So far there are 5 published novels by Matt Ruff. They differ from each other a lot – so liking or dislikig one of them is no guarantee for the others (although I do like all of them, each one for different reasons).
His earliest novel, ‘Fool on a Hill’ is a fantasy novel with a lot of humour and some romance, set in a college surrounding. It is fun to read.
His second novel, ‘Gas, Sewer & Electricity: The public works trilogy’ is much weirder, but cool. On Wikipedia, they label it “postcyberpunk” 😉 He does describe a strange American society, full of allusions to historical events and figures.
Novel number three is completely different: It concentrates much more on the inside of one person, Andy Gage, who has a set of seven different personalities, seven people, living inside him. In the course of the novel, we not only learn about the different ways he copes with this ‘full house’, but also find out the story behind them.
The fourth novel is ‘Bad Monkeys’, for me the most dark and pessimistic one. There is not much room for hope in this story, which centers around the idea of a secret organisation quietly eliminating really bad people (‘bad monkeys’).
The most recent book is ‘The Mirage’, and here you get alternate history at its best. Ruff twists around a lot of the events we know from the 20th century, looking at them as through a dark mirrow, so that 9/11 turns out to be a terroristic attack of radical Christians on Bagdhad. The story is full of faces and names we all know – but not necessarily as we know them. A lot of food for thought. Great book.