And of course, the thing to avoid is eating curry in between lagers, reading this ALOUD with dramatic florishes (some of which were frankly, unprintable, and certainly unreproducible in this splendid on line journal) in your student flat before a rapt and drunk audience of students who know all your bad habits, and avoid embarrasments that they will tell their children and grandchildren about. Yes, and I expect this book was written in the same way.
I think the introductory text (the one which doesn't involve hairy toes) is roughly about the same level of lunacy as the book proper, but the fact is, I have no doubt that it it perfectly true; a pair of down and about writers alternate betwen emergency supplies of dog biscuits and sleepovers in the library (been there, done that) and surrender their writing careers to a desperate plan of salvation that includes vissitudes in aid of helpless fictional species, bypassing the local libel laws, characters strangely reminiscent of nearly everyone on my course (only smaller and smellier). Yes, I'm thinking about Tim Benzadrine here folks!
So it goes, and if you can read the bit with Lavalier and the brick wallpaper lined tree without falling over and spilling lager all over the communal radio, which then spectacularly explodes, then you did better than me.
People who refuse to acknowlege the Dune prequels, people who won't watch anything but the original Star Trek and people who despise Star Wars' expanded universe...
We've all met them, closed-minded types that they are.
Tolkien's fantasy masterwork also has such a cult of purists (the types who want Elvish to be part of the school curriculum). These people should avoid this book at all costs lest we have to listen to them whining about the desecration of LOTR.
Anyone who likes a bit of harmless (and often senseless) fun should have a look, particularly people who liked such irreverant parodies as 'Spaceballs' or 'Hotshots'.
The story of the book very much follows LOTR, with just a few poor variations on the names of places. But it's grace in taking apart Tolkien's conceits is wonderful. Of particular amusement is the seamless way in which the complacent Hobbits become the cowardly and self-centred Boggies.
I'll freely admit that this book is flawed (hence 3 stars), with it's lack of originality, it's unimaginitive prose and it's all too pathetic fart jokes. But having said that, there are also some works of comic genius that made me chuckle out loud. For instance the way in which Goodgulf demonstrates his great power by pulling rabbits out of his hat or the bit where, instead of being stopped from capturing the Ringbearer by a magic river (as in LOTR), the wraiths (who ride large pigs incidentaly) are foiled by a particularly expensive toll bridge.
So, if you want a few laughs at the expense of the literary institution that is Lord Of The Rings then give this book a glance and take a trip to the Zazu pits of Fordor.
on 14 September 1996
This short book is a clever and irreverent parody of the massive
novel we all know and love. It's a retelling of
the basic story with names changed and personalities
For instance, the book pokes fun at the fact that
Frodo, Sam & Co. are supposedly always running low
on food, but always seem to be eating. The mild distrust
between elves and dwarves depicted in the original
is recast as constant childish quibbling.
The poems in the original (which I found quite boring)
are translated to a gibberish of 1970-vintage news
headlines, merchandise advertisements, Pig Latin,
and so on.
Many of the jokes are outdated; for instance,
Pippin and Merry are referred to as Pepsi and Moxie, but
few people nowadays remember that Moxie was a softdrink.
The frequent Nixon references were probably cool in
their time, but they're a bit tiresome now that
Still, I say that the best reason for reading LotR
is so you can subsequently read Bored of the Rings
and appreciate it.
on 24 August 1999
As a bona-fide fanatic for Tolkien's magnificent work, some might find it odd that I love this too. But the whole point is that the authors, also, loved The Lord of the Rings-- indeed, only one who is deeply acquainted with the original will get the full impact and hilarity of the parody. It isn't, as some have said, a denegration of Tolkien, but an affectionate spoof. And it is SOOOOO funny -- of itself, as well as a lampoon. The periodic send-ups of Tolkien's more mannered portions and styles are delicious ("...The evening sun was setting, as is its wont,...") and the "Elvish" poetry equally funny, both in "Elvish" and "translation" ("Oh, Dago,dago, lassi lima rintintin"... translated into "Oh, the leaves are falling, the flowers are wilting, the rivers are all going Republican..."). Though the invention flags a little toward the end, it's still something I can pick up for some comic relief, and always find it. A pity a glossed version isn't around to explain the Sixties references for the uninitiated!
