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July 13th, 2010, 04:34 AM
This is a huge longshot, but I have faint, faint recollections of a somewhat comedic (maybe a Louis Sachar wacky kind of vibe?) sci fi novel I read as a kid (must have been in the early-mid 90's I guess?). I distinctly remember a character in the novel being a master of the art of tripping other people and making them fall down, knowing dozens of different techniques for doing so. There also ended up being an alien world (or another time period? or dimension?) with a despotic ruler who had a sort of disguise or cloaking device or something that allowed him to rule kind of Wizard of Oz style, mysteriously and from "behind the curtain," but by the end of the novel, the despot is unmasked or something...

There may have been motorcycles (that space traveled? or time traveled? or inter-dimensionally traveled?) involved too; everytime I saw the title of the book "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" this book came to mind.

Well it will be quite a miracle if this rings a bell out there, but worth a shot! Thanks in advance!