bformatcoverOk, I’m first to admit that The Rabbit Back Literature Society isn’t the easiest possible book to understand completely. That’s how I wanted it to be. Demanding. Same goes with our lives, and literature is supposed to reflect different aspects of life. There is no final truth about human life available, only great number of different theories, and in my opinion it is a good thing.

Some books can be read without paying them too much attention. Some can’t. I wrote TRBLS to be easy to read but at the same time it’s a literary riddle that can be (mostly) solved, but only if you read it carefully enough.

In case you read my novel and still don’t know what ever happened to Laura White or what’s the deal with Oskar, here are some tips for you:

About Laura White:

Read carefully pages 51 (the Creatureville passage), pages 70 – 71 (why is Laura White late?), pages 79 – 80 (what’s is the matter with Laura?), page 86 (white Renault in the woods), page 89 (words of the police spokesman), page 140 (what Mother Snow says about Dampish), page 151 (a biography of Laura White), pages 172 – 173 (Creatureville), page 186 (the bee), page 192 (Laura’s line), page 240 (Laura’s headache – and what causes it…),  page 276 (white Renault again – and how it ended up in woods), page 288 (the beginning of the unfinished novel), 292 (Aura’s insight), pages 300 – 303 (Aura spills), pages 312 – 314 (Doctor Jansson’s story), pages 323 – 324 (how Ella plans to write about Laura),  page 331 (the beginning of the unfinished novel as Laura’s confession – this really explains everything about Laura White, in one way or another.)


About Oskar’s notebook:

at first there are two alternative possibilities. Read pages 33 (about the nature of remembering) and 119 (the book plague). But finally there’s only one left – read page 247 (When we listened to him read them…) and page 343 (There is a funny anecdote…).


About Oskar:

read page 271 (…they’d lost their child…) and page 162 (about phantoms and guilt).

Harper’s Bazaar and Sam Baker’s Autumn reads

The Rabbit Back Literature Society found its way among the top five reads of Autumn by Sam Baker.

This is what she says about TRBLS:

The Rabbit Back Literature Society, Pasi Ilmari Jaaskelainen (Pushkin Press) – out now in paperback
Were you hooked on Twin Peaks? A secret fan of Northern Exposure? Obsessed with Fargo (the movie, not the TV series, naturally)? Then The Rabbit Back Literature Society has got your name written all over it. When Ella returns to her Finnish hometown of Rabbit Back to take a job as a literature teacher, she encounters an elite group called the Society. Then an author mysteriously disappears and the words in books start rearranging themselves. But why? The only way to find out is to try to join. I can’t even begin to try to describe this book. Nor could I begin to do justice to its eerie nuttiness. But if, like me, you’re still a little bit obsessed with who killed Laura Palmer, you’ll love it.

Buy The Rabbit Back Literature Society on


Waterstones Autumn Book Club – and some words of joy

Join our Autumn Book Club

Introducing our selection of the best books to chat about with your book clubs – or just devour on your own – this autumn.

Our twelve new Waterstones Book Club titles are sure to cheer you up as the nights set in.

As ever, each week we’ll be sharing extracts and articles from our Book Club authors about their work – so be sure to check back. For now, here’s why we love these books – and think you will too…


I must admit that I’m very happy about my first novel being chosen among these 12 books. If books could talk (do they?), they would say, ”C’mon, gimme a chance” – because most of the books never get one.  There are so many books published every day that only small part of them ever get the attention they deserve. Now my first novel really has got the chance. I’m so grateful and so is my book. The rest is up to itself. If it’s worth it, it’ll make it.

It took many years but now Pasi feels he has achieved a major milestone

It took many years but now Pasi feels he has achieved a major milestone: his funny little stories are read in the English-speaking world


Rabbit Back in Book Box 2014

The Book Box Literary Prize was established with a purpose to shine a spotlight on the titles we liked the most in the previous season. The intention behind the award was to fill a box with books that inspired and entertained us the most without worrying too much about genres or themes – create something like a mixtape with all our favourite titles of the year.


So, The Rabbit Back Literature Society is one of the books chosen in the Book Box 2014, as well as Emmi Itäranta’s renowned novel Memory of Water. Finnish literature rules!




Dreamy forests of Jyväskylä

Dreams are the most important source of my inspiration as a writer, but nature and especially forests offer me something crucial, too. There is something magical in forests, they are enchanted places (and some of them even more than others) and thus a great way to nurture your creativity.

My second novel – The Cinematic Life. A novel – is about many things and among them is the ability to find your way out of the dullness of your everyday life and reach the magical – or cinematic – layers of human existence. In this novel I introduce some special places of my hometown, real spots of Jyväskylä city that are somehow cinematic and thus offer you a chance to find your inner cinematic self and do something maybe completely out of you everyday character.

One of these places is a forest near the Tourujoki river bank. I really enjoy it in there – the place is practically in the middle of the city but nonetheless silent and peaceful:




A book I was once very worried about: Jonathan Carroll’s The Land of Laughs

When The Rabbit Back Literature Society was almost ready to be sent to the publisher, I happened to find a review of a book that sounded so familiar to me that I got really worried. I guess every writer knows that feeling, and it’s not a very good one. I thought that my first novel had already been written and published by an American author called Jonathan Carroll. I bought the book but read only the back cover text.

It was something like this:

Schoolteacher Thomas Abbey, unsure son of a film star, doesn’t know who he is or what he wants–in life, in love, or in his relationship with the strange and intense Saxony Gardner. What he knows is that in his whole life nothing has touched him so deeply as the novels of Marshall France, a reclusive author of fabulous children’s tales who died at forty-four.

Now Thomas and Saxony have come to France’s hometown, the dreamy Midwestern town of Galen, Missouri, to write France’s biography. Warned in advance that France’s family may oppose them, they’re surprised to find France’s daughter warmly welcoming instead. But slowly they begin to see that something fantastic and horrible is happening. The magic of Marshall France has extended far beyond the printed page…leaving them with a terrifying task to undertake.


landoflaughsMy book also took place in a small and strange town. And there also was a children’s author in my book! I was absolutely horrified. I forced myself to finish my book and after I had got rid of it for good (in other words, it had been sent to the printing house and it was too late to change anything in it), I finally made myself to read The Land of Laughs.

After a while I was relieved. Jonathan Carroll’s novel sounded similar to mine, but they turned out to be quite different from each other. Now I know that every single idea of a story has been used myriads of times before, and there’s no need to worry if someone else’s book appears to be scarily similar to the one you are writing. That just can’t be avoided. In the end, every writer has his or her own way to tell a story, even if we all have to use the same, very limited range of different story formulas.

Later I read more Jonathan Carroll’s works, liked them very much and found him to be one of those kindred spirits every writer finds every now and then when reading other people’s books. Although, as I have said before, I avoid reading literature, or at least those books that might be too near to my own style, when I have my own story under construction. It’s too disturbing to bump into topics, plots and characters too similar to the ones you are dealing with in your unfinished book.

And about Jonathan Carroll: I highly recommend his books. He is a true master of combining fantasy and everyday life.