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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on June 23, 2004
I bought this book for no other reason than because I saw it in the store and loved the title. It's pretty much the best title ever, I think. And much to my surprise, I absolutely loved this book! It's very reminiscent of the works of Monty Python and Douglas Adams: irreverent, scatter-shot, howlingly funny and sometimes in very questionable taste--and I mean that in a good way. I also loved the way the author sometimes goes on long, barely related, and very funny tangents right in the middle of the suspenseful parts, thereby both prolonging and defusing the tension at the same time. In addition to be being laugh out loud funny (I really embarrassed myself on the subway one morning) it's also a satisfying whodunnit for mystery fans, with good plotting, fully fleshed-out characters (although maybe flesh isn't such a good choice of words here), and a lot of honest to goodness suspense. Thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended. In fact, I'm trying to get my book club to do this one next month so everyone can enjoy it.
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on March 25, 2004
Well, of course any book set in Toy City has got to have its fair share of the fantastic, but once you accept (as our hero Jack is forced to) the existence of walking, talking toys, the novel settles into the (intentionally) formulaic mystery-detection beats.
The situations are interesting and different (Miss Muffet's talk show comes to mind--in toy city all those nursery rhyme characters have perforce become rich and famous), the characters well-characterized, the humour unforced, and the relationship between Jack and the bear who somewhat adopts him is quite touching.
The best part of the book is its charming dialogue--the toys share the same literality that Carroll's creatures have in the Wonderland/Looking Glass books; although no one quite comes out with "then you should say what you mean," it's clear the characters expect it. There are several very cute passages.
An excellent book (my first read of this author's oeuvre) and I'm looking forward to reading more from him (he's written a lot!)
Note: a 3 star ranking from me is actually pretty good; I reserve 4 stars for tremendously good works, and 5 only for the rare few that are or ought to be classic; unfortunately most books published are 2 or less.
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on April 27, 2004
The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse is pretty much a crazy book--track it down and read it. From the reviews on these pages, it is harder to find this book than it was for Jack and Eddie, the young boy and stuffed bear heroes of the book to solve the mysterious murders in Toy City. Humpty Dumpty has been boiled to death--and other nursery rhyme protagonists soon follow. Toy City is a bizarre place where toys are real, as are people and nursery rhymes and other oddities. Jack is new to the town, and, like the reader, is perpetually amazed at the weirdness of Toy City. This book is very, very funny--a bit (well, more than a bit) off center--but just a delight to read. It's a blend of science fiction, fantasy, humor and mystery--somewhat like the Thursday Next series in its odd blending of multiple genres. Fun, weird fun, but still fun.
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on May 10, 2004
I picked up Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse because of the absurd title. Never having read a Robert Rankin novel before, I wasn't prepared for how completely nutty he is. This book is hiliarious. Eddie Bear and Jack (from the human world) have to go through Toy City to discover who's murdering all the old heroes of the Nursery Rhymes-- or "pre-adolescent poetry personnages", as they prefer to be called. Fast-paced and action-packed, Rankin is a genius with wordplay and British wit. I know this book is hard to find in the States, and my assumption is that it's because of a thinly veiled reference to Bush and his wars near the end of the book. I don't think anyone in the states printed it, but you can find it pretty much anywhere in Canada or the UK, so get it, read it, and laugh hysterically.
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on March 4, 2004
Behind the mask of this hilarious book is a revelation known only to a few people in the past. Just as Toontown has its dark secrets and evil Toons, Toy City - where nursery rhyme characters reside - has its share of Looniness that would lead the Brothers to wish they'd written all the nursery rhymes, and not just the Grimmest ones. This book points fingers like no other brave soul has dared. (For example, despite a blatant attempt to make it look like an accident, it has always been well known among insiders that Humpty Dumpty was indeed murdered.) The Apocolype may be coming, as the title suggests, but I have advice for all my loyal Bunny-Eating friends: do all the wabbits a big favor and bite off their heads first so they don't see the rest of it coming!
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on March 18, 2004
"it's as sweet as" - Eddie.
having now read the book i have to say that it is an interesting trippy read. the language takes a bit of getting used to, simply because it is very straight forward, very much like nursery stories. As Jack and Eddie try to solve the murders of various nursery rhyme characters it is anything but.
Also it's a quirky self aware detective story as well. At one point our heros decide to do nothing but wait for a twist - since those always happen.
all in all a quirky, interesting, strange, funny, and entertaining read.
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on May 14, 2004
I had absolutely no problem getting a copy of this book--Barnes and Noble (the bricks-and-mortar store, not the website) ordered it for me and had it there in a week. And I live in Arkansas, so if -I- can get it, you can too.
Rankin writes with the same punny, off-the-wall humor as Douglas Adams or Gaiman and Pratchett in Good Omens. I could give examples, and started to, of the quirky sort of humor involved, but I decided that would give away some of the joy in reading. So let's just say it's as hilarious as-and leave it at that.
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on June 7, 2004
The plot of this book is amazing. I've never seen one even remotely like it. It's full of unexpected twists and interesting characters and it keeps you guessing until the end. The only thing that disappointed me about this book is who the killer turned out to be. The clues didn't point to this person and when I found out I wasn't like "What?! Him?! No way!". I was like "Oh...well that kinda sucks." But other than that it was a great book and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy/mystery.
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on January 6, 2004
Classic, irrevent humour. I loved it. I worry that this mans mind may one-day refuse to allow such outpourings, and in the style of Monty Pythons killer joke, send Robert Rankin to a higher plane than Earth! Its not happened yet, though i did see him in Coventry, so its possible its on the cards soon! Its a must for devoted fans, and an eye opener to anyone as yet not wise in the way of Rankin. I want to see a day where i can ask about Robert in a book store, and NOT get asked "Dont you mean Ian Rankin"!!
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on April 20, 2004
They had it hidden in back, UNCIRCULATED! The title grabbed me and the premise is delicious. Toy City is the badass place that Toy Town became. Picture Back to the future town as East Saint Louis. Bad things happen; a lot! Although this is obstensively a mystery, it is also satire and political comment. But it keeps it's sense of humor down to the bunnies hiding on the cover page. I miss Douglas Adams, but Robert Rankin has provided that just out of kilter storytelling that made Dirk Gently a must read.
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