Monday, 17 November 2014

Books I've Read: Rabbit Back Literature Society

The Rabbit Back Literature Society is the first novel by Finnish author Pasi Ilmari Jaaskelainen to be translated into English. This novel has been thoroughly discussed in the press and seems to be a current favourite of book clubs up and down the country. 

What's the plot?

The town of Rabbit Back has the feel of a quaint village where the inhabitants are hiding a dark secret. Ella Milana is a school teacher whose life takes a new direction after discovering an unusual copy of the classic novel, Crime and Punishment, in the local library. Infectious books, ghost stories and secret societies are all part of the Rabbit Back way of life. The disappearance of local author, Laura White, creates panic in the town and gives Ella a research project for her literature course. What do you do when the research and reality becomes blurred and there's some paranormal beings at work?

What did I think?

I came across the Rabbit Back Literature Society during a lunch time trip to Waterstones book store. I liked the synopsis and thought i would give it a shot. For me, the novel wasn't everything i wanted it to be. This doesn't mean it wasn't good but it felt like it was more of a youth fiction novel. The 'Game' is something that all members of the society play where they 'spill' all of their innermost thoughts and desires. Although the Game is discussed as being something that drains the player to the point of exhaustion for days i never got the feeling from the author's description of the game that it would have had this effect. The game always seemed fairly ridiculous than something to be feared. The mythological undertones were brilliantly weaved throughout the novel and it was for these sections that were most enjoyable.  

Is it worth a read?

Rabbit Back is definitely worth reading. Any flaws I felt in the book were only a result of the fact i had built up expectations for the novel. Hopefully we'll see some more works from this author in the near future. 

If you want to give it a try check out Pushkin Press for more info

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