OK, I am trying to remember a paperback I read back in the 70s. The plot was very disjointed, so maybe it was one of those books written as a spoof by multiple authors who did not communicate with each other, like Naked Came the Stranger or Atlanta Nights. All I remember is that the protagonist was just called "The Boy" and it starts out with him living in a shack which is up on stilts in a swamp or at the shore. Something happens (maybe his mentor dies?) and he has to leave, so he climbs out through the trap door in the floor and heads off to various adventures. I know this isn't much to go on, but maybe it will spark someone's memory.

My memory is that this was a relatively new book (two or three years old) when I read it around 1978. It was in English and I think published in the USA. Also, it was an adult novel, rather than young adult, but I don't think it was "adult" in the sense of being erotic.

In response to further comments, I will add that I don't think there were any supernatural / magical elements in the stories. I think it was a standard after-a-global-disaster world. War? Plague? Famine? I don't remember. I also don't remember any geographic details, but US is probably most likely. This was all 35 years ago...

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    Was it aimed at adults, kids or YA? Was it a full length novel or novella? What language/nationality was it? Was it new/old in the 70s? Any extra detail you remember could help jog somebody's memory
    – Moogle
    Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 17:29
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    Thanks for the suggestions. I have edited my question to add more details. Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 7:33
  • What were the fantasy or science fiction elements? Was it a long book? Is the 'shack on the stilts on the shore of the swamp' in the South? Eldritch horror, an alien world or a traditional fantasy setting? A disjointed plotline may indicate the author was attempting something meta, like a 'Hero's Journey'. Especially in the mid seventies there was a lot of literary exploration. Possible? Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 13:49
  • This story sounds so familiar to me, but I can't place it. I'm gonna' be following this one now.
    – Urdungo
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 17:11

2 Answers 2


I can recall no details of the plot - I disliked the book very much-, but some other features made me think of "Deus Irae".

  • By two authors - Philip K Dick and Roger Zelazny
  • Disjointed - according to the wikipedia article (link above) the authors worked on it sporadically and via correspondence
  • post-apocalyptic - check
  • relatively new in 1978 - it was published in 1976
  • a negative correlation is that from the wikipedia article, it does not appear that the protagonist is called "The Boy"

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Was it "A boy and his dog?" I don't remember the swamp, but it had a unique writing style and came out in 1975. The characters name was "Vic" but It could have mostly been "boy."

Edit: sorry, the movie came out in 1975, I guess the book (novella) came out in 1969...

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    "A Boy and His Dog" doesn't start out with him in a house on stilts in a swamp, it starts with Vic and Blood in the midst of their wanderings, so I don't think this could be a match.
    – Hypnosifl
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 23:49

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