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The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse (Gollancz) Paperback – August 1, 2003
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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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.