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Zod Wallop

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Zod Wallop

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Author: William Browning Spencer
Publisher: St. Martin's Press, 1995
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Book Type: Novel
Genre: Fantasy
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Synopsis

There are two versions of Harry Gainesborough's bestselling children's book Zod Wallop: the published version, written second, and the original version, stolen by Harry's zealous fan, Raymond Story, while Harry and Raymond were both patients in a mental hospital. The published version has a happy ending; the private version was Harry's confrontation with the death of his child. And the private version, emotionally true and infused with the power of a group hallucination, ending with the destruction of the world, is becoming real.

It's inevitable that Zod Wallop will be compared to The Land of Laughs by Jonathan Carroll; both are about authors of Oz-like children's books whose literary creations leak over into our world. Both are dark in tone, and in both death and denial are key elements, but Spencer's poignant story owes as much to Philip K. Dick as to Carroll.

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Harry Gainesborough, ex-writer of children's books, just wants to be left alone. But the world--several worlds, actually--won't let him. Raymond Story, escaped from Harwood Psychiatric (and now married to Emily, a catatonic girl that Raymond declares is the Frozen Princess) has enlisted some of his fellow patients and is intent on saving the world--with Harry's help.

Nonsense, of course. But a Ralewing (a nasty sort of flying sting ray that Harry invented for his book) appears to have eaten the paint from the roof of Harry's car; the ruthless executive of a large pharmaceutical company bears an unsettling resemblance to Zod Wallop's evil Lord Draining, and a hotel in Florida could be about to host the end of the world...


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