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'Who Censored Roger Rabbit?' is a mystery novel written by Gary K. Wolf in 1981, later adapted into the film 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' (1988).
Eddie Valiant is a hard-boiled private eye, and Roger Rabbit is a second-banana cartoon character. The rabbit hires Valiant to find out why his employers, the DeGreasy Brothers, the sleazy owners of a cartoon syndicate, have reneged on a promise to give Roger his own strip. Soon after, Roger is mysteriously murdered in his home. His speech balloon, found on the crime scene, indicates his murder was a way of censoring the star, who apparently had just heard someone explain the source of his success.
Valiants search for the killer takes him to a variety of suspects, including Rogers widow Jessica Rabbit and his former co-star Baby Herman.
Comparison to the film
Although the book features many of the same characters used in the film, some of their characteristics, as well as the basic plot, are significantly different. The novel is set in the present day and in a strange universe in which humans and cartoon characters co-exist. The cartoons of the novel are primarily comic strip characters, as opposed to animated cartoon stars, with famous strip characters making cameos, such as Dick Tracy, Snoopy, Dagwood and Blondie Bumstead, Beetle Bailey, and Hgar the Horrible. Strips are produced by photographing cartoon characters. In this version, toon characters speak in word balloons which appear above their heads as they talk. Although some characters have learned to suppress this and speak vocally, the use of word balloons forms several important plot points.
In the book, the toons have the power to create duplicates of themselves as stunt doubles for risky shots. They crumble to dust in a few minutes, though Roger does create one that can last a couple of days. Roger gets shot and killed by an unknown assailant and his doppelganger has to work with the detective to solve his murder before he goes to dust. In the film, toons are merely unkillable - except by "dip" - and shrug off even the worst injuries.
The only line of dialogue from the book that was re-used in the film was spoken by Baby Herman, saying Ive got a 50-year-old lust and a 3-year-old dinky, though in the book, his actual age is given as 36.
Comparison to the spin-off
In 1991, Wolf wrote another Roger Rabbit book, 'Who P-P-P-Plugged Roger Rabbit?', but (in the form of a memo from Valiant) the book says that Roger Rabbit and his screwball buddies play fast and loose with historical accuracy, which means that the stories dont have much continuity between each other. There is absolutely no connection between this novel and the first one, with the exception of Jessica mentioning having a dream containing the events of the first novel, retconning such as just a dream. In fact, the second book attempts to connect itself more with the film 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' than to the first book.
Category:American mystery novels
Category:Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Category:St. Martin's Press books
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