TIME OUT OF JOINT
From The Backcover of the 1976 Penguin edition
Ragle Gumm was the biggest winner in town. Every day he sent in his entry to the competition in the Gazette. Every day he won. He was something of a celebrity. A bit of a bum as well- he didn't have a job and he was fooling about with his neighbour's wife. Then things started going wrong. A soft drink stand dematerialized in front of him. It was 1959, but he'd never heard of Marilyn Monroe. His nephew discovered radio waves and the messages were about Ragle.
Ragle started thinking he was the centre of the universe. All the evidence seemed to back him.
The trouble was - which universe?
From The Backcover of the 1984 Penguin edition
Ragel Gumm described himself as a bum.
He spent all day doing puzzles in the newspaper . and fooling about with his neighbour's wife. He was also aware of another world and another time that seemed to be conspiring against him. But it wasn't a simple case of being a paranoiac drop-out. Ragel Gumm was the centre of the Universe - the Universe of 1999 - or was it 1959?
From The Backcover of the 2003 Gollancz edition
Ragle Gumm is an ordinary man leading an ordinary life, except that he makes his living by entering a newspaper contest every day -- and winning, every day. But he gradually begins to suspect that his life -- indeed his whole world -- is an illusion, constructed around him for the express purpose of keeping him docile and happy. But if that is the case, what is his real world like, and what is he actually doing every day when he thinks he is guessing 'Where Will The Little Green Man Be Next?'