Monday, December 05, 2022

Reviewing the Mail: Week of December 3, 2022

One book for this week, and it's yet another one from the library. In fact, I ran in, dropped off the previous batch, grabbed this one from the shelf, and walked out. Amazing they still let you do that.

The Constant Rabbit is, I think, still Jasper Fforde's most recent novel. Like most of his work, it's in the vague territory of fantastika without being part of any specific marketing-driven fiction category. I tend to think SFF readers will, or do, love his books, but I don't know if that's generally true - his first big success was the Thursday Next books, which appealed to mildly literary readers first, so he may be seen as having mainstream cooties by some.

(Because some are idiots, in this as in everything else.)

This is a standalone, like Shades of Grey and Early Riser, both of which were excellent. And it looks to be another weirdly quirky British dystopia mixed with unlikely fantastic elements, as well. It's set in 2022: the very near future as it was written. Some sixty years before, a Spontaneous Anthropomorphizing Event turned eighteen normal rabbits into bipedal, human-sized intelligent sapients - and, we learn in this book, a small collection of other creatures as well - and now "the rabbit" is a mostly oppressed minority in the UK, comprising about a million "people" with very clear second-class citizenship at best.

I've already started to read it, so let me leave it there: it's quirky, and full of odd world-building details as usual for Fforde, though this one seems to have less humor in it than he sometimes does. I suspect this book is more pointed, about "foreigners in our midst" and ecological collapse, and so on, than he's mostly been in the past.

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