I'm looking for a book set in the far future. A boy is considered magical. They have no fundamental understanding of our present time. They refer to mistakes of the distant past (our time). They warn against ratios that they do not understand but consider to be part of the end of civilization. They call the USA something like 'oosa' (I don't remember how it was spelled). They don't know what 'oosa' was but think it was bad. They had other word adaptations.

  • Hi, welcome to the site. In roughly which year did you read this, and when do you think it might've been published? Also, do you recall anything about the cover? Jan 2, 2023 at 21:46
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    What do you mean by "ratios" they associate with the end of civilization? What kind of ratio? P/E?
    – DavidW
    Jan 2, 2023 at 21:53
  • @DavidW - Atom/humans, I imagine.
    – Adamant
    Jan 3, 2023 at 3:02
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    Hi. In the book Riddley Walker They use the term ratios in general to mean any mathematical or scientific thinking. They have no idea what ratios are. Jan 4, 2023 at 19:07

1 Answer 1


Might this be Riddley Walker (1980) by Russell Hoban...?

From Goodreads:

In the far distant future, the country laid waste by nuclear holocaust, twelve-year-old Riddley Walker tells his story in a language as fractured as the world in which he lives. As Riddley steps outside the confines of his small world, he finds himself caught up in intrigue and a frantic quest for power, desperately trying to make sense of things.

From Wikipedia:

Roughly two thousand years after a nuclear war has devastated civilization, Riddley, the young narrator, stumbles upon efforts to recreate a weapon of the ancient world.

The novel's characters live a harsh life in a small area which is presently the English county of Kent, and know little of the world outside of "Inland" (England). Their level of civilization is similar to England's prehistoric Iron Age, although they do not produce their own iron but salvage it from ancient machinery. Church and state have combined into one secretive institution, whose mythology, based on misinterpreted stories of the war and an old Catholic saint (Eustace), is enacted in puppet shows.

This user review from Goodreads mentions that the perpertrators of the armageddon which led to this post-apocalyptic landscape are referred to as "Eusa."

The old tales and stories of our own lost time are perpetuated primarily through the existence of a modified Punch and Judy show. This puppet show is a government-sponsored propaganda machine wherein the main character is Eusa (a degraded and highly modified version of St. Eustace), a stand-in for the perpetrators of Armageddon, in which old knowledge and new superstition are mixed together to create a truly unique experience.

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