The clever parts of this so-so parody of The Lord of the Rings trilogy were the character names and the map on the first two pages. The rest was repetitive and silly nonsense, but the map especially was inspired.
At the front of most science fiction or fantasy novels, the author provides a map, usually hand-drawn, of their world, the different countries, the rivers, mountains, dragon hoards, what-have-you from the story. Tolkien’s was particularly detailed and it was clear that he put a lot of time, effort and emotion into the creation of it.
The skewered version in this book of the LoTR map is hysterical. Mordor became Fordor which is, of course, right next to Tudor. Isengard becomes Eisentower and so on. Even Tolkien’s ornate compass receives a makeover with the directions north, south, east, west becoming up, down, left, right. I saw the map and I had high hopes for some big laughs.
Sadly, that never really came about. But oh, the name changes. Sam becomes Spam. Frodo becomes Frito. By far, my favorite was Legolas which was turned into Legolamb.
Listen to what happens if you bear the Great Ring for too long: “For as surely as the Ring gives power, just as surely it becomes the master! The wearer slowly changes, and never to the good. He grows mistrustful and jealous of his power as his heart hardens. He loves overmuch his strengths and develops stomach ulcers. He becomes logy and irritable, prone to neuritis, neuralgia, nagging backache, and frequent colds. Soon no one invites him to parties anymore.” pg 11. The horror!
This parody also tackles Tolkien’s frequent use of inset song lyrics. Here is one of my favorite characters Tom Bombadil, in this book, Tim Benzedrino singing: “Toke-a-lid! Smoke-a-lid! Pop the mescalino! Stash the hash! Gonna crash! Make mine methedrino! Hop a hill! Pop a pill! For Old Tim Benzedrino!” pg 21. And actually, making one of the most curious and unexplained characters into a drugged-out hippie was kind of funny. The gag lost its charm though after the first couple lines.
If forced to pick a favorite scene, I’d have to go with when the party was attacked by a “Thesaurus” outside of the Mines of “Andrea Doria”: “The creature was about fifty feet tall, with wide lapels, long dangling participles, and a pronounced gazetteer. “Aiyee!” shouted Legolam. “A Thesaurus!” “Maim!” roared the monster. “Mutilate, mangle, crush. See HARM.” pg 68.
Anyway, rather than garnering a lot of laughs, this parody succeeded in making me want to re-read the original books. Recommended only for the super fans who must read everything that has to do with the LoTR. Otherwise, I’d give it a pass.
Thanks for reading!