime so the idea of Nordic fantasy had me drawn in from the get go. If I had to compare it to anything I guess the obvious choice would be Twin Peaks – it has that kind of weird quirkiness. It takes some concentration to get into but the pay off is well worth the effort.
The only downer for me (and it is only a little one) is that the book, at times, reads like just what it is – a translation, so the flow is lost a little in places but not enough to ruin the story.
So, if you like your fiction slightly weird but well told this could be just what you are looking for. It has also just been selected for the Waterstones Autumn Book Club (one of only twelve chosen from thousands) and these people know what’s what. The night’s are drawing in so go pay a visit to the town of Rabbit Back and prepare to lose yourself in the weird.