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The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse (GollanczF.) Paperback – August 1, 2003

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Product Details

  • Series: GollanczF.
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New Ed edition (August 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575074019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575074019
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,410,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Like a mad toymaker's fever dream, Rankin's uproarious book imagines a town where toys and nursery rhymes come to life and pursue human activities: they walk, talk, eat, drink and commit heinous crimes. Thirteen-year-old Jack goes to the City to find his fortune, unaware that the City is in fact Toy City, where legends and fables walk (or stumble, if they've had too much to drink). He meets up with detective teddy bear Eddie, who is investigating the murder of Humpty Dumpty. When Little Boy Blue is offed, it's clear that a serial killer is prowling Toy City, leaving behind the titular chocolate bunnies as his calling card. Rankin doesn't just drop names of familiar characters but gives them riotous back stories: Miss Muffett hosts a daytime TV talk show called "The Tuffet"; Mother Goose (who prefers to be called Madame Goose) runs a brothel; Humpty Dumpty was likely a failed television stuntman named Terry Horsey. Although the story is wickedly clever and the payoff is a great and satisfying surprise, the real delight comes from watching Rankin work his linguistic magic: characters talk in hilariously circular and self-aware dialogue, and puns and wordplay are packed into the prose like sardines in a tin. Although substantially darker and edgier than the Hitchhiker's series, this gem will appeal to Douglas Adams fans, as well as lovers of British humor in general.
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“Although substantially darker and edgier than the Hitchhiker's series, this gem will appeal to Douglas Adams fans…” -- PW Daily for Booksellers

“Rankin more than lives up to his deliriously inventive title…” -- Entertainment Weekly

More About the Author

Robert Rankin describes himself as a teller of tall tales. The Morning Star describes him as 'The Master of Silliness', and his publisher describes him as The Master of Far Fetched Fiction. He is the author of more than thirty novels, of which he has sold millions of copies, and he is published - and making people laugh - around the world.

Despite his remarkable publishing success, Robert has never taken himself too seriously. He loves going on tour, signing books for readers, and his appearances at signings and conventions are legendary, often including a stand-up routine, a song (accompanied by his 'air-ukulele'), and an always-entertaining question-and-answer session. Robert Rankin is a great entertainer, whether in person or through his novels, with wit, humour and an incredible personal warmth.

But that's not all! In addition to being a talented writer, comedian and musician, he's also an incredible artist . . . so incredible, that he creates his own stunning book covers.

Reading his books can and will inspire you, scare you, thrill you and, above all, entertain you. His novels are an outlet for the soul, and food for the imagination.

The Brentford Trilogy:

The Antipope
The Brentford Triangle
East of Ealing
The Sprouts of Wrath
The Brentford Chainstore Massacre
Sex and Drugs and Sausage Rolls
Knees Up Mother Earth
The Brightonomicon

The Armageddon Trilogy:

Armageddon: The Musical
They Came and Ate Us
The Suburban Book of the Dead

Cornelius Murphy Novels:

The Book of Ultimate Truths
Raiders of the Lost Car Park
The Most Amazing Man Who Ever Lived

The Trilogy That Dare Not Speak Its Name:

Sprout Mask Replica
The Dance of the Voodoo Handbag
Waiting for Godalming

The Witches Trilogy:

The Witches of Chiswick
Knees Up Mother Earth
The Brightonomicon

Eddie Bear Novels:

The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse
The Toyminator

Standalone Novels:

The Greatest Show Off Earth
The Garden of Unearthly Delights
A Dog Called Demolition
Nostradamus Ate My Hamster
Snuff Fiction
Web Site Story
The Fandom of the Operator
The Da-da-de-da-da Code

Customer Reviews

Albiet, it didn't come until page 250 of a 340 page book.
J. Thompson
It has to be said that the book runs on about 50-100 pages too long as the jokes start to wear a bit thin and the action starts to get too repetitive.
A. Ross
He's not dry and witty like a Monty Python skit (his writing might be more tolerable if it were the length of a Monty Python skit).

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Esther Schindler TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 26, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unlike many of the reviewers here, I like The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse. I understand what the critics disliked; those faults simply didn't irritate me. Instead, I found the book very funny... assuming you can pry yourself into a sort-of Monty Python mood and not take it seriously.

