From ghoulies and ghosties...

The Rabbit Back literature society is an enchanting, sometimes disturbing tale by the Finnish author, Pasi Ilmari Jaaskelainen. Schoolteacher Ella Milana is thrilled to become the elite society's tenth member, but following the disappearance of the society's founder, the beloved author, Laura White (a sort of sinister Terry Pratchett figure), strange things start happening in Rabbit Back.

Rabbit Back is a strangely charming, occasionally unsettling fable; which examines the relationship between authors and their stories. It's reminiscent of Jasper Fforde's Bookworld series; but is also a distinct, dark, and occasionally beautiful voice.

In a sense this novel is a puzzle book - as the author himself admits : (see It rather made me think that it was a literary version of the beautifully illustrated treasure hunt books that were very popular in the late '70s, such as Masquerade. All the clues are there, but solving them is not going to be straightforward.

It's beautifully readable, if distinctly odd, and is well worth having a look at if you fancy a literary sibling of Twin Peaks or even The Wizard of Oz. It's odd, but also oddly enjoyable. It's a rather different fantasy style to anything you'll find elsewhere. Wickedly charming.


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