November 2016: Book Club Review
Theme - Nursery Crime: ‘Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse’ by Robert Rankin
This month’s group was a real mixture of people who had either read the whole book, read just a couple of chapters or looked at the cover and read a synopsis. Whatever their engagement with the book itself, everyone took part in a lively and considered discussion of the plot, characters, themes and the (rather unusual) genre in general.
A slow burner for many, but the general consensus was that it was worth getting past the first two chapters to enter a world where economic expansion in the nursery rhyme market means that the wholesome Toy Town has morphed into a seedy Toy City. Supported by Eddie Bear, Jack sets off to discover who is killing off the nursery characters and why.
Not for the faint-hearted or easily offended, the deaths are gruesome but fun to consider how they relate back to their respective rhymes – think Humpty Dumpty being boiled in his pool, or Jack Spratt being fried in his ex-wife’s restaurant. This inevitably led to the group colluding to bring together our half-baked recollections of the nursery rhymes of our childhood and a Google search or two (no-one could remember Little Boy Blue).
As discussions came to a close the group voted to give the book an average score of 3.5/5.
Recommended further reading:
If you enjoyed our theme of Nursery Crime you could also try:
‘The Big Over Easy’ and ‘The Fourth Bear’, both by Jasper Fforde.
If you like the idea of subverting the old fairy tales, but our particular choice of book didn’t interest you, you could try the following:
‘Transformations’ by Anne Sexton – a collection of poetic retellings of fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm
‘The Bloody Chamber’ by Angela Carter – a collection of short stories that share a common theme of being closely based upon fairy tales or folk tales.
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