The story's premise is simple enough to impart: boy goes to the big city to seek his fortune, only to discover that the city is occupied by talking toys and by nursery rhyme characters. He shortly finds himself in the role of detective (or detective's assistant, really; Eddie the teddy bear is the real brains, even if those brains are made of sawdust). But in a way the plot isn't important, just as the plot of, say, Monty Python and the Holy Grail isn't what you went to see.

The writer's style is self-indulgent, like an actor who is aware of the audience's presence and speaks to them. He toddles off onto tangents because, it's obvious, *he* wanted to go down that street to find out what the characters were doing and what was served at that bar. To a degree (or, assuming that I'm in the right mood), I like this; the author is having fun and taking you on his adventure.

Amazon kept insisting that I'd love this book because I bought so many books by Jasper Fforde. I wish I hadn't known that, because I expected it to be Fforde-like. It's clever and English and has lots of literary references (Rankin is subtle about some of them). But the tone is entirely different. Fforde's books *are* for when you want Serious Funny stuff; this one is best suited to reading with a glass of beer (wine is for Fforde) after a really lousy week at work, when you want to escape to a completely silly reality and it's too much trouble to find your Rocky Horror DVD.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
Basically, this is the kind of book where your reaction to the title and/or cover is a pretty good indicator of whether or not you'll enjoy the contents. It's silly stuff, sometimes dark, but mostly the kind of outsize fantasy/comedy British writers seem to manage to handle so well (Rankin is often mentioned in the same breath as Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams). The concept at work here is that a serial killer is on the loose in a city populated by toys, striking down the rich and famous -- namely notables from nursery rhyme fame, such as Humpty Dumpty, Little Boy Blue, et al. Into this killing zone stumbles Jack, a 13-year-old boy come to "seek his fortune" in the big city. But almost immediately upon his arrival, the big city seeks his fortune instead, leaving him mugged and penniless in an alleyway. Fortunately, a kindly teddy bear named Eddie comes along to take him under his paw and get him involved the mystery. It seems Eddie is the sidekick of Toy City's eminent detective Bill Winkie (aka Wee Willie Winkie), who has gone missing. Soon Jack and Eddie are racing across Toy City in clockwork cars, checking out murder scenes, visiting Madam Goose's house of ill repute, and getting sloshed at Tinto's Bar, as they attempt to solve the case. If this sounds somewhat reminiscent of the 1988 film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?", it should.

Part of the fun comes from the spoofing of nursery rhymes and childhood toys, including comically gruesome murders, thriller/noir goofing, and totally tongue in cheek action. The other part of the fun comes from the wacky wordplay. Rankin is fond of alliteration, punning, double-entendres, repetition of stock phrases, and from the mouth of Eddie, the incomplete simile.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Thompson on March 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
Funny is so difficult. And, by all rights Rankin's 'The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of The Apocalypse' (hereafter called HCBA) should be funny. It has the irreverent banter, the broad characters, the absurdist plot twists, and the wacky situations. And Yet....

You see HCBA is about a young man, Jack, who is making his way in the city. 'Toy City' to be exact; where toys and nursery rhymes live in a remarkably modern, media obsessed society. All the while, they are governed over by a wholely indifferent 'Toymaker'. Jack meets a detective bear named Eddie who used to work with 'Wee Willie Winkie' solving crimes. (Get it - you see Bill Winkie was naturally inclined to be a detective, what with all the spying into lock, and running around town at night.) Together they begin to investigate a series of killings of prominent 'Toy City' residents.

It's like HCBA tries to hard for the laughs. Mainly, the book has a witty style that twists words, quite deftly, in some cases. But witty isn't neccessarily funny. And Rankin doesn't know when to stop. There are pages and pages of this wordplay. It amounts to several recycled jokes that really fall flat.

All that being said, HCBA does surprise. While I never got a laugh from the book, I did get a surprisingly pointed critique of relegion and politics in modern society. Albiet, it didn't come until page 250 of a 340 page book. Still, like good science fiction, the book provided a mirror onto today's society, and for that it wasn't a waste of time. But again satire and parody, isn't the same as a good belly laugh.

So, if you are looking for unique characters, witty dialoge, and sharp parodies, then HCBA has all thet in spades. Just don't go looking for the funny.
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