Jeffrey's Reviews > The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip

The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders
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's review
Dec 27, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: general-reading
Read in December, 2007

Is this a kid's book? Maybe, but I wouldn't recommend that a very young child read it, or even look at the pictures - it could be scary. Adults will find it thought provoking.

In Frip, people act with blissful ignorance, accepting the world as it is as though they understand it, but they don't. Their ignorance leads to catastrophe for a few of them, and the thoughtful determination of one character leads her to success, all through trial and error.

In today's modern world, science tries to answer the questions for us about why things are the way they are, but when it comes to our personal success and social position, many of us assume that we somehow "deserve" our fate, good or bad, and that others who suffer misfortune somehow deserve that as well. Our sophisticated social psychology may be no better than the simplemindedness of the residents of Frip in answering these questions.

The author uses allegory and simple stories to help us see our own weaknesses and foibles. He uncovers our assumptions about the world by finding the lowest common denominator and stripping away all of the familiar trappings that distract us from the truth.

Actually this is a product of a very fertile imagination. No wonder he won a MacArthur grant!

It is refreshing and fun stuff, even if you don't give it a moment of deep thought. (I think I need to read it to a kid....)
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