Who Plugged Roger Rabbit by Gary K Wolf, officially titled Who P-P-P-Plugged Roger Rabbit but I’m not gonna type that out every time.
This is the review for the second installment of the Roger Rabbit mystery series. Many of you should know Roger from the amazing film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The character is based on these stories but the plot is quite different from any of them. Rest assured you’ll get a fresh story each time.
The first book, Who Censored Roger Rabbit, was an amazing feat of creativity. A pulp fiction novel that introduces cartoons living in the human world. I would’ve said living alongside humans but they are unfortunately outcast to Toon Town. It appears to be a loose metaphor for segregation but is never dealt with head on.
This second entry to the series lacks the initial awe of the first. Since we’re already familiar with this world some of the shine has worn off and it becomes just a bit dull. It is no longer fascinating to read about cartoons speaking with speech bubbles, although it is still a lot of fun to have them use them as props.
Eddie, the private eye protagonist, is still grizzled and worn down, and still annoyed with Roger Rabbit even though they’re the best friends they’ll ever have. He once again gets sucked into Roger’s drama because he really needs a paycheck and isn’t in a position to turn it down.
Roger hires Eddie to find out if his wife Jessica is cheating on him. There are rumors that she’s stepping out with Hollywood movie star Clark Gable. They’ve been spotted on the town together and even leaving fancy hotels with each other. Eddie takes the job but discovers that there is a lot more going on than a potential affair.
As the title, Who Plugged Roger Rabbit, suggests Roger needs to get shot at some point. This doesn’t actually happen until a third of the way in to the novel. The start is slow, very slow. It introduces a lot of mini mysteries that will all tie together by the end but only serve to distract from each other along the way.
It’s also odd to place this story in the real world with some things that actually happened. Roger Rabbit is up for the lead in Gone With the Wind, directed by David o Selznick. Jessica Rabbit has already been hired as the leading lady. David gets involved in the mystery plots by hiring Eddie to discover who stole a small box from his desk during casting interviews.
Eddie has a few different jobs to juggle and he gets continuously distracted by pretty dames since he’s also terribly lonely. He is human after all. Although toons here also get lonely and want to feel loved.
The book picks up in the second half at which point I was much more willing to pick it up and continue reading. But throughout the beginning I kept finding myself just not caring too much about what would happen. The first book is magnificent but I’m not sure if I’ll continue the rest of the series now. I’m not sure if the magic can be resuscitated.
If you’re a fan of pulpy noirs I would say still give this one a shot. It is original, nothing can take that away from this imaginative series.
3/5 rabbits 🐇 🐇 🐇
For more mystery check out Artificial Detective
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