Just me. (lara7) wrote,
Just me.

I heart Matt Ruff

It seems like a long time since I wrote about books, films, or music I'm digging, so here's a nibble of the media pie:

Matt Ruff has written two books, Fool on The Hill, and Sewer Gas and Electric (aka The Public Works Trilogy). If I had to compare him to another fiction writer, it would be Tom Robbins, although without the hippie connotations. If you like Robbins, you'll probably like Ruff, but if you don't like Robbins, you may like Ruff anyway. In some ways his books also remind me of Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", although they are even less scifi-ish than Adams is.

I think SG&E is the better book of the two; I laughed out loud many times in the midst of reading it. Basically, it's a comic novel of outlandish coincidences and twists of fate that also manages to skewer Ayn Rand/Objectivism along the way. Even fans of Rand can enjoy seeing her viewpoint picked apart in the novel, because the way Ruff does it may be somewhat meanspirited, but it is, above all else, over-the-top funny. Rand is just a subplot in a book filled with tangential storylines; the work of William "Big Secrets" Poundstone (one of my favorites as well, incidentally) also plays a role. The work is way too dense to adequately summarize it (I've heard Cryptonomicon similarly described, so maybe this is a book you'd like if you liked that), but you can follow the above link if you want more plot summaries.

I just finished Fool on the Hill during my trip out west. also very good, but a little more tragic. Still pretty great for a first novel, though. I'd like to share this quote from that:

"With me," George added, "What you're basically dealing with is the Baskin-Robbins theory of {x}*."
"The what?"
A low chickle rumbled from an adjoining table, where a mountain of a man sat with five beer mugs arrayed in front of him like toy soldiers.
"The Baskin-Robbins theory," the mountain said, speaking in a rich bass. "Thirty-One Flavors. Disliking mint chip doesn't mean you boycott the entire store."
"Exactly," said George.

*what George was refering to here isn't so important in my context, so I'm leaving it out. I think it's more profound to make up your own value for the {x} above and read the sentence that way.

anyway, Joe-Bob says check it out.

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