Illustrated with drawings By Norman Green.
1984 First Edition. Simon and Schuster, New York
NEAR FINE in a like Brodart protected unclipped dust jacket.
Exceptions are a scrapes to the boards at the tail. Beige speckled boards; the titles in bright gilt to the spine. 95pp. This is the author’s first book, an underground cult classic of remarkable depth and charm. Eccentric, irreverent and laugh-out-loud funny, this is a truly unforgettable fable. Note the blurbs on the back.
This has now become a scarce, collectible, treasure of a book.
Fup is a remarkable book, a novel that became, according to The New York Times, "an underground best seller" after its publication last year by a small California publisher. It is a classic American tall--about kinship, love, magic and death--but most of all it is a wonderful story.
Set in the coastal hills of California between 1880 and the present, the story centers on three characters: two humans, one duck. Granddaddy Jake Santee, 99 years old and convinced of his immortality, is an unreformed gambler, cranky reprobate and fierce proponent of the still life. He religiously practices his belief that drinking Ol' Death Whisper--a 97-percent-pure whiskey elixir he distills himself from a secret recipe--will keep him alive forever. Tiny, orphaned at the age of four, is adopted by Granddaddy Jake. Tiny grows into a giant young man, as gentle as Jake is belligerent. His passion is building masterfully crafted fences around the ranch, and his nemesis a gigantic old boar named Lockjaw that delights in destroying Tiny's fences.
Fup is a hen mallard duckling that Tiny discovers in one of his postholes. She is quickly adopted and becomes part of the Santee family. Possessed of an inordinate appetite and willfulness, Fup grows to 20 pounds, using her bulk and uncompromising purpose to enforce her sense of order on the household.
These three come together in a story that is hilarious, heartwarming, compelling and surprising. Jim Dodge is a truly original American storyteller who has been compared to Mark Twain and Tom Robbins. With Fup he has created an instant classic that is exhilarating to discover for the first time but is also a book that you will come back to time and again.