FOOL ON THE HILL by Matt Ruff

FOOL ON THE HILL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

From the 22-year-old Ruff, a relentlessly cute first novel about a struggle between epic forces of good and evil on a college campus. The setting is Cornell University, the hero young Stephen Titus George--""a professional liar. . .also known as a fiction writer""--who likes to fly kites at the top of the campus' highest hill and dreams of wooing the lovely coed Aurora Borealis Smith. But danger lurks beneath the placid green surfaces of the university in the form of the evil Rasferret and his army of rats, out to take over the college and the town of Ithaca. Arrayed against them are the good ""sprites"" who live invisibly amongst the unknowing humans--creatures with names like Hobart, Zephyr, Puck and Hamlet who fly tiny planes through the air. Helping out against Rasferret is a bunch of talking dogs and cats who sound like human beings in the late stages of adolescence: ""So what do you say? You wanna come down and chase bitches with us?"" In the end, the dreamy young Stephen fights off a dragon of the evil Rasferret's devising (while ordinary mortals in the town sleep under a spell, unaware of their brush with danger) and wins the beautiful Aurora. A fantasy novel with little to recommend it--the prose flat and undistinguished, the characters dull, the tone reheated Tolkien and Tom Robbins.

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 1988
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly--dist. by Little, Brown