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The hollow chocolate bunnies of the apocalypse (original 2002; edition 2002)

by Robert Rankin

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1,307425,970 (3.58)111
Member:TheoClarke
Title:The hollow chocolate bunnies of the apocalypse
Authors:Robert Rankin (Author)
Info:London : Gollancz, 2002. Hardcover. 342 pages.
Collections:Read but unowned, Purged
Rating:**
Tags:21st century, absurd, comedy, crime, detective, fairy tale, fantasy, fiction, first edition, humour, metafiction, murder, mystery, novel, nursery rhyme, published 2002, satire, serial killer, sf, toy, UK author

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The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse by Robert Rankin (2002)

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Jack decides to leave his small factory town and go to the city to make his fortune. The city he ends up at is Toy City where toys are alive and nursery rhyme characters are real. Jack meets Eddie Bear, a live teddy bear, and agrees to help him investigate the murder of Humpty Dumpty, one of the city's citizens that made his fortune with his nursery rhyme. Soon more of the city's old rich nursery rhyme characters start to die in gruesome ways and Eddie and Jack realize that they have a serial killer on their hands.

The story was OK, Jack annoyed me but I liked Eddie's character. How can you not like a teddy bear that sits on his head at a bar so the alcohol will stay in his head instead of settling into his legs? I appreciated the humor at the beginning of the story, but the recurring jokes began to get old very quickly. The more I got into the story, the harder it was for me to stay interested in what was happening. I preferred Jasper Fforde's The Big Over Easy to this novel if you are looking for a nursery rhyme murder mystery book. ( )
  Cora-R | Jan 13, 2016 |
Jack, but not any of the Jacks you've heard of, comes to Toy City (formerly Toy Town) to find his fortune. He is promptly mugged and then hooks up with an alcoholic teddy bear named Eddie. Eddie is formerly the bear of Bill (Wee Willie) Winkie, private detective, and someone is killing off Preadolescent Poetic Personalities, starting with Humpty Dumpty.

Many of the toys in the city, especially the wind-up cars are described in detail that borders on a fetish. Eddie tends to just make up strings of words, and constantly uses a comparison phrase that he is compulsively unable to finish. The author compulsively introduces a new scene or piece of information with the phrase "it's a fact well known to those who know it well that..." All of which begins to grate less than half way through the book.

Eddie and Jack spend most of their time drunk, stumbling from one crime scene to another, where they alternate being clever and figuring out what happened, until they finally stumble upon the villain, wait for him to monolog while they are saved by the deus-ex-machina. The fact that Eddie and Jack are completely aware of all of the tropes, including the Maguffin to distract the villain.

The self-aware take on nursery rhymes and fairy tales has been done better and less crassly elsewhere, notably in the Nursery Crimes books of Jasper Fforde and The Incredibles. ( )
  grizzly.anderson | Oct 19, 2015 |
The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse
Author: Robert Rankin
Publisher: Gollancz / Orion House
Published In: London, England
Date: 2002
Pgs: 342

REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Summary:
A serial killer is loose in Toy City. Prominent city dwellers are dying; Humpty Dumpty, Little Boy Blue. Who is next? The Toy City Police haven’t got a clue. And Eddie Bear’s partner, Bill Winkie, has gone missing. Eddie’s got to figure out what’s going on or the bodies are going to keep dropping. Toy City has slide significantly since the good, old, jolly days. Welcome to the grimy side. Mix a battered teddy bear having an identity crisis with heavy drinking, bad behavior, car chases, and loads of sex and violence and you get...The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse.

Genre:
Crime fiction
Detective
Fantasy
Fiction
Magic
Pulp
Quirk
True crime

Why this book:
The title is catchy and wonder inducing.
__________________________________________________​

Favorite Character:
Eddie Bear sounds like a curmudgeon. I love curmudgeons.

Least Favorite Character:
Jack the boy. Even though he was almost the victim of the cannibal farmer, he still comes across as a dick in the way that he talks to Eddie. Though Eddie seems to give as good as he gets.

Character I Most Identified With:
None of these characters come across as particularly likeable.

The Feel:
The fairy tale prose of the dialogue makes for choppy reading. It’s the way the story is obviously meant to be and it is consistent.

This is a bit Roger Rabbit like, but so much darker. Very noir detective meets fairy tale and teddy bears.

Reference to the Maguffin within the story as how a “real” detective story would go is a bit too breaking-the-4th-wall for me.

Favorite Scene:
Jack’s encounter with the “farmer” on his way to the city. That did not go like I thought it was going. It felt all fairy tale and, then, went Grimm.

Pacing:
The pace is slow.

Plot Holes/Out of Character:
There is a great amount of circuitous dialogue here. The toys and fairy tale creatures come to life speak in very “fairy tale”y style. It’s a bit annoying after the first couple times.

Hmm Moments:
Mother Goose as a madame.

Humpty, Jack Sprat, and Boy Blue as wealthy literati in Toy City.

Why isn’t there a screenplay?
This wouldn’t convert to the screen.
__________________________________________________​

Last Page Sound:
I’ve almost given up on this a few times. The interest level is there. I kept plugging along.

Author Assessment:
Case by case basis.

Editorial Assessment:
The tone and feel stay consistent.

Knee Jerk Reaction:
glad I read it

Disposition of Book:
Irving Public Library
Irving, TX

Dewey Decimal System:
F
RAN

Would recommend to:
genre fans
__________________________________________________​ ( )
1 vote texascheeseman | Aug 29, 2015 |
Synopsis: Jack had decided to leave the factory where he makes clockwork items and journey to the city to make his fortune. His first night in the city he is rescued by Teddy, the bear of a detective who has mysteriously vanished. Now Jack and Teddy must find out who is killing off the wealthy nursery rhyme characters, as well as save themselves.
Review: Weird and quirky, this is fun to read. The plot is nicely involved leading the reader on a merry chase to the bad guys, then away, then back again. Nicely silly, it's hard to put down. ( )
  DrLed | Sep 13, 2014 |
I gave this book 4 stars because Rankin is such a clever writer. I enjoyed the quirky, comical prose more than the story itself. I'm not a fan of mystery detective stories so that was one downfall but it was original enough for me to enjoy it fully. I can't wait to check out another of his books, maybe without the detective plot next time. ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Rankinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brett, LauraCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0575074019, Paperback)

Toy Town—older, bigger, and certainly not wiser. The Old Rich, who have made their millions from the royalties on their world-famous nursery rhymes, are being murdered one by one. A psychopath is on the loose, and he must be stopped at any cost. It’s a job for Toy Town’s only detective—but he’s missing, leaving only Eddie Bear, and his bestest friend Jack, to track down the mad killer.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:45 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Jack gets lost on his way to the city to make his fortune. He finds himself in Toy City, where a serial killer is on the loose. One by one, the old rich nursery rhyme characters, who made millions from royalties on their best-selling rhymes, are being slaughtered. Jack and Eddie Bear, a battered teddy bear, are challenged to solve the mystery.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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