FUP by Jim Dodge


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Reportedly a cult-bestseller in its small-press paperback edition ($3.95), this 59-page fable from California will now appear between hard covers--which are likely to make Dodge's wispy whimsy seem even wispier. Johnathan Adler Makhurst II, orphaned as a child, inherits $500,000 and is raised by his octogenarian grandpa Jake--who's 99 years old by the time that Johnathan grows up (circa 1977) to be 6'5"", 269 lb., inevitably nicknamed ""Tiny."" Raunchy old Jake, a would-be immortal, is obsessed with moonshining, concocting a body-blasting brew that becomes ""a cult item among certain connoisseurs of drooling oblivion."" Tiny is obsessed with fences: he spends all his spare time on postholes and such. Then one day Tiny discovers a newly-hatched duckling in a muddy hole--and Jake dubs her ""Fup Duck. Ya get it? Fup. . . Duck."" The irascibly lovable hen mallard becomes a full family member, going to drive-in movies with Tiny and Jake, munching popcorn and making critical comments. But Tiny has now become obsessed with killing a wild pig named Lockjaw, whom Jake believes to be the reincarnation of an old chum. And when Fup's attempts to prevent Tiny from shooting the pig lead to the death of both animals, a reincarnative miracle occurs: a new Fup uncoils full-grown and feathered from inside Lockjaw's slit-open body. . . and flies away. (So now Granddaddy Jake can die happy, the day after his 100th birthday.) Aside from a few earthy smiles along the way: for reincarnation-ists only, some of whom may not appreciate the hang-loose, Call-folksy tone.

Pub Date: April 26th, 1984
ISBN: 0933944047
Publisher: Simon & Schuster