Fup is a story about an old man named Jake Santee, his grandson Tiny, a duck they named Fup, and Tiny and Fup’s arch nemesis, Lockjaw the wild pig. The story starts out by introducing Jake and his strange eccentricities (he thinks he is immortal) and then quickly describes how Tiny comes to live with his “Granddaddy”. At which point we flash forward 18 years to when Tiny is almost all grown up—this is when we meet Fup.
This story focusses on the characters and their very strange quirks. Jake is a crass old grumpy man, but he’s the kind that has lots of heart under his uncouth exterior and you can’t help but like him in spite of yourself. Tiny is an all around stand up guy (with an affinity for building fences) and seems to be one of the few people that understands his Granddaddy. Fup is a big female mallard that becomes their best friend. She lives indoors, goes to drive in movies with them and holds up her side pretty well during conversations.
The author delivers the story in a witty and colorful writing style. It’s almost as if the details of what you are reading aren’t the important part, but rather how they are being delivered should be the focus. That isn’t to say that the story wasn’t entertaining—just a little odd in places.
The climax left me a little confused and I’m not sure what kind of message it was trying to drive home at the end. There were certain points that smacked of deep symbolism but I guess I wasn’t bright enough to connect all the dots. Or perhaps the dots weren’t meant to be connected, but meant to be mulled over for a while...
Either way, this book is worth reading. This story is short (less than 60 pages) but the characters are very rich and exude lots of, well, character. I definitely recommend it.