Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Episode 126: Gary K. Wolf, Who Censored Roger Rabbit?


What’s up, book nerds? We’ve got a weird one for you today, as we dive into the novel that inspired the beloved 1988 movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit? The novel, first published in 1981, is quite different from the film. It’s darker, for one thing. It also includes a wish-granting genie, some allegories about American racism, and a couple weird cheap shots at Persians.

The book was foisted upon us by our guest, Jen A. Miller, author of the recent memoir Running: A Love Story. She was a fan of the movie, and had been meaning to check out the book for a long time. We talk with Jen about whether the book is funny or tiresome, and speculate about the work that went into adapting it for the screen. They had to turn Roger Rabbit white, for one thing.


In the second half of the show, we talk with Jen about why she started running, street harassment, and how she became identified with the phrase “whore pants.” We also talk about her experiences as a freelance writer, and how difficult it is to predict which of your stories might go viral.

As always, you can stream the episode right here on the site, or download it as an mp3 file. You can also visit us in the iTunes store, or wherever you get your podcasts, where you can subscribe (for free!) and never miss another installment.


Download Episode 126 (right-click, save-as)

Thanks for listening!

Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

4 thoughts on “Episode 126: Gary K. Wolf, Who Censored Roger Rabbit?

  1. I remember when the Roger Rabbit movie came out I spent ages looking for the book but none of the local libraries had it. Never saw it in a book store either, which was weird, because you’d think the publisher would get excited about there being a multi-million dollar movie advertising the book for them. They probably couldn’t wait to print a new cover with the movie poster and “Now A Major Motion Picture!”. So I wonder if Disney made a deal to keep the book out of print, since it differed so wildly from the movie they didn’t want their brand “tainted”. You’d think they wouldn’t care, but Disney has proven itself to be pretty petty about a lot of stuff.

    There’s a similar story about Hitchcock having his assistants buy up as many copies of Psycho as they could in order to keep the book from spoiling his movie.

    • That’s interesting, and seems like a pretty good theory – it would be perfectly in line with Disney’s approach to want to exert absolute control over the way those characters are defined.

      Never heard the thing about Hitchcock – interesting!

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