Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Review - Jim DODGE - "Fup"

Publ: 1983
ISBN: 1 84195 259 1
Genre: Humour
Pages: 88p
Rating: ***** ****

What led you to pick up this book?
I saw this 'modern fable' sitting on GB's shelf and having read it a few years ago (after he had recommended it) I read it again. It was as funny this second time around as it was the first.

Describe the plot without giving anything away.
A 99 year old Grandaddy, a gentle giant of a young man and a duck called Fup. All the ingredients for a fun life together in rural California. That is, it would be fun if a wild pig called Lockjaw didn't keep attacking Tiny's fences.

What did you think of the characters?
So well drawn that they live on in one's mind for years afterwards.

What did you think about the style?

Sharp, incisive and very funny.

What did you like most about the book?

The skill with which the plot twists and turns. It was described by the San Francisco Chronicle as "A stupendous little book that will knock your
socks off... it is a jewel, a gem, a diamond in the cesspool of life."

Was there anything you didn't like about the book?

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.
This edition (Canongate 2002) is illustrated by Harry Horse and the cover and illustrations are super.

Would I recommend it?
Absolutely - without reservation - to everyone. Whatever your reading tastes this should fit them.

Totally irrelevant side note:
You have to read it if only to find out why Tiny's suggestion for the duck's name was over-ruled in favour of Gandaddy Jake's 'Fup'.

"I didn't get to be 99 years old by fool speculation," Grandaddy replied. "It's hard enough separating the good stuff from the bullshit without adding to the whole mess by wanting to know what you ain't gonna know."

"You know, I've seen 30,000 sunsets, and no two that I can remember have ever been the same. What more can we possibly want?"

JIM DODGE, born 1945, has written three books of fiction (Fup, Not Fade Away, and Stone Junction), as well as numerous essays, articles, and reviews on a variety of social and environmental matters. He has worked variously as a shepherd, professional gambler and environmental consultant, and currently serves as Director of Creative Writing at Humboldt State University. He lives in the Klamath Mountains with his wife and son.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't have said it better (no surprise there then). Your views echo mine exactly.


Hello folks - your comments are always welcome.