England, 2022. There are 1.2 million human-size rabbits living in the UK. They wear clothes and can walk, talk and drive cars, the result of an inexplicable Spontaneous Anthropomorphizing Event fifty-five years earlier. A family of rabbits is about to move into Much Hemlock, a cozy little village in Middle England where life revolves around summer fetes, jam making, gossipy corner stores, and the oh-so-important Spick & Span awards for the best-kept village. This novel is a blend of satire, fantasy and thriller.
Jasper Fforde’s entertaining, surprisingly thoughtful yet fleet-footed new book—a standalone novel with a climax so dramatic, irrevocable, perfect yet unpredictable that it seems impossible to extend the book to a series—is the comedic master’s foray into this thematic realm. It is, as one might expect, by turns droll and hilarious, poignant and cruel, hopeful and despairing. In other words, a true comedy in depth, a form that is not mere mindless japes and slapstick, but one which counsels us that if we don’t laugh, we must cry.
... Fforde most definitely has endeared himself to a wide readership. Now, as ever, he lays out an equally absurd but poignant Britain that explores themes of fear and prejudice in The Constant Rabbit ... With The Constant Rabbit. Fforde is quite unabashedly playing out the fears of the UK as they pertain to the non-British resident and immigrants, but he also toys with the same arguments the world over, including our own troubles here in the US. It is a book about human-sized rabbits, sure. But it is also about the examination of the other and how the other is treated ... There is often a deeper story under the absurdly entertaining tale, and that is exactly true for The Constant Rabbit. In the end, one can enjoy it merely as entertainment. He creates a spectacular culture for the rabbits, and the rabbit references alone are worth the effort to get into this work. At the very least, Fforde continues to make the case that he is among the best satirists of our time.
Rabbits, foxes, weasels, and other creatures live as humans, among humans in Fforde’s wonderfully absurd new novel ... is there anyone who can write satire quite like Fforde? ... An astonishingly well-crafted work of social and political satire.