Cover image for The Rabbit Back Literature Society
Title:
The Rabbit Back Literature Society
Author:
Jääskeläinen, Pasi Ilmari, author.
Uniform Title:
Lumikko ja yhdeksän muuta. English
Edition:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2015.
Physical Description:
343 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
"Only nine people have ever been chosen by renowned children's author Laura White to join 'The Rabbit Back Literature Society, ' an elite group of writers in the small town of Rabbit Back. Now a tenth member has been selected: Ella, a young literature teacher. Soon Ella discovers that the Society is not what it seems. What is its mysterious ritual known as 'The Game'? What explains the strange disappearance that occurs at Laura White's winter party? Why are the words inside books starting to rearrange themselves? Was there once another tenth member, before her?"--
General Note:
Translation of: Lumikko ja yhdeksän muuta.

This translation originally published: Great Britain : Pushkin Press, 2013.
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9781250061928
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Only nine people have ever been chosen by renowned children's author Laura White to join the Rabbit Back Literature Society, an elite group of writers in the small town of Rabbit Back. Now a tenth member has been selected: a young literature teacher named Ella.

Soon Ella discovers that the Society is not what it seems. What is its mysterious ritual known as "The Game"? What explains the strange disappearance that occurs at Laura White's winter party? Why are the words inside books starting to rearrange themselves? Was there once another tenth member, before her? Slowly, as Ella explores the Society and its history, disturbing secrets that had been buried for years start to come to light. . . .

In Pasi Ilmari J#65533;#65533;skel#65533;inen's chilling, darkly funny novel, The Rabbit Back Literature Society , praised as " Twin Peaks meets the Brothers Grimm" ( The Telegraph ), the uncanny brushes up against the everyday in the most beguiling and unexpected of ways.


Author Notes

Pasi Ilmari J#65533;#65533;skel#65533;inen is well known in his native Finland for his fantasy and sci-fi narratives and has twice won the Kuvastaja Fantasy Prize given by Finland's Tolkien Society and four times won the Atorox Award for Fantasy. He teaches Finnish language and literature and is the father of three sons.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

On the night of her inauguration as the tenth and final member of the Rabbit Back Literature Society, Ella witnesses the disappearance of the group's benefactress, beloved children's author Laura White. The world may mourn the loss of the creator of the Creatureville characters, but the other nine members of the society are anxious to keep the secrets that have united them through the decades since their own induction as gifted children. Hoping to discover what really happened the night Laura vanished and captivated by the discovery that a young boy once held the place she now occupies, Ella is lured by the promise of the Game, a ritual that requires members to challenge each other to reveal their truest, most private thoughts. With an uncanny understanding of authorial insecurities and a freakishly honed sense of the supernatural origin of literary inventiveness, acclaimed Finnish novelist Jääskeläinen eerily explores the nature of creative inspiration, incisively exposes writers' desperate aspirations, and suggestively unveils the price one pays to have one's dreams fulfilled.--Haggas, Carol Copyright 2015 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Part detective story, part fantasy tale, Jaaskelainen's novel succeeds only partly in its efforts to elucidate the mysteries of literary creativity. On the night that substitute teacher Ella Amanda Milana is to be inducted as the 10th member of the elite Rabbit Back Literature Society-a prestigious writers group that has nurtured from childhood "the most important names in Finnish literature")-the group's founder, celebrated children's book author Laura White, disappears under seemingly supernatural circumstances. Induced by an offer to write a history of the notoriously secretive society, Ella begins delving into the group's past and challenging fellow members through "The Game," a truth-detecting process of stripping away the personal fictions each has come to believe in-"people dress themselves in stories" is the way one member puts it-in exchange for intimate personal information that the challenged can later use in their own fiction. In the course of her investigations, Ella uncovers evidence of a previous 10th member whose involvement with the group and premature death are shrouded in mystery. Jaaskelainen tells his tale with a variety of quirky, offbeat subplots, among them a book virus that rearranges the letters of printed texts and rewrites scenes of classic novels, a fantastical dog pack that menaces one of the group's writers, and Laura White's own bestselling Creatureville novels, whose characters sometimes seem to have achieved a life independent of the printed page. While these help to invest his insights into writers and their imaginations with a sense of the magical, their lack of explanation and resolution makes this tale read like a shaggy-dog story. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Ella Milana, a language teacher in the town of Rabbit Back, Finland, receives an invitation to join the Rabbit Back Literature Society. This small, elite group was founded by Laura White, a children's author famous for her "Creatureville" series. Ella notices that words are rearranging themselves on the pages of the books in the local library. (The librarian is also a member of the society.) What other secrets does the society hide? And what is the Game in which members "spill" (as in spill their guts)? Why and where has Laura White disappeared? Is the society covering up a dark deed from the past? Written by an award-winning Finnish author just beginning to publish here, the novel starts out very slowly and meanders around these questions until the reader doesn't care much one way or the other. Although the author makes many clever and witty observations along the way, the story reads like a creative writing exercise that goes on for too long. VERDICT This quirky Nordic tale is really a satire on writers and writing disguised as a mystery. Those seeking a more traditional mystery (and a more enjoyable read) should look elsewhere.-Leslie Patterson, Rehoboth, MA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.