David's Reviews > When God Was a Rabbit

When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman
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's review
Jan 21, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, first-reads, read-in-2011, literary-fiction, europe
Read from June 04 to 05, 2011

I received this book as part of the Goodreads First Reads program.

There seems to be a bit of a trend in some of the top fiction released so far this year. From The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore and This Vacant Paradise to The Adults and now this, there is a whiz-bang start that draws me straight in and makes me believe it'll get a rare 5-star rating from me. Then, somewhere in the back half, something happens and the end just doesn't quite hold up. This novel doesn't whimper out quite as much as the others I mentioned, though, and in the end is a solid 4.5 star read that will no doubt end up on my list at the end of this year as one of my top 5 favorites.

There were quite a few thematic elements in here to which I could relate. As another older gay brother of a sister a few years younger who hold a close sibling relationship, as Joe, I found many familiar thoughts and actions developed, although this is more interesting as it comes from the perspective of the younger sister in this case.

Winman is a fantastic writer and employs dark humor at some frequency to prevent the proceedings from becoming too heavy. To my surprise, in addition to the often silent chuckles I experienced, there were even a couple genuine laugh-out-loud moments. Great characters, too. I felt a great sense of many of the peripheral, let alone the main cast.

Before reading this, I was exposed to it via the Waterstones 11 for 2011 list and knew it had some good buzz, but was unaware that it seems to be getting quite a bit of hype as well. I hope that doesn't hurt it in the long run by building up unwarranted expectations, because it's certainly a very good read that deserves any success it may achieve.


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