JOG RUMMAGE by Grahame Wright


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In a tradition of English fantasy and burbly nonsense that includes Lewis Carroll, J.R. Tolkien and John Lennon, Wright's first novel sandwiches a poignant little-match-girl story (of a crippled child who goes down a rabbit-sort-of-hole through Misery Door past the talking elevators to Forgotten Room where she discovers her beloved father's tragic secret) between the halves of an allegory of the rivalry among the neighboring nations of Rats and Jogs. The game is in the development of a coherent a-history inhabited by a-humans that nonetheless correspond to cowboys-and-Indians archetypes -- Rummage, the philosopher with a poetic heart; his best friend Geovard, the bravest of soldiers; Meltamor, wise Emperor of all the Rats; Scratcher, the upstart opportunist, etc. The New Existence negotiated by the most self-sacrificing of these creatures disintegrates into lumpen piracy and mob rule while their leaders are up on the mountain dealing with the Great Star and Horribilis, and finally culminates in apocalypse for all those who ignore the soothsaying of Rummage. A competently devised, if familiar, little morality tale -- comfortingly conservative sans sex, ugly violence or thorny ambivalence -- just right for school-age cultists.

Pub Date: Oct. 9th, 1974
Publisher: Random House