Today I will be doing a book review of Who Censored Roger Rabbit by Gary K. Wolf. If this the name Roger Rabbit sounds familiar, it's because the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit was based on this book. Be warned, the book is completely different from the movie.
The only reason I picked up this book was because of a video I found on YouTube. The video went over less known details surrounding the movie and being based off a book was one of them. I was working as an overnight security officer so I was able to read the book in one sitting while at work. The book reads like an old-time detective show, the author does a great job painting the scenes. Other than the name toons, the toons from the book are nothing like the ones from the movie. The book doesn't portray toons as wacky and zany (like in the movie) but rather as lower-class citizens that are discriminated against. Toons in the book can't speak in the traditional sense, they only speak through speech balloons like in comic books. After they speak the speech balloon falls to the ground and remain there until someone sweeps it away. Unlike their movie counterparts, toons in the book are not indestructible and often use clones to perform dangerous stunts or scenes. Yes, you read that correctly, the toons in the book have the ability to create clones which only last a couple of hours. This is an important plot element that I will touch on later in this review. This book is dark (which I enjoyed) and this may put off many readers. How dark you ask. Well, Eddie discovers some underground pornographic work that Jessica did in the past. Now that I've discussed some of the differences let me dive into the plot.
In the book, Roger hires Eddie to find out what is going on with his contract. Roger's contract is held by the DeGreasy brothers and they aren't using him to his full potential and they won't allow him to sign with another studio. While investigating the case, the older DeGreasy brother that Eddie interviewed was found murdered. Roger is the prime suspect and when Eddie returns to his apartment he finds Roger's clone. Roger had also been murdered and the clone wants Eddie to find his killer before the clone disappears. Eddie then does some old fashioned detective work and goes around the city questioning persons of interest to find any potential clues. After following the mystery page by page trying to solve it before Eddie, we the readers are thrown a curveball. A random genie from a tea kettle killed Roger. It is revealed that the DeGreasy brothers were toons that were turned into humans by the genie and Jessica only married Roger because of the genie. The genie became cynical and vowed to kill anyone who summoned him. Roger accidentally summoned the genie by singing When You Wish Upon A Star and thus the genie killed him. Eddie then gets in a fistfight with the genie and ends up killing it by throwing the tea kettle into a fish tank. Now we know who killed Roger but who killed the older DeGreasy brother? Roger did and he was planning on using the clone as an alibi. Roger had planned out the murder and was planning on framing Eddie for the murder.
Honestly, this book was wonderful until the genie was introduced. I like competing with the detectives in the book and a random genie makes the book feel cheap. Do I recommend this book? I would recommend readers to pick up the second book Who Plugged Roger Rabbit instead. This book is the black sheep of the family because the subsequent books follow the movie Roger and this book was just a dream Jessica had.