on 30 July 1999
I know it will sound redundant after all the other people saying it, but this is literally the funniest book I have ever read. Everything about it is insurpassible in any other parody. I've laughed aloud while reading other books before, but this is the only book where I laughed so hard that people sitting near me gave me nervous looks and moved away (I was in the park). Contrary to the all the doofi who whine that one star is too much, in reality five stars are to few to sum up the sheer and blatant magnificence of this novel. BOTR is my second favorite book of all time, my first being that which it parodies. I have read it so many times that I can now quote entire passages such as the classic "Snorting, sporting, speeding through the arbor...", "I'd like to poo-poo the both of you...", the outrageous fight scene at the end, and the hilarious introduction. Once again, to all the shockingly useless people who don't like this wonder of the world, get a life and learn to love the funniest book ever written.
on 8 June 1999
Its funny, quirky, smart, and people often don't get it. Much like Seinfeld, Bored of the Rings is cajoled and ridiculed by those who call it "stupid". Hmmm... there's an insightful comment. The book is certainly silly, but stupid, no. To understand it today, it will help to have a lot of knowledge of the late 60's/early 70s, be able to understand wordplay, enjoy satire, and not be the kind of Tolkein fan who is like the rabid Star Trek fans who insist on being called "Trekkers" instead of "Trekkies". This is not a book for Newt Gingrich, Pat Buchannan or any other killjoys. It pokes fun at alot of things, Tolkein, politics, drugs, human nature, and of course nose-picking. If you don't see the humor in the knight's creed of: "I will keep my nose clean at all times, and by the most expedient means possible", you won't like the rest of the book. And you don't need to read Tolkein to love this book. What's it about? Not much really, plotwise. Its about laughing.
on 1 May 2002
Well actually Bored of the Rings is clever. Clever enough not be too respectful of Tolkien's masterpiece (and make no mistake the original is a masterpiece - for all its faults). Clever enough to realise that being silly and rude about a book that is revered is exactly the point.
I first read this book when I was at college and that early American paperback became extremely tattered as it was passed around a group of friends. I remembered that when I saw this new edition and was delighted to find it still makes me laugh out loud. Now it may be that I just haven't grown up in the intervening 20 years but it may also be that Bored of the Rings is a genuinely funny book. A masterpiece as well in its own little way. '"Die" suggested Spam.'
on 8 May 1999
I have a good sense of humor, and I love a good laugh, but this is not my kind of book. However, I could not help but notice a comment made in a review a little farther down the page. The writer claimed that without this book, Tolkien would have long been forgotten. I could't disagree with his statement more. Most of my friends and I have grown up loving Tolkien and his Middle Earth, yet I had never heard anything about this parody. There is a reason Tolkien has been dubbed "The Father of Modern Fantasy". He was the first author to sucessfully take classic myth and legend and shape it into the fantasy novel. The genre of fantasy could not be where it is today if Tolkien hadn't paved the way. There will always be room in people's hearts for his stories.
In contrast to that statement, I believe it is the other way around--this parody could not have existed without Tolkien. =)
on 27 April 1999
The first time I read this book, as a young Tolkien fan, I was horrified and unable to finish it. How could anyone scrawl such graffiti over the runes of Middle-Earth? I picked it up again ten years later as a more mature and sophisticated reader---and laughed until I choked like an overfed boggie. (If there's any such thing.) Yes, Tolkien's high, bright, puissant fantasy world is worth cherishing, but if anyone had to lampoon it, the Harvard boys were the ones to do it. The humor is a little dated, but the original LOTR was at its height of popularity in the States during the '60s and '70s, and the acid-edged parodies of Tom Bombadil and Gandalf benefit from it. The raunchily revised Bilbo and Eowyn are timeless. Is it worth your money? Yes, if you ever spent more than five minutes wondering why there manages to be no libido or sex whatsoever in LOTR's few romances.
on 2 May 1998
Nothing, but nothing, in my Humble Opinion, is beyond making fun of. People who hold JRRT or any other author or human being as "beyond criticism" need to get a life -- or therapy.
On the other hand, I think it's rather a stretch to say this is The Funniest Book Ever Written. Such hyperbole is as bad as the claims that the Lord of the Rings is The Greatest Book Ever Written. In light of how many books have been and continue to be written, it's a wee bit extreme to claim any one is "the best" or "the greatest" or any such superlative.
But I'm being a party pooper. Bored Of The Rings is an amusing parody; juvenile humor, yes, and not exactly the most cerebral parody I've run across, but do your Inner Child (or rather, Inner Adolescent) a favor and read this book when you need a good laugh.