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The Rabbit Back Literature Society [Kindle Edition]

Pasi Ilmari Jaaskelainen , Lola M. Rogers
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
Kindle Price: £4.19 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description

Review

‘[The Rabbit Back Literature Society] Mixes the small-town surrealism of Twin Peaks with the clandestine-society theme of Donna Tartt's The Secret History’ The List

‘Unnerving, enigmatic... Hints of Let the Right One In and Haruki Murakami's elliptical early science fiction novels flavour a creepy tale about mutating books, buried secrets and ghostly encounters’ - James Lovegrove, Financial Times

‘Wonderfully knotty... a very grown-up fantasy masquerading as quirky fable. Unexpected, thrilling and absurd’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Charming, chilling and gripping from its very first page’ Bizarre

‘Sly wit... characterises The Rabbit Back Literature Society’ Metro

‘Charming and intriguing, switching from playful to creepy to heartfelt and back again... good fun’ The Bookbag

‘The Rabbit Back Literature Society is a lobster pot of a book... an exquisite balance of suspense, precision-engineered structure and darkly playful humour... fascinating. And fun.’ 5-star review, SFX

‘A novel about big questions ... wonderful characters... amazing’ TQR Stories

Product Description

A highly contagious book virus, a literary society and a Snow Queen-like disappearing author

'She came to realise that under one reality there's always another. And another one under that.'

Only very special people are chosen by children's author Laura White to join 'The Society', an elite group of writers in the small town of Rabbit Back.

Now a tenth member has been selected: Ella, literature teacher and possessor of beautifully curving lips.

But soon Ella discovers that the Society is not what it seems. What is its mysterious ritual, 'The Game'? What explains the strange disappearance that occurs at Laura's winter party, in a whirlwind of snow? Why are the words inside books starting to rearrange themselves? Was there once another tenth member, before her?

Slowly, disturbing secrets that had been buried come to light...

In this chilling, darkly funny novel, the uncanny brushes up against the everyday in the most beguiling and unexpected of ways.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 966 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pushkin Press (21 Nov. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FIP8Y6O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #34,077 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Singular gem from Finland 9 Dec. 2013
By Ann Fairweather TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This is perhaps one of the weirdest, strangest book I have read in a long time. Captivating, hypnotic nearly, I was from the start hooked on the peculiar story of books borrowed from Rabbit Back town's library, with oddly changed plotline in them, such as classics like Crime and Punishment. Ella, the heroine, is so puzzled that she quietly starts her inquest into what is going on behind the scenes at the library. But soon, at the time of her father's death, she is made the tenth member of the secret club of Rabbit Back literature Society. Laura White is the adored but elusive president of the Society and at the celebration evening of the Tenth member, she simply vanishes in the midst a snow storm. What happened to Laura White is then the on-going mystery...But there is a lot of mysteries to unveil as Ella tried to discover the dark truth behind the elitist little society of the other nine writers and what exactly is 'The Game' about...This is a totally bizarre, striking and riveting book, with a very Finnish atmosphere, not unlike the odd Moomins books. It talks about the mystery of writing, how vampirish writers have to be, sucking out all material possible from around them, but the style is strongly evocative of fairy tales, dreams, myths. It is full of snow and long Nordic nights, and fabulously enjoyable...
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant magical realism Finnish novel 29 Dec. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book deserves much more glowing reviews, so here goes. This is a wonderful novel about is about literature, books, the Game, mythology and snow. It starts with aspiring author Ella Milana, who has lovely curving lips and defective ovaries. She is invited to join exclusive writers club, the Rabbit Back Literature Society, where she meets the other members, and plays the Game with them to find out their biggest secrets. In the meantime, Laura White, founder of the RBLS has vanished, and who was she anyway? Laura's novels about Creatureville are so popular people make mythological statues based on the characters, and mythological mapping.

Well, it does all make sense, in a surreal Finnish magical realism sense. And it's wonderful, give it a go.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag of quirky writing 9 Sept. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Some parts of this book are good, some parts of it bad. The writing is at times delightful, but at others focuses on irrelevances. My main problem is that it contains about a thousand of Chekhov's guns ("If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there.").

