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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • perfectly funny as always

    Fforde has the knack to tell deeply funny stories that nevertheless never fail to make you think. Brilliant metaphore for the current events

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  • Absurdly brilliant

    When a family of rabbits move into the small village of Much Hemlock, the villagers are in uproar. Despite working in the governmental rabbit compliance task force, Peter Knox finds himself questioning what it means to be human as all around him turn on his rabbit friends… I have never read one of Jasper Fforde’s books before, however when this book appeared on my NetGalley daily email I requested it from the blurb alone. A story of anthropomorphised rabbits which highlights the politics, racism and Brexit madness of the United Kingdom? What an amazing concept! It’s absurd but while it could have come across as just a bit ridiculous, it’s so well done that you find yourself believing in it fully. The world building is superb – there’s a lot of puns and pop culture rabbit references which have become ‘real world’ terms that are totally believable. Fforde keeps you immersed all the way through with snippets of ‘history’ at the start of chapters and also fun footnotes which explain the terms used. The plot itself is well rounded and I really enjoyed and empathised with the characters. As well as being laugh out loud funny in places, it also hits a darker humour whilst being thought provoking and also deeply moving in places as it pulls parallels from real-life. My only criticism would be that in the Kindle ARC that I was reading, the footnotes aren’t properly integrated. The first few are just a few paragraphs away from the note, which is fine considering you can change the font-size dramatically and it’s hard to know where to place them otherwise. However, later on in the book, they start just being placed at the end of chapters, which as the chapters are very viable in length becomes quite a tricky search which ruined the momentum of reading. I have seen footnotes on other Kindle books which pop-up when clicked and I think this would be a great way to display them if possible as they really are essential reading as you go through and shouldn’t be ignored! Overall, The Constant Rabbit is one of my Kindig Gems for the year – it’s a book I can’t stop recommending to everyone I know. Thank you to NetGalley & Hodder & Stoughton for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Constant

    What a tail! Oh I have been in stitches with loud guffaws at regular intervals. Constantly intrigued with this tail, I was to end the book.

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  • smart, inventive, thought-provoking, entertaining

    The Constant Rabbit is a novel by Welsh author, Jasper Fforde. The 2020 United Kingdom that Fforde describes to the reader is very much an alternate one where, fifty-five years earlier, a Spontaneous Anthropomorphic Event transformed a selection of animals into human-sized, talking, walking, thinking creatures. In the British Isles, the most numerous are now rabbits, who prove to be peaceable and hard-working. It takes a good deal of world-building to make a tale like this work, but anyone who has read his books knows that this is something at which Fforde is highly skilled. Even though Peter Knox works at the Rabbit Compliance Taskforce detecting rabbits attempting identity fraud, he’s not anti-rabbit like some of his colleagues, who are just a shade off hominid supremacists. But his favourable treatment of a doe rabbit borrower at the village library has been noted by the right-wing village elders. He recognises Constance Rabbit from their casual friendship at college decades-earlier, before rabbits were banned. The ruling UK Anti-Rabbit Party is pressing for their “humane” solution, Rehoming the rabbits from their established colonies to a MegaWarren in Wales, and their campaign to subvert the Rabbit Underground sees a very reluctant Peter plucked from his office job into active Ops, tracking down a suspected rabbit operative. His last experience on Ops had ended very badly. To unsettle him even further, the vacant house next door is suddenly occupied by Major Clifford and Mrs Constance Rabbit and their two children. While Peter tries to deal with his re-emerging attraction to his new neighbour, his scary boss wants him to infiltrate, suspecting connections to the Rabbit Underground, while the village council wants the rabbits out of Much Hemlock. What follows for Peter is a wild ride that includes being challenged to a duel, a graffitied garage door, getting drunk on dandelion brandy, being charged with murder, physical mutilation, prison time, wearing a wire, and slicing a lot of cucumbers. Of prison, he says: “In a turnabout that no-one expected after the crash of 2008, the second-largest group in prison after rabbits was now sociopathic investment bankers, corrupt representatives of ratings companies and dodgy corporate accountants.” Readers from Goulburn NSW might be quite delighted to find that their Big Merino also exists in Fforde’s world, if by a different origin. As always, Fforde manages to include a generous helping of over-the-top English-sounding place names, typically useless government departments with all their annoyingly abbreviated titles, plenty of poli-speak and silly character names. Fforde gives the reader a heavily satirical social commentary that takes aim at propaganda, conspiracy theories, xenophobia, right-wing politics and detention centres, to name but a few. He even lets a character muse that satire might “provoke a few guffaws but only low to middling outrage – but is couped with more talk and no action. A sort of … empty cleverness.” Smart and inventive, another thought-provoking and entertaining read.

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  • Warmly welcomed

    A new Fforde hitting the road just *before* the plight of the pandemic - yet losing none of it's power. Part of me wonders just how different things might have been... Not at all, of course, in the end... I have, as always, forgotten everything pertinent I was going to say...

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