RAMAR: The Rabbit with Rainbow Wings by Darrell T. Hare

RAMAR: The Rabbit with Rainbow Wings

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A first book and moral fable being compared to Richard Bach's Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet. The illustrations (not seen here) may suck some preadolescents through this mild, eventless moral teach-in. But it's hard to imagine anyone older--or, in fact, anyone--really being gripped by Ramar the rabbit, who finds himself in the World-In-Between, a way station for his rebirth on Earth. Ramar also finds that he has rainbow-colored gossamer wings, which he thinks absurd. He meets Lydia, a telepathic cat with aqua eyes, and a Dove Who Rhymed With Love, who begin Ramar's indoctrination into serial lives: ""What happens is that when you are ready to be born you scrunch yourself up into a tiny speck of light, not even as big as the head of a pin. Then you concentrate on Earth and the people there, and before you know it, you will find yourself among them. Floating here. Floating there. Looking for the person you want to be."" Ramar's lessons go on as if listed by William Bennett: Faith, Truth, Love, and even Death: ""Everyone who lives on earth must one day die, but you should not be afraid because death is just like being born except in a different direction. You slip out of your body the way you came in, and soon you are back with all of us who love you. That is all that it ever is."" Unlike Pilgrim's Progress, however, Hare's debut novel offers nothing for its hero to overcome: He is just talked to all the way, though at one point he must put up with three foolish divines who warn him strongly about hell and punishment. But his chipper teachers pooh-pooh that. For a climax, he meets a lamb called The Shepherd, who tells Ramar about being crucified and the need for God's light in each of us. Neither Bach nor Gibran, though the pictures may help. Pablum either way, however sellable.

Pub Date: March 27th, 1996
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: St. Martin's