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The Soddit (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Hardcover – 16 Oct 2003
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Following BORED OF THE RINGS comes the equally irreverent parody of Tolkien's other (and much, much shorter) masterwork; The Hobbit.
About the Author
Adam Roberts is 39 and Reader in English at London University. His first novel, Salt, was nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award. He has also published a number of academic works on both 19th century poetry and SF.
Top customer reviews
If you enjoy the original or just want to read a spoof this is for you. Did you know that Wizards come from Dwarves?
If you come from Essex you may love the references to Lakeside etc. A really great read.
Loan it from your local library instead.
A humble, and fairly stupid, soddit is whisked off on an adventure by a group of Welsh dwarfs, boyo, and Gandef the hard of hearing wizard. There travels will lead them into battles with Gobblins (mutant turkeys), through the Mykyurwood and finally to the Only Mountain. Well, obviously it's not the only mountain...
The author's notes at the bottom of the pages are a constant source of amusment, reassuring us of things like the fact that the sun didn't literally dance on the water, because that would mean fiery and agonising death for our heroes. The wittiest part of the book is actually in the back, where there are parodies of the adverts you get in a lot of books. In these ads, we get an early look at the adventures of Frodeo and Scram, who are just good friends, that's all. There's also an ad for the latest Soddit game for the PlayGameBoxCube 2, which follows in the merchandising tradition of games such as 'SimSoddit' and 'Metal Gear Soddit'. I thought some of the elements of these adverts were really scathing satirisations of the way in which Tolkien's books have become a merchandising frenzy. You can't enter a bookshop anymore without seeing some new 'Lord of the Rings and Me' cash-in by some unknown who hasn't had any success writing a proper book.
Naturally, this book has to face comparison with 'Bored of the Rings' and, unfortunately, it doesn't come out too well from that comparison. Despite the fact that much of 'BotR's jokes were purile, it was still witty enough to tickle even the most mature reader, 'The Soddit' however, lacks this mixture of humour styles and, as such, fails to bring forth anywhere near as much mirth (in fact, I didn't laugh out loud until I was through the main body of the book and into the psuedo-ads in the back). I think Roberts' mistake was to try to write a good story, as well as a parody. Because of this, much of the book reads like a sub-standard version of 'The Hobbit' without any satire or parody and you end up feeling that you would've better spent your time just reading 'The Hobbit' itself.
Amusing, but not hilarious.
An absolute joy to read! Even the sad bits are hilarious and the last few pages are so well written that when this books finished all you want to do is start reading again. I did. And I can tell you that it was just as funny the second time around. I couldn't put this book down, I didn't want to put it down and I certainly cannot wait until someone produces a Block Buster out of this particular offering.
if you want to read a book like the hobbit, read the hobbit. if you want to read a book like the hobbit which isn't the hobbit, read the hobbit anyway because you'll enjoy it more than this and you won't feel like someone has robbed you of a chunk of your life.
the jokes aren't funny, the page notes are annoying and i felt desperately sorry for the author who i presume thought he was being hilarious while he wrote it.
(excuse any grammatical errors, this book wasted enough of my time that i just wanted to have a quick rant but i will not be spending more time than necessary to ward off any other potential readers)
i felt a bit mean having said that, if the author ever stumbles across this review please don't take it to heart, just write something original instead and i'm sure you'll do us a favour and yourself justice