Marielle's Reviews > Fool on the Hill

Fool on the Hill by Matt Ruff
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Jul 12, 2008

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bookshelves: fiction
Read in July, 2008

To be honest, I'm surprised this book has so many positive reviews. It's definitely a first novel. Chaotic, brimming with literary references, and somewhat pretentious, I found myself skimming most of the book. The basic premise is that life is a play directed by God to amuse himself, and you're hit on the head with this over and over (yes, we've all considered that idea ourselves before without any help, thank-you-very-much).

Part of the reason I may have found it harder to read than most folks is that I'm recent Cornell graduate, and a Risleyite (once a Risleyite, always a Risleyite... it's rather like being a Queen of Narnia). I found all the familiar things distracting. It also made me notice a certain immaturity in the plot of this novel (definitely reflected in Risley culture even today), which is the belief that Risleyites are superior and frats are evil. It's this sort of clique-ishness- the idea of "us" vs. "them"- that the novel spends so much time tearing down in other areas (black vs. white, purebred dog vs. mongrel). The inconsistency, I think, definitely reveals a young author.

Well, at least now I know where the rumor that dogs are allowed to roam free on the arts quad came from.
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