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Fool on the Hill (ISBN 0-8021-3535-8) is a 1988 comic fantasy novel by Matt Ruff, set at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Fool on the Hill
MattRuff FoolOnTheHill AtlanticMonthlyPress.jpg
first US hardcover edition
AuthorMatt Ruff
Cover artistoriginal jacket illustration by Andrew Paquette; design by Chip Kidd
CountryUnited States
PublisherThe Atlantic Monthly Press
Publication date
Media typePrint
Followed bySewer, Gas & Electric 

Plot summaryEdit

The novel is the story of two authors, the buffoonish Prof. Stephen Titus George and his artful adversary Mr. Sunshine. Both live in Ithica, New York.

During a particularly cold New York winter, George starts to suspect that he is not himself but the creation of someone else, someone he calls "Mr. Sunshine." Sunshine and George enter into a battle of wits to determine who should be called "creator." Did George create himself? Did Mr. Sunshine create George? What is the meaning of collaboration?

Throughout the novel colorful characters on the campus of Cornell University appear. There is the mysterious Cornell student Aurora Borealis Smith with whom Stephen Titus George falls in love. There is the Norse God Ragnarok wielding his Pollaxe. There are the Bohemians, a dog named Luther, a cat named Blackjack, Puck, and Calliope, a fire-breathing paper dragon. And let's not forget evil forces like Rasferret the Grub, a mannequin called Rubbermaid, and an army of rats.

And so the drama then unfolds as it tells the time-tested story of the battle between Good and Evil and the efforts of the two authors to write the story towards either a happy ending or a tragic greek drama.

External linksEdit