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Fool on the Hill by Matt Ruff
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Fool on the Hill (original 1988; edition 1998)

by Matt Ruff

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8791110,083 (4.17)28
Member:krin5292
Title:Fool on the Hill
Authors:Matt Ruff
Info:Grove Press (1998), Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Read
Rating:***
Tags:fantasy, PS3568, summer reading challenge

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Fool on the Hill by Matt Ruff (1988)

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» See also 28 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Outstanding!! A fabulous read. Finished it in 2 days because I couldn't put it down. Humour, invention, surprise and suspense. It was worth every bit of time and trouble I had to find it. I highly recommend it. ( )
  danojacks | Jan 5, 2017 |
How Matt Ruff got from this to the brilliant "Set this House in Order" I don't know. It's not a bad book but is too highly self aware of itself to be as good as it thinks it is. ( )
  Superenigmatix | Jan 16, 2016 |
A few of my thoughts on the author, having read only this, his debut effort:

Matt Ruff is smart. Not Nabokov smart. Not Pynchon smart. Not Dave Foster Wallace neurotic, tortuously smart. In fact, maybe he's not quite so smart after all.

Matt Ruff has read a few books. [b:Tolkien|5907|The Hobbit Or There and Back Again|J.R.R. Tolkien|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1233949700s/5907.jpg|1540236]. Who doesn't like Tolkien? [b:Greek|820461|The Greek Myths|Robert Graves|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1178673714s/820461.jpg|50975] and [b:Norse|24655|D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths|Ingri D'Aulaire|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1167542590s/24655.jpg|372563] mythology is fun, too. And [b:V.|529488|V.|Thomas Pynchon|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1175560583s/529488.jpg|2999000]! I love V. Wait, though; besides the pun (Benny Profane and the V-necks, a college band) there's no substance to that reference. Nor most of the others (see: Bradbury). In fact, this all looks more like namedropping than anything else.

Matt Ruff is young. Painfully young. His entire world shares a tedious, undergraduate attitude towards sex. Good thing the story is set on a college campus, where at least most of the world actually is an undergraduate. Or a dog. Turns out dogs are a lot like undergrads.

Matt Ruff has a hard time thinking up names for his characters.

Matt Ruff is pomo. It's too bad that his biggest "don't forget that there is a person writing this story that you're reading" effort comes writing himself in as God. And as the hero. Both. Shit!

Negative enough for you? The writing is pretentious without the stylistic flair, broad knowledge, or deep complexity of story that would allow me to put aside the pretension and really enjoy myself. But my friends love him so! And, for all his juvenile flailing, Ruff spins a decent yarn. There's promise; probably worth trying a more mature effort of his. [Book:Set This House in Order|71847]? ( )
  ternary | Feb 14, 2015 |
Kind of a fairy tale with a twist. Crazy compelling characters, a plot that was out of this world, literally (unless you believe in sprites).The only problem I had with it was there was too much death -- human, sprite and canine, but the most major of the characters did survive for a happy ending. Definitely a very different, inventive fantasy. I definitely enjoyed it. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 19, 2014 |
This is a fantasy novel set at Cornell University (or a slightly more fantastic version thereof). It features, among many others, a dog searching for heaven, a storyteller searching for love, a colony of sprites who are mostly invisible to humans, a couple of meddling Greek deities, and an old evil lying dormant in a graveyard. Also a dragon. Sort of.

It's a fun, offbeat story, full of literary references to everything from Shakespeare to Winnie the Pooh, with a pleasantly ridiculous plot and some surprisingly well-developed characters. Indeed, if I have one complaint about it, it's that so many of the characters whose stories are interlaced together here feel like they really need a novel of their own, uninterrupted by other people's stories, to fully do them justice.

Also, it really made me wish I'd gone to Cornell. I suspect people with an actual connection to the place are likely to enjoy it even more. ( )
  bragan | Dec 9, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Matt Ruffprimary authorall editionscalculated
Alejandro, CliffordCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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to the Bohemians, with gratitude,
to the Grey Ladies, with affection,
and to Lady Chance,
with deepest love
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Mr. Sunshine first enters the city near dusk of a spring day in 1866, after heavy showers have turned its dirt roads and streets to mud soup.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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