Barry Trotter And The Shameless Parody (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Paperback – 11 Sep 2003
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It had to come. Michael Gerber's Barry Trotter and the Shameless Parody does to Harry Potter what Bored of the Rings did to Tolkien--burying the very English original in showers of quick-fire gags, mangled character names, and Americanisms.
It stuck to the plot of The Lord of the Rings, but--probably for fear of lawsuits--Shameless Parody rambles in all directions, poking fun at JK Rowling's characters, her fans, the worldwide Potter phenomenon and moviemakers Warner Brothers too.
The hero of Barry Trotter and the Philosopher's Scone (in America, Barry Trotter and the Magic Biscuit) is now in his 11th year at Hogwash School for Wizards, aged 22. Yes, he should have left long ago, but being famous is addictive. Now the Headmaster, Alpo Bumblemore, has a fresh task for Barry. Already beset by crowds of non-magical "Muddle" fans, the school faces terminal publicity unless our hero can halt production of the scheduled film Barry Trotter and the Inevitable Attempt to Cash In....
Can Barry, with friends Lon Measly and Ermine Cringer, defeat the latest evil schemes and transparent anagrams of Lord Valumart--even with help from author JG Rollins herself? It doesn't seem to matter much since even the "good" characters tend to be crass, stupid, unsympathetic or all three.
Gerber shrewdly builds on the Hogwarts tradition of icky sweets and should appeal to the young in brain with loving descriptions of Snot Chocolate, Dandruff Babies, Diarrhoea Creams, and the like: "Barry chuckled: for him, potty humour was one of life's most reliable sources of pleasure." Naturally there's not a Chamber but a Chamberpot of Secrets, and the toilet-haunting ghost Moaning Myrtle becomes Flatulent Fanny.
The plot, for want of a better word, is too self-referentially silly to describe. It's a toss-up: will millions of young Rowling fans giggle uncontrollably over the lavatory jokes, or lynch Gerber for blasphemy? --David Langford -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
Buy it for your children to read and then borrow it yourself. (PRIZES GALORE) -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
I'm so glad I did! It's one of the funniest things I 've ever read. It's not really a parody of a specifc book in the series -- instead, it starts when Barry (Harry) is twenty-two, made incurably lazy by his famous life, and unwilling to leave Wizard school, where everyone caters to his every whim. It's only when he learns that a Hollywood movie is being made out of his life -- and that if the movie suceeds the school will have to close and he'll have to get a real job -- that he is galvanized into action.
What's especially hilarious is seeing the grown up Barry Trotter using magic in ways that any 22 year old guy would if he could -- to meet women, to get out of trouble he got himself into. Also wonderful is the way that Michael Gerber comes up with little bits of magic that are worthy of JK Rowling, except funny... like "Traveling Snuff," something wizards use to fly. Usually with snuff, you see, you stay in the same place and the snuff comes shooting out of your nose... but with magic snuff, IT stays in the same place, and when you sneeze, you go shooting up into the air.
So, if you like Harry Potter, and you like to laugh, do yourself a favor and get this.
Barry Trotter's main problems lie in its content and the fact that clearly the author has some kind of agenda beneath the gags and poking fun at the series. The problem is that often this message gets in the way of advancing the plot and had the author stuck with the events of maybe Philosopher's / Sorcerer's Stone with an already laid out plot which could have had plenty of gags on - can think of plenty of ways the giant chess game could have been done humourously, then maybe the laughs would have gotten through. Barry Trotter's main point is actually a decent one, it's all about the money being pumped out of the franchise through the films, and the way the books are disregarded as opposed to the inferior (no offence to the films but the books are always better) movies which people see more often and don't know what they're missing in terms of depth, power and heart. Whilst this is a good point that I fully support this is a parody with the main idea to parody the events of the stroy, and to an even further point - make the reader laugh.
Now this is a funny book, plenty of gags throughout, the names are all parodied with some very funny, in the same style as Bored of the Rings did for its characters. The plot satirises many parts of the books to a humourous manner with the limits of magic being one of them, as well as the oddities of the characters. The book even makes fun of the fanbase for Harry Potter and the lunacy many of the fans of the series have.
The problem comes near the end mainly and the fact that the comedy is presented in quite a dull way. Parodies mainly work with the structure of many long sentences with the jokes at the end whereas Gerber's prefers a conventional style of mixed range. Evidence of this is found in Bored of the Rigns which emphasises that how content is presented is just as important as the gags themselves. And then the other problem lies in the fact that after a major plot point and the usual confrontation with Lord Valuemart, which is quite funny as a scene, the book goes downhill without a chance of recovery. It's too nice and lovey-dovey, everyone smiling and being happy. In some respects, it turns too wet whereas had it continued a dry, cynical tone of parody as opposed to making its own point it would have worked better humour-wise. Also becuase it strayed away from the established plot of the books then the story falls apart with a lack of ideas mainly and a lot of padding to make up for it.
So whilst it's a funny book and given time I'd read it again, it has some writing problems and ultimately doesn't measure up to many parodies of the past. But for die-hards and haters of Harry Potter it'll work for both of you very nicely but it's just a silly parody and it does what it's meant to do.
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But I don't think it will be as entertaining at all if you haven't read at least the three first...Read more
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