The Rabbit Factor
By Antti Tuomainen
The Rabbit Factor is going to be a Major Motion Picture starring Steve Carell. This darkly humoured, Scandi-Noir type book is available to read now. Discover more in the blurb and my review below…
I firstly, thank Random T. Tours and Orenda Books for inviting me to review on the blog tour.
What makes life perfect? Insurance mathematician Henri Koskinen knows the answer because he calculates everything down to the very last decimal.
And then, for the first time, Henri is faced with the incalculable. After suddenly losing his job, Henri inherits an adventure park from his brother – its peculiar employees and troubling financial problems included. The worst of the financial issues appear to originate from big loans taken from criminal quarters … and some dangerous men are very keen to get their money back.
But what Henri really can’t compute is love. In the adventure park, Henri crosses paths with Laura, an artist with a chequered past, and a joie de vivre and erratic lifestyle that bewilders him. As the criminals go to extreme lengths to collect their debts and as Henri’s relationship with Laura deepens, he finds himself faced with situations and emotions that simply cannot be pinned down on his spreadsheets…
Warmly funny, rich with quirky characters and absurd situations, The Rabbit Factor is a
triumph of a dark thriller, its tension matched only by its ability to make us rejoice in
the beauty and random nature of life.
Rabbits are cute and furry, but in this case the rabbit is something quite different in what is a darkly quirky story. Just wait and read the opening paragraph about this rabbit, it’s sure to raise a chuckle.
Mathematics/Math/Maths, however you want to say it, has a universal truth. It makes so much calculable, rock steady, you know where you are with it and nothing changes. Henri Koskinen knows this all too well and appears to have a bit of an obsession with maths, to put it mildly and is an actuary for a Finnish insurance company. It brings Henri and Tuomo Pertila a certainty about life and all the things in their environment around them. I did say, this was quirky. Bear with the book though. You don’t have to be a mathematician to read and enjoy it. It’s not really full of rabbits telling you how to do algebra and even more hard sums. Everything is so precise in Henri’s life and you begin to wonder where is the space for the fun things in life.
An actuary and one as pedantic about life as Henri is, isn’t perhaps anyone’s usual character to be rooting for and although his life views seem pedantic, the Toumainen manages to skillfully steer clear from it becoming frustrating for the reader and instead injects some dry humour.
The book is going to be made into a major motion picture, starring Steve Carrell. I can imagine him well in this film and I think it could be entertaining to watch. The book certainly has a number of twists and even more corners of life to turn into as life paths change accordingly to each milestone and situation. This isn’t always comfortable for Henri as he tries to calculate his way through life and not all calculations, even for a mathematically obsessed actuary as Henri is, can bring that certain steadfast certainty they normally do.
Life changes quite a bit when his job circumstances, and as it goes, inherits an adventure park from his brother. All isn’t what anyone would imagine at all. The circumstances he finds himself in with the park is also rather quirky as is the employees, then there is also the poor financial situation and criminals to contend with. As Henri’s life changes, it sends him into a bit of a spin as no longer is he totally in his own little world that he comfortably inhabited before, but he has to do recalculations of formulas he normally lived by, as he tries to control his life so much in such a pedantic way after chaotic formative years, that is illuminating to enter his mind and life.
Romance also enters Henri’s life as he meets Laura, who is an artist. You can’t help wondering how he will calculate and live that aspect of life through.
Fans of Scandi-Noir and Chris Brookmyre would enjoy this book, which is the first in a series.