Summary and book reviews of The Rabbit Factory by Marshall Karp

The Rabbit Factory

By Marshall Karp

The Rabbit Factory
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    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Apr 2006,
    632 pages.
    Paperback: Mar 2007,
    550 pages.

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Book Summary

The hilarious and suspenseful introduction of Detectives Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs.

Welcome to Familyland, an offshoot of Lamaar Studios. Once a small, Southern California animation house, it has grown into an entertainment conglomerate encompassing movies, television, music, video games, and a sprawling theme park.

When an actor portraying Familyland's beloved mascot, Rambunctious Rabbit, is brutally murdered on park grounds, Lamaar executives are worried that the idyllic image of '50s America represented in Familyland will be shattered. They ask Mike Lomax and his partner Terry Biggs, the LAPD detectives assigned to solve the case, to keep the circumstances surrounding the death of their mascot quiet.

When a second Lamaar employee is killed, Lomax and Biggs uncover a conspiracy to destroy Familyland and settle an unknown vendetta. Still under pressure to keep the case away from the public eye, the detectives are met with a third murder – and an outrageous demand: Anyone who associates with Lamaar – employees, customers, anyone – will be killed.

Bringing a fresh duo of cops to the thriller set, The Rabbit Factory is both suspenseful and satiric; a taut mystery wrapped in sharp, comedic prose.

CHAPTER 1

Eddie Elkins ambled down Fantasy Avenue. A light breeze penetrated his costume, and he felt relatively cool inside the furry white rabbit suit. Of course, these were the balmy days of April. July and August would be unbearable, but for Eddie, it would be a small price to pay.

Six weeks ago he had lied, cheated, and bribed his way into the best job in the world. And now, he was Rambo. Rambunctious Rabbit, the most famous character Dean Lamaar ever created. The acknowledged superstar at Lamaar's Familyland.

Eddie waved at the kids as he wandered through the sprawling theme park. Occasionally some wiseass teenager would give him the finger, but for the most part kids loved him.

And Eddie loved kids. In fact, he loved them so much that he was mandated by Megan's Law to register with the Los Angeles police, so they could notify people in his community that he had moved into their neighborhood. But he hadn't registered. Not this time. He had complied ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. Mike and Terry have very distinct personalities that mesh to make them an excellent duo. What aspects of the two characters make them work so well together? How would the story be different if Terry were narrating it?
  2. Are Joanie’s letters to Mike helpful or hurtful to his grieving process? Why do you think she left them? Why does he not open her last letter – is he just obeying her wishes or do you think there is another reason? Do you agree with his decision?
  3. Declan Brady is one of several murderers we meet who have moral qualms about their actions. Although they commit atrocious crimes, they exhibit a certain degree of compassion. Does their compassion make them at all sympathetic?
  4. ...
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Reviews

BookBrowse

The Rabbit Factory is a big, fun read leavened with just enough pathos to balance the humor. No doubt Marshall, who cut his teeth writing TV commercials (which are rarely longer than 60 seconds) could write a novel in less than 600 pages - but not when he's writing in the voice of Mike, the narrator and chief protagonist of The Rabbit Factory, who has a story to tell and is not going to be hurried while telling it - and what a story it is, replete with a large cast of lovable characters, a high body-count (but without any graphically violent scenes) and some well placed stabs at the ethical values of big corporations.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

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Media Reviews
Kirkus Reviews

A bloated piece of work, devoted more to the pleasure of reading than the offer of a dazzling denouement.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Biggs and the FBI have their work cut out for them in a clever plot that will keep readers guessing to the very end.

Booklist - Allison Block

Starred Review. Like the best of Donald Westlake and Carl Hiaasen, The Rabbit Factory is deftly plotted and deliciously askew.

Author Blurb James Patterson
Marshall Karp could well be the Carl Hiaasen of Los Angeles--only I think he's even funnier. The Rabbit Factory will touch your funny bone, and your heart.

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Beyond the Book

Karp's 1st time novelist status belies his experience as a writer - gleaned from many years as an advertising copyrighter on accounts such as Coca-Cola, Gillette and Paine Webber (remember the "Thank you Paine Webber ads?), followed by further time spent as a writer/producer on TV sitcoms such as "Amen", "Baby Talk" and "Working It Out". He has also written a play, "Squabbles", which has been performed in over 500 theaters, and a movie, "Just Looking", that was released in 2000.

He was born and brought up in and around New York City. Graduating with a BA in English during the Vietnam era he spent six months on active duty with the National Guard in Missouri, before signing up as an advertising copyrighter. He spent ...

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