George Saunders

Books Esther Newberg, +1 212 556 5600 Email Esther Newberg

The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip

book | Fiction | 2000
US & Canada → McSweeney's
Illustrated by Lane Smith

Gappers will get your goat. Literally. If you don't brush them off and return them to the ocean, whence they arrive every day, these bright orange, many-eyed creatures will cover your goats, and the goats will stop giving milk.

In a village called Frip, goat's milk was the entire economy. Three families lived there--the Romos, the Ronsens, and a little girl named Capable and her widowed father, who wanted everything to remain the same. It didn't. One day, the Gappers, despite an average IQ of 3.7 (±.02), decided for a good reason to concentrate on Capable's goats. Oh, how the Romos and Ronsens turned their backs on the gapper-ridden Capable! Oh, how they indeed lorded it over her! What kinds of creatures are we, one wonders, when such selfishness so often springs up so spontaneously among us?

And, given the coldness of her neighbors' shoulders, what will Capable do about her Gapper plague, as her share of the economy dries up? Literally. The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, with a brilliant story by award-ridden short-story master George Saunders and fifty-two haunting and hilarious illustrations by bestseller-plagued artist/author Lane Smith, answers that question. In doing so it tells a tale as ancient as the Bible and as modern as a memo from the Federal Reserve Board. And funnier than both--which isn't saying all that much, admittedly. You don't get to laugh and gaze in visual awe and pleasure all that often when the Golden Rule comes under such serious attack and such staunch defense as it did in Frip.

An adult story for children, a children's story for adults, an earthlings' story for aliens, an oceanside fable for the landlocked, a capitalist tool for anarchists, a fish story for loaves, The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip represents the classic instant of two young geniuses colliding and colluding. The result is--what else?--an instant classic!
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The audio rights are handled by Liz Farrell.

Helen Manders manages the translation rights for The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip

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The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip
Reviews

The Saunders-Smith collaboration is inspired. Smith adds witty touches throughout, and Saunders's dialogue features uncannily amusing deadpan repetitions and platitudinous self-exculpations.
Publishers Weekly
Full Review

This delightful story is lavishly illustrated and the text and the pictures complement one another perfectly.
School Library Journal
Full Review

A wonderfully engaging story for our children, and for us--their parents and teachers--told with wry humor and with moral energy. We all live in this book's world of Frip--and are connected to others in that world, no matter their nature, so we're prompted to remember by a talented writer. Robert Coles

In a perfect world, every child would own a copy of this profound, funny fable... Every adult would own a copy too, and would marvel at how this smart, subversive little book is even deeper and more hilarious than any child could know.

Entertainment Weekly

Saunders’s idiosyncratic voice makes an almost perfect accompaniment to children’s book illustrator Smith’s heightened characterizations and slightly surreal backdrops.

Publishers Weekly

A riveting, funny, and sly new fairy tale

Miami Herald

A zany, wild book

Observer

Capable is a heroine for modern times

Daily Telegraph

An outstanding oddity - an eccentric and comical morality tale

Sunday Times

Wonderful kinky modern fable

Financial Times

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Esther Newberg
+1 212 556 5600
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Karolina Sutton
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Translation Rights
Helen Manders
+44 (0)20 7393 4425
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Translation Rights
Roxane Edouard
+44 (0)20 7393 4491
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