Book Review: Who Censored Roger Rabbit by Gary K. Wolf

Title: Who Censored Roger Rabbit?
Author: Gary K. Wolf
Genre: Noir/parody
Date Read: 01/01/15 – 05/01/2015
Rating: ★★★☆

Review:

rogerrabbitcoverYes, this is the book you never knew Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was based on. I didn’t either, until I asked my boyfriend what my first book of the year was going to be and he pulled this off the shelf (since he moved into the house I was already living in, we have separate bookshelves). I haven’t actually seen the entire movie (I’ve seen bits and pieces), but according to aforementioned boyfriend, apart from some main characters and the co-existence of humans and cartoon (‘toon) characters, there are very few similarities.

The book begins when PI Eddie Valiant is hired by ‘toon Roger Rabbit to investigate why his current bosses won’t let him out of his contract, as well as whether or not there is any truth to the rumour that another comics syndicate had tried to buy him out. The case soon escalates and Eddie has two murders to solve, while Roger begs him to let him help with the detective work, Jessica Rabbit bats her eyelashes at him and other nefarious types, both human and ‘toon, warn him to back off.

This was a fun read, though sometimes it felt like too much was going on and I lost track of the details (I’ve said before I’m not good at remembering important titbits).  While Eddie Valiant isn’t the most likeable of protagonists, he does at least do his job well. Roger Rabbit is mostly endearing, though sometimes he goes a bit over the top. The book’s female characters weren’t especially brilliant. They had no particular personalities to speak of, and were only ever described in terms of how well they pulled off whichever outfit they were wearing. Being familiar with Disney’s version of Jessica Rabbit, though, this wasn’t exactly surprising.

The resolution of one murder didn’t feel quite in keeping with the rest of the book (without giving too much away, it sort of introduced a new genre that hadn’t really been present up until then) but the second one was resolved in such a way that actually took me by surprise, but in a good way. It made perfect sense, but wasn’t what I was expecting.

There are two more books that follow this one, but from the sounds of it, they were cashing in on the success of the movie, and don’t do much justice to the first novel. While they sound a little interesting, I think I might quit while I’m ahead.

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