This is a novel that I picked up because of the title: The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse by Robert Rankin. After all how can you miss with a title like that! In it, Jack sets out to discover his fortune in the city. Once there he gets the shock of his life. He discovers himself in Toy City, where he becomes the sidekick of Eddie Bear, private detective. Someone is killing the PPPs: Pre-adolescent Poetic Personalities who become rich from the royalties of the poems written about them. The methods of murder are quite gruesome. For example: Humpty Dumpty is boiled by a lens above his swimming pool and Little Boy Blue is staffed – quite literally. This epic adventure involves heavy drinking, bad behaviors , car theft, sex, violence and cross-toy fetishism. If this isn’t enough for you try the sequel, The Toyminator.
Continuing with the theme of poking fun at literary characters are the series by Jasper Fforde. He has written two series, the Thursday Next novels and the Nursery Crimes stories. The first novel in the Thursday Next series is The Eyre Affair. Fforde won the Wodehouse prize for comic fiction for The Well of Lost Plots. Like Robert Rankin, Fforde has a private detective, DCI Jack Spratt, investigating crimes against beloved literary characters like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. A bit of trivia here: none of Fforde’s books have a chapter 13 except in the table of contents. Check it out for yourself by picking up one of his books.
While this book is not part of a series, I am going to cheat and include this book because its authors have written other series. Good Omens: the nice and accurate prophecies of Agnes Nutter, witch : a novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman is a World Fantasy Award nominated novel. It concerns the final judgement, the birth of the son of Satan, the demon Crowley and the angel Aziraphale. Crowley and Aziraphale have become comfortable with their lifestyles in the human world and even have become friends. When the four horsemen of the apocalypse ; War, Famine, Pollution (since Pestilence retired in 1936 with the discovery of penicillin) and Death come looking for the anti-Christ, they join forces to prevent this. Being a comedy there are, of course, misunderstandings and mix-ups. The child everyone thinks is the child of Satan, Warlock, is a perfectly normal 11 year old boy. The real Anti-Christ is Adam, who lives a normal life with typical English parents due to a switch at birth. I love the part about choosing a pet dog. I won’t spoil it here but I never imaged a hound of hell to look like this one! While parts of the novel are dated (whenever Crowley switches on music in his car it always plays Queen’s greatest hits) it still managed to make me laugh out loud.
So what are your favorite fantasy series that made you laugh? I would be interested in finding out. I can always use a tickle to my funny bone.