“The Rabbit Factor”

“The Rabbit Factor” is Henri Koskinen’s story. He is an actuary; fair and nice and reliable. His life is matter-of-fact, a bit edgy, but strictly businesslike, at least thus far. And at the age of forty-two, he just wants everything to be sensible. Then, the man and a giant rabbit made of metal and plastic collide at great speed. Now, mister “Mathematics is incorruptible,” mister “probability calculus,” mister “always tells the truth” has been fooled. He treads on the edge between absurdity and trauma. He has inherited an adventure park, (not an amusement park) YouMeFun, and its entire staff.

 The drama and trauma unfolds in Henri’s first person factual narrative. He describes events in great detail, not a fact left out, as if he is relating experiences to an official or biographer or reporter rather than to a friend, but then he is a person who only relates to facts and does not interact much with people. The adventure park smells of children’s horseplay and fast food. It has a dead man in the freezer, and is losing money. Now money Henri understands. He is a money man; mathematics is the key. People might betray him, but numbers do not. In the midst of the chaos of the Pinball Parlour, Trombone Cannons, the Komodo Locomotive, and the Curly Cake Café, numbers represent order.

The narrative is filled with figurative language and imaginative descriptions. The silence is like water in a glass, transparent but still concrete, tangible. The moon looks like creamy Finnish cheese, yellow and hanging heavily in the sky, almost within reach. The story progresses at an even pace but increases in intensity and incongruity. The truth has sharp, cold, deeply personal nails ready to scratch and tear Henri to pieces.

“The Rabbit Factor” is unquestionably hilarious and at the same time absolutely bizarre. I must look for Cinnamon Gigglebuns.

I received a review copy of “The Rabbit Factor” from author Antti Tuomainen, translator David Hackston, Orenda Books and Independent Publishers Group “The Rabbit Factor” is  now available in print, as an e-book, and on audio from independent bookstores, online booksellers, retail stores, public libraries and anywhere you get your books.