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The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip

Narrated by: George Saunders
Length: 40 mins
Categories: Children, Ages 8-10
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

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, 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 instance of two young geniuses colliding and colluding. The result is - what else? - an instant classic!

©2005 George Saunders (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"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)

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  • Bonnie
  • 10-04-2020

Perfect parable on kindness for all ages

George Saunders has a sly and deadpan sense of humor, and a gentle push for people to be kinder to one another. My elementary school daughter loved the story as much as i did. Check out George Saunders on YouTube, singing "It's a beautiful day," a song he wrote, inspired by this book. Hilarious and thought-provoking.