Whilst I do enjoy the magic realism at play, the author seems unsure of how far to go with it, to the point that pretty much everything of interest in the book might be 'real' or might be fantastical. This can sometimes work, with unreliable narrators and differing points of view leaving you with an open ending that you have to fill in yourself, but for me this just goes too far, despite the attempt to suddenly wrap everything up in the epilogue (which is really not an epilogue at all, but a continuation of the story to an ending).

All in all, I was entertained, and expecting to give 4 stars, but the ending didn't really seem to know where it wanted to land with regards to the fantasy aspects, and the final 'reveal' didn't really work for me.

Others clearly enjoyed this more than me, though, so if you like quirky literary tales it might be for you. The ride is certainly entertaining, even if I found the destination slightly unfulfilling.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime 29 Sept. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is a culture shock. It revels in being cold and alien, but would be shocked, in a way, that you would think that mattered. It's very self-indulgent, with a nested structure that genuinely makes you feel like the book is ignoring you, only listening to itself. But since the theme of voyeurism is so central to it, it's as if you couldn't get this story if you didn't feel like you were eavesdropping on it.

There's a point where one character plans to write a novel, "respectful of the realistic tradition of Finnish literature." You can feel the snigger of the author as you read it. It might be the nicest bit of satire written in a very long time. This book is equal parts magic and brutal honesty, speculating wildly about how unfantastic our lives really are. It's genuinely frightening in places but ends with almost saccharine generosity. I found it hard to dislike a word of it. Bring me another.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By JK TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
One of the strangest books I've read in a long time. Suits me fine. I'm a real fan of the darkly surreal.

There's a bit of everything here from beautiful prose, romance and mystery all mixed together with nicely worked, mild, supernatural elements. There's also a lot of twisted humour but you have to look out for it because nothing's what or how you might expect.

The whole idea of 'weird fiction' in the wacky town of Rabbit Black with it's secret literary society, disappearances and novels that possess a life of their own is so nicely put together I was hooked in from the start.

There are a few bits and pieces that don't quite work and the author seemed unwilling to fully explore some of the fantasy elements which is a shame. I also found the ending somewhat unrewarding but; there's enough good stuff here that I'm happy to overlook the 'bumpy bits'.

Recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Mutability of Story
I read this book over Christmas. I thought the Finnish setting and wintry backdrop might somehow be enhanced by the festive period. Boy was that wrong. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Quicksilver
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Weird but good
Published 6 days ago by Debora
4.0 out of 5 stars Bizarre yet beguiling
Ella was born and bred in Rabbit Back, a small town which boasts one famous resident - the children's author Laura White. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Plucked Highbrow
2.0 out of 5 stars Slightly odd and didn't ever explain some of the sub plots
Slightly odd and didn't ever explain some of the sub plots!
Published 18 days ago by Flickr
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Whacky but fun
Published 23 days ago by Mulu
5.0 out of 5 stars Rabbit back
There are so many twists and turns in this incredibly clever book that towards the end it was completely impossible to put down!
Published 24 days ago by Ms. Pe Smith
2.0 out of 5 stars Unexpectedly Dull
I was greatly anticipating this book - I like scandinavian fiction generally, and the blurb from this had sounded intriguing. What a disappointment! Read more
Published 25 days ago by Mr C D GRIEVE
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
I just wanted to add to the deserving 5-star reviews of this wonderful book, probably the best thing I read in 2014. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Archy
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspend all disbelief
This is an amazing and at times, challenging, gem of a book. Part Alice in wonderland, part post modernist take on the writing and creative process, darkly and deliciously... Read more
Published 26 days ago by K.
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected yet joyful
I began the book with a critical eye, but finished it with a heartbeat. I didn't expect much a it wasn't really advertised but if you want an escape that delves into the human... Read more
Published 27 days ago by Justine Knight
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