Imagine my surprise to find that the classic film of my childhood, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, was actually based on a book. Naturally my interest was piqued, so it was only right and proper that this book made it onto the list of 30 books that I wanted to read before reaching the age of 30, and this book now brings me to the half way point of that list, having now read 15 out of 30 books on the list.
The novel is set in the present day in a world where humans and toons co-exist, although to say they co-exist is pushing it, as the book shows a great deal of racial tension between toon’s and humans. The cartoons of the novel are primarily comic strip characters, as opposed to animated cartoon stars, with famous strip characters making cameos, such as Dick Tracy, Snoopy, Dagwood, Beetle Bailey, and Hägar the Horrible. The comic strips in question are produced by taking photo’s of the various cartoon characters. In this version, toon’s speak in word balloons which appear above their heads as they talk. Although some characters suppress this and speak vocally.
The story looks to solve the murder of one Roco Degreassy and also the murder of the eponymous Roger Rabbit himself, both cases being looked into by the hard nosed (slightly stereotypical) private eye Eddie Valiant, who is being aided by none other than Roger Rabbit.
Its a typical noirish detective story involving double murder, sex, pornography, blackmail, theft, booze and oddly a teakettle, but the Maltese Falcon it aint. The writing is quite good, Gary Woolfe actually manages to build a world in few words, the length of book isn’t off putting, but it is pretty silly in places, but sometimes you need that sort of thing, I should warn you though that if you are expecting a straight up novel of the film you will be disappointed the book bares very little resemblance to the film and is certainly its own beast. It was a nice distraction for a few hours and if you’re that way inclined and in need of something to do, you should give it a go.