Book: Never trust a rabbit

  Never trust a rabbit. They may look like a child’s toy but they eat your crops.

With a title like that, it’s no wonder it piqued my interest. However, before  reviewing the book, I have a confession to make. I don’t usually read short stories. I like my books long and epic, I naturally pick up books that are thick. I like them to be weighty and filled with a lengthy tale that will take me to another place, have me so attached to characters and so caught up and absorbed. Those are the books that I love and tend towards. That said, recently I’ve been reading a lot of short stories. And it’s been very different, although I’ve come to appreciate them a lot more. So this is my third collection of short stories that I’ve read in rapid succession, comparisons have naturally been drawn among the three and at the same time, I’ve grown more accustomed to reading short stories. So yes, with that out of the way. Onwards!

Never trust a rabbit is an interesting collection by Jeremy Dyson. He takes very simple and mundane things or occurrences and manages of weave them into the most fantastical stories. I admit that I didn’t enjoy all of them, but the 12 stories contained in this collection are all interesting in their own right. Most of the stories start out realistic enough, but then that element of surrealism enters and the stories turns and twists and transforms into something totally different from what you expected. These stories really encompass the Hungarian proverb that Dyson uses for his title. They may start like cute little rabbits, all furry and lovable, but the soon turn into quite the opposite.

Unlike Japanese Tales, these twist don’t make the stories more palatable, they make them slightly more disturbing. And that perhaps is the reason why I didn’t enjoy the book as much. Don’t get me wrong, I love tales that are slightly disturbing. For example, I love the stories by Edgar Allan Poe. However some of Dyson’s stories made me feel as if something was wrong, and there was nothing I could do about it. The stories may start out innocent enough, but somehow unravelled into something senseless. The best example I can give to describe what I felt would be akin to watching the anime Monster or reading the manga counterpart. Words escape me at this point, I would say to go read the book to find out for yourself, but I cannot wholeheartedly recommend the book. It definitely isn’t for everyone.  Give the first story in this collection a try, but if you don’t like it, don’t stick around to read the rest. That’s all I can really say right now.

Still I would give his other books a try, I liked this writing style in its own right and his imagination is captivating. I like his use of normal everyday happenings as the start point of his stories. That aspect really caught me and was the main reason I kept reading. Hopefully his other books would be more enjoyable.


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