Riddley Walker by Russell HobanRead about the other entries on the list.
The post-apocalyptic world, set in the dark future where England is now Inland, and the language has evolved into this weird phonetic dialect. The moment when Ridley discovers the blackened puppet in the dump is mesmerizing. Of course, the puppet is Punch, from the classic Punch and Judy Show, and he becomes both a powerful way of connecting the mythos of the past with the broken future. What sort of list about puppet books would be complete without the original and freakish Punch? “This here figger his name is Punch which hes the oldes figger there is.” And he’s right. With roots in the 16th-century Italian commedia dell’arte, Mr. Punch made his first recorded appearance in England on May 9, 1662. Imagine, a puppet with a birthday. Better yet, leave it alone.
Riddley Walker is among Philip Gross' favorite writings from the edge of language.