Bored Of The Rings Hardcover – 20 Jan 2011
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First published in 1969, Bored of the Rings quickly became a cult book for its relentless, slapstick pastiche of The Lord of the Rings. Gollancz's 2001 edition marks the first appearance in Britain and in hardback.
Authors Beard and Kenny carry irreverence cheerfully beyond the borders of good taste. For some, it's a hilarious antidote to uncritical worship of Tolkien. For others, it's outright blasphemy. You choose...
Here's the formula. Take the rough plot of The Lord of the Rings. Give everyone daft names: Bilbo Baggins becomes Dildo Bugger, Sauron is Sorhed, and the hobbits Merry, Pippin and Sam are now the boggies Moxie, Pepsi and Spam. Make them all cowardly, dumb, self-serving and/or insane. Cram Middle Earth with droll American brand names, some now rather dated...
Bored of the Rings lurches drunkenly through Tolkien's narrative, scrawling graffiti on noble citadels and firing off gags with such machine-gun speed that something hits the funny bone on almost every page. A warning: "The halberd has fallen! The fewmets have hit the windmill!" A doom-laden prophecy: "Five-eleven's your height, one-ninety your weight, you cash in your chips around page eighty-eight."
Some pokes at the original are quite shrewd. The tiresomely lyrical Tom Bombadil mutates with hideous plausibility into dope freak Tim Benzedrine: "Toke-a-lid! Smoke-a-lid! Pop the mescalino!" Tortuous arguments about the disposal of the Ring are neatly condensed to: "'Alas,' explained Goodgulf." (Guess who?)
Cheap laughs abound despite occasional misfires. Even the map is chuckleworthy. But as the US paperback jacket warned, those who revere Tolkien "will not touch this gobbler with a ten-foot battle-lance". --David Langford --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
The ultimate Tolkien Parody. 300,000 copies sold in since 2001!See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I read Lord of the Rings when it was first published in paperback in 1965, and like many others fell totally in love with Tolkien's marvelous sense of language and incredibly detailed world building. When Bored of the Rings came out in 1969, I immediately grabbed it, as I grabbed everything else remotely dealing with Middle Earth. My shekels were well spent in this case, and I always remember some of these perverted alternative scenes whenever I re-read the original. This book follows the plot line of the original very closely, boiling down the original 1200 pages to this book's 150 and managing to cover every major scene, which is quite a feat.
Clearly though, as a parody, this book is not a stand-alone. Much of its humor derives from the reader's knowledge of the original. It also helps if you're old enough to remember some of the television commercials of the sixties, as otherwise some of the references in this book will pass over your head. There are also some pokes at certain Presidents, TV series, movies, cultural icons, and the hippie and drug-laced counter-culture of the day.
Like many good things, this book is best devoured in small bites, a few pages a day, stopping before your humor-detector collapses from over-stimulation. A great way to relax for a few minutes at the end of the day.
--- Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd (hyperpat)
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.
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.'
I discovered this book by accident in someone else's library, before ever hearing about Tolkien... and loved it so much I went on to read "The Hobbit" and LOTR, and am eternally grateful to "Bored of the Rings" for pointing the way.
Sure, the LOTR trilogy is an "impressive, truly masterful work of genius and imagination," the best piece of literature in the English language if you ask me, but even so, I consider "Bored of the Rings" to be a comic masterpiece, and one of my favorite books.
I only wish they would put out another edition with the original cover illustration. A hardback edition would be nice also.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolute giggle, never stopped laughing from start to finish. The better you know the Lord of the rings the more you laugh. Thought i needed stitches at one point.Published 12 months ago by ian wallace
Very funny, well for about 5 minutes. Quickly gets tedious with some very silly "jokes" which you can basically "see coming." Don't spend more than £0. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Steve Antony Williams
For years, a friend of mine kept going on about a book that was a parody of "The Lord of the Rings". Read morePublished 18 months ago by Mr. Iain R. Wear
If you know and love the Lord of the rings then you've got to read this. I first read it in the 1970s. A gentle (well reasonably gentle) parody. Read morePublished on 8 April 2013 by P. Rodgers
As it was a present I fail to see how you expect me to comment upon this item - unless you are willing to pay me to visit?Published on 3 Jan. 2013 by Mr. R. A. Minter