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CR3 #84: The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse by Robert Rankin

I think I've mentioned here before that I draw a very fine line between "quirky and whimsical" and "desperate and over-the-top." Sometimes that line is tough to define, and many people disagree with me--Sacred Cow and I have very different feelings about Terry Pratchett. Many of my friends love Christopher Moore and I am not a fan. Robert Rankin's The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse falls just to the side of the line where I like to place Douglas Adams and Neil Gaiman.

Toy City used to be a sweet place, but it's really gone down hill. Mother Goose is now Madame Goose, and she's running a brothel. Georgie Porgie is a child molester and Little Miss Muffett has a talk show. All the old fairy tales have been corrupted, and the toys of the city are getting very jaded. Into this rotten mess arrives Jack, a not-especially-bright farm boy, come to seek his fortune. At the same time, someone begins inflicting painful (and somewhat apt) deaths on the nursery rhyme stars. Jack joins up with detective Eddie Bear--a stuffed bear with all the chutzpah of Humphrey Bogart--to try and solve the mystery.

The descriptions, dialogue, and general tone were all hilarious to me. For example: 
Yet another theory is that there was more than one Humpty Dumpty, but no wall involved: one Humpty fell from the side of a grassy knoll and another from the window of a book depository. This is known as 'The Particularly Stupid Theory'.
 It's sort of a very twisted children's book. All the childhood cliches are there, but turned on their heads (much like Eddie Bear when he's drinking).  The characters were not exactly deep, but I did enjoy the developing friendship between Jack and Eddie. I also enjoyed the idea of Toy City--reminded me a lot of Toon Town in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? The idea that a city full of these characters exists along-side the "real" world is interesting to think about.

On the whole, I found this book to be a lot of fun and an engrossing read.

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