Book Review: Rabbitback Literature Society

rabbitback literature societyAuthor: Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen

Hardcover: 352 pages

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

ISBN-10: 125006192X
ISBN-13: 978-1250061928

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 Jääskeläinen’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.

One of my favorite kinds of entertainment is the balanced mix of mysterious paranormal with the human interaction that has to deal with that paranormal. I probably discovered this love while watching shows like Lost and Fringe. This is also the basis for The Rabbitback Literature Society.

As the above description reads, it does have a bit of a Twin Peaks feel with a strange occurrence involving the disappearance of Laura White, a prominent member of a small town. It’s the catalyst that starts a flow of questions that lead to other mysterious happenings. And while the book is set in Finland, the author does a great job of making the reader feel at home in the small town.

But of course, don’t get too comfortable. This is a mystery and in the vein of human nature deconstruction stories situations get a little FOR ADULT EYES ONLY in parts of the book, in case the cover or description led you to believe that it was at all cutesy.

The book reads very quickly as events unfold due to the nature of “The Game,” which keeps things a little unexpected. The only disappointment would be the final moments of the book. Just like a lot of shows that capture human drama and paranormal, while the human side resolves itself somewhat, the paranormal edge has major aspects that remain unanswered. If you expect and demand answers to all the book questions then you will leave its last page disappointed.

And I have to clarify that it’s not just story-long mysteries that go unanswered. I can understand that, with proper clarification. It’s introducing new mysteries close to the end with no intention of them being solved that rendered me a little perplexed.

The ride of the book in all its storytelling was fun and interesting, though a perfect score was lost to questions unanswered.

I give Rabbitback Literature Society 4 out of 5 stars.




Rabbitback Literature Society is available from Amazon! Here’s a link!


Jess Orso
Written by Jess Orso

Jess is the Managing Editor and Southern Correspondent for