The Rabbit Factory: A Novel
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The Rabbit Factory: A Novel

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  601 ratings  ·  59 reviews
In an ambitious narrative structure reminiscent of Robert Altman's classic film Nashville, Larry Brown weaves together the stories of a sprawling cast of eccentric and lovable characters, each embarked on a quest for meaning, fulfillment, and love -- with poignant and uproarious results.
Set in Memphis and North Mississippi, The Rabbit Factory follows the colliding lives...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 7th 2004 by Touchstone (first published January 1st 2003)
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This was suggested as a can't-put-it-down read and after reading the first chapter (who wants to read about a 70 year old guy contemplating his need for Viagra?) and putting it down a few times I finally read past the slow start and really enjoyed it. This is not the type of book I normally read---there's not much in the way of literary merit here. And yes maybe the characters are a bit cliche, but they are funny and the plot sweeps you up, and about a third of the the way in I didn't really car...more
I picked up The Rabbit Factory after it got good reviews from my online book group. It sounded like a good mystery. Imagine my surprise when about 80 pages into the book, I realized this was not the book I expected. In fact, it was the wrong The Rabbit Factory. Go figure. How many authors title their book The Rabbit Factory?

After getting over my initial surprise of reading the wrong book, I realized I was actually enjoying this one. Brown's Southern tale, set in Memphis, is full of quirky, flawe...more
Aug 28, 2011 Kirstie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Fans of police detective paperback fiction.
I was a little disappointed in this one even though I think it's above average for your paperback fiction. I thought it was funny and overall well written but it definitely didn't enrich my life in the long run, teach me anything new, or inspire me in any way. Basically, I would put this novel in the category of books to read when you need something a little smart, a little funny, and quite engaging that will help you fill space in your life if you can't handle anything with a deeper, richer mea...more
wacky, moving, funny, satisfying reading experience. odd characters lives tangle together in Memphis and environs; i will definitely read this again one day!
Clyde Christopher
You would have to be from the south and from north Mississippi, like me, to fully "get" this book. Also, I imagine 99% of the people who've read this book didn't get the Widespread Panic references... That's just one example of how it may be more appealing to Mississippians.

Having been in the USMC infantry, like Brown, I thought it was funny how he portrayed the Navy guy. To fully appreciate a great deal of his section of the story, you would have had to have served in the Marines.

Actually, I v...more
Don Kasper
Unfortunately, I had high expectations coming into this book. I had heard about Larry Brown and the gritty Southern tales that he is famous for telling and decided to start first with "The Rabbit Factory". The amount of thought Larry Brown puts into his characters is amazing. The book is all about character development and by the final 100 pages, you are able to not only relate to each quirky character but really put yourself in their head and understand their thought process. Throughout the boo...more
Dillon Strange
I'm a huge Larry Brown fan. He was one of the few "Southern" writers that I've run across that could believably capture the self destructive and desperate people of the deep south. Having grown up in the south, his characters were like friends from back home or shady relatives that I had lost touch with. His work was authentic, vividly and truly authentic. That's why this one was such a mild disappointment. It is an episodic sprawling mess of a book about an unfaithful wife, her husband who can'...more
Listened to Audiobook from recorded books.
Narrated By: Tom Stechschulte

Recorded books blurb:
Set in Memphis, Tennessee and northern Mississippi, The Rabbit Factory presents a wildly diverse cast of characters who are looking for love—but not necessarily in all the right places. Helen is a sex-starved alcoholic who combs the local bars looking for the one thing her sugar daddy can’t give her. Arthur, Helen’s aging sugar daddy, is very wealthy, but suffers from severe self-confidence issues. Belie...more
Very quirky- reminds me of Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiassen.

ETA: Quirky turned into "this is getting old." 'Splain me this, please? WHY do (some) people writing about the South seem to create nothing but a bunch of cliched stereotypes? I really tried to like this book BUT when every character is a stupid redneck (we're not all inbred idiots, honestly)... the deciding factor for me? Nothing to do with rednecks, except insofar as they hit deer on the highway and stood to watch it die, all the while...more
Melissa Johnson
Overall, it's not something I'd really recommend - it's not very engaging , the writing isn't magnificent, and the ending was unspectacular. I didn't hate the book, and i don't feel as if i wasted my time reading it, but i wouldn't read it again.

This was, in no way, a bad book; it's just not my favorite kind of book. I didn't take anything away from it, i didn't learn anything from it - i didn't once have to use the dictionary.

