Author Gary K. Wolf
This is the spoiler free review of Who Censored Roger Rabbit, the first book in the four part series that inspired the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. If you would like to read all the spoilers and ruin the mystery for yourself please visit here.
If you are anywhere near my age bracket you’ve very likely seen the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit. You probably had a very confusing crush on Jessica Rabbit.
Just admit it, I know I did.
But you probably didn’t know that the movie was based on a series of noir thriller novels by Gary K. Wolf. I know I didn’t.
I recently rewatched the movie and it absolutely holds up. The animation is still breathtaking and the acting is superb. Seriously, add this to your short list of movies to watch again.
But while watching the credits for the movie I saw that ever so telling “based on the novel” caption and couldn’t believe my eyes. This movie, about cartoons living among the humans was a novel?! How… how does that even work?
I had to find out, I bought the kindle edition of the first of the four novels immediately. And let me tell you, this is an impressive piece of fiction.
It strongly veers from the plot of the movie, at least this first book does. Hopefully I’ll be able to get the other books soon and see if there are more similar plot elements but this first one is definitely different.
Jessica Rabbit is still in it and still (kind of) married to Roger. She’s described exactly as she looks in the movie. The book does an incredible job of describing the toons. The crazy way they look as well as their inhuman actions and speech bubbles. The speech bubbles even interact in three dimensional space!
The plot stands on it’s own for this first book. It’s not the same as the movie and it has an actual conclusion so the sequels can be assumed to also be stand-alones.
It is also far more adult than the movie is. This is truly a hard-boiled action noir thriller that includes violence, sex, and other adult themes.
The best part is that it’s just a well crafted mystery. The reader gets to keep track of clues and follow the trail of the mystery to the surprise twist ending that actually works. There are just enough red herrings to keep the story from being obvious but not so many that you just feel manipulated by the end.
Above all else, it’s original. I’ve never read another book like it. It masterfully handles its bizarre concept and grounds it to be serious when it could easily become overly silly.
I look forward to reading the others in the series at a future date and would love to hear from anyone else who has read them.
If you love mystery novels add this one to the top of your to read list. It will keep you engaged the entire time and the characters are definitely far from stereotypical or boring.
5/5 rabbits 🐰🐰🐰🐰🐰
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Buy it here: Who Censored Roger Rabbit?