Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Andy Riley's Book of Bunny Suicides: Little Fluffy Rabbits Who Just Don’t Want to Live Anymore is one of my favorite books. Some friends bought it for me (they assured me they weren't trying to hint anything by it). I immediately bought the Postcard book and started sending them to friends (I, too, was not trying to hint anything).
The cartoons are usually one panel, depicting a bunny (or several bunnies) in the act of suicide or planning a suicide. One shows a bunny holding a boomerang. A grenade in taped to the boomerang, and he's holding the pin in his other paw. One shows a bunny with lit, smoky cigarettes stuck in every orifice: mouth, nose, ears, and butt. One shows two bunnies relaxing with drinks on beach towels as animals in the background march into a huge wooden ark. And so forth. The methods of suicide are unrealistic and therefore absolutely hilarious. And, of course, the bunnies are adorable.
Of course the store, as a (presumably) private business has the right to decide what products to stock. Just as Walmart refuses to carry Cosmopolitan and Maxim, a bookstore can refuse to stock a book that is offensive, possibly dangerous, or that doesn't sell well. I'm still skeptical of a link between this book and child suicide. I'm also concerned by a potential chilling effect on selling books that touch on controversial subjects.
For Gutenburg's sake, they're just bunnies!