I went through the first hundred pages having no idea what this book...more
Courtney Durflinger
Hilarious book! The characters were awesome, and the story didn't get stagnant or boring!
I thought about giving up on this one multiple times. And then it was over. I should have quit listening. I'm not sure what the point of this story was.
Nov 30, 2010 Elizabeth rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: WT folks striving to be more but fail
Shelves: 2010
I read a review of this book which said, 'it's a sprawling mess of a book' and it is but in a good way. It takes place in Memphis and Northern Mississippi with a cast of characters that don't give anyone a good name. Also prevalent are animals, in some of the most bizarro of ways. How can you not give a writer credit for working in maimed lions into the plot? strippers, gangstas, the ducks at the peabody and a pitbull that has seen the light are just a portion of the cast of characters that stru...more
Very quirky characters...
I love a book that is profound but plain-spoken. The speech patterns Larry Brown has his characters employ are rich, honest and funny. He lets us, convincingly, into his characters' heads so we experience their internal thought processes/streams of consciousness. These are surprisingly similar to the dialogues I have in my own head--(upon recognition, very funny). And I always love a story that seems, almost accidentally, to come around full circle.
Scott Hopkins
the verdict is out but I am reading this book having read this man's books for years.... another boozing Southern academic of the existential breed.... but an awesome novelist. Fitting the stereotype, he died early and suddenly. I believe he taught at Ole Miss.... like Faulkner years before.... much easier to read than Faulkner but this man might give you nightmares about your own family and your own reality.... CHECK HIM OUT ON AMAZON!
1.5 stars. Maybe. The only reason I actually read the entire book was to find out what happened to one character, although even that ended up rather vague. And Mr. Brown did keep the story moving, although it was totally unbelievable. Every character in this book is idiotic, even ones who are supposed to be well-educated. All of the women are promiscuous and the men are disgusting. Plus the treatment of animals is abhorrent.
His best book, and last book. Greg and I had a long conversation about the symbolism and who is Mr. Hamburger??? But when you're reading it, it's just such a good book even at surface level that the symbolism is never obvious or didactic, it's very much a part of the story. Lots of dogs, lots of drinking (as usual in Larry Brown's work). I wish he had lived longer to write lots more intense, real, tragic Southern fiction.
Aaron Broadwell
This book seems at first like it is just a sex comedy (set in Memphis), but as it goes on, you start to see that there are some serious themes here -- how people treat animals, how they treat other people, what happens when people behave like animals, what happens when people/animals get too old to do what we want.

I liked this very much, and will look for more by this author.
This was my favorite Larry Brown book, outside of the short stories and On Fire. I respect Larry like hell, but sometimes the other novels worked too hard to get to where they were going. This one kept me into it by getting me into waiting to see what would happen and how things would come together rather than waiting to see how Larry would try to make it work.
Oct 01, 2007 Matt rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: myfavorites
I love the way Mr. Brown so successfully builds true Southern characters that highlight the way we all have our demons we struggle to control.

My only problem with this book is the way every character has some incredible hipster taste for music. I seriously doubt that anyone on the North Mississippi/Memphis police force has ever heard of Alejandro Escovedo.
Lisa Weber
I read this book a couple of years ago, and found it a very strange and quirky volume with a weird cast of characters. The writer jumped back and forth between the various characters, moving from one "loser story" to the next. I didn't find it funny, but I did find it uncomfortable. I could not relate to the characters, or find them very realistic.
There's a lot less of the Brown grittiness in this one and that's ok because you can really see a writer climbing out on the high dive in this one. The characters and their every day quiet struggles really reminded me of Carvers and Brown makes each character ring so ture. I miss Mr Brown but I'm glad he left us with a few good books to read.
What a relief and pleasure to read after the string of George Martin books, which I did enjoy. Larry Brown, however, is actually a great writer. He creates conflicted characters with frequent disconnects between the way they want to live and how they do. And he does so in a sparse style can still reveal the conflicts and complexities.
Jillybeads81 Hall-Parris
This book was pretty good. I was hoping for it to be a little more "Dirty south" like the other books I have read by Larry Brown. I didn't like how the ending was. I thought everyone's story would tie together...but it ended more like little short stories. Wasn't to bad though. Just not my favorite by Larry Brown.
So, I thought this book was going to be about a quirky bunch of people working in a popular adult toy factory...I was half wrong. It is full of quirky people, but these people do not work in a "Rabbit Factory." This book is highly addictive! It was a fun read.
I heard good things about this writer. But after reading this book I am not especially impressed. And am curious how LB got all these awards. There is nothing here that doesn't strike me as borrowed. Maybe I will pick up another and see if it was just this book.
The first 200 pages of this book are about as good as any average Elmore Leonard novel; it's entertaining and fast paced, but there isn't much substance to it. It falls apart completely in the last 140 pages and the last 20 pages are just plain awful.
Jul 30, 2011 Ilsabe added it
Good writing, good characters, but the plot lines never really seemed to fully develop. The writing and characters made sure I finished the book, but the "holes in the tapestry" (to paraphrase the previous reviewer) made it a slog to finish.
This book starts slowly and the writing style, at first, is painful, but by the end of the book I loved the characters for all their flaws. Lots of drugs, sex, crime, and warped humanity here where the least bad guy wins even as he loses.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Larry Brown was an American writer who was born and lived in Oxford, Mississippi. Brown wrote fiction and nonfiction. He graduated from high school in Oxford but did not go to college. Many years later, he took a creative writing class from the Mississippi novelist Ellen Dou...more
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