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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon 16 January 2005
THE STORY:
A collection of writings, letters and early drafts relating to A.R.R.R Robert's fictional masterpiece 'Lowered Off The Rings' and the world of Upper Middle Earth.
WHAT'S GOOD:
Robert's mistake with 'The Soddit' was to attempt a rewriting of 'The Hobbit'. Here's however, Roberts parodies the idea behind 'The Silmarillion', only borrowing certain specifics for parody every now and again. This book lulls you into a false sense of security and then suddenly hits you with a priceless bit of comedy. For instance, King Prorn III has three sons; Stronginthearm (who is strong in the arm), Braveface (who has the world's bravest face) and Belend (whose attributes we don't discuss). Were you annoyed by all the America-specific puns in 'Bored of the Rings', well, here there are a few just for us Brits (such as the Noddiholor elves with their bushy sideburns). But it's not just Tolkien in the firing line, C.S. Lewis' fiercely Christian style of fantasy is parodied with a reference to 'The Passion of the Lion, the Wicked Jews Who Murdered Him, and the Wardrobe' and Robert Jordan gets the funniest mention when the publishers announce the release of 'The Lord of the Wheels of Time' a 144-volume retelling of the original fantasy epic (which was an inadequate 1200 pages long), with each book at least 1000 pages long and featuring dozens of maps, character lists and appendices.
WHAT'S BAD:
At times, Roberts' narrative drags on longer than Tolkien's original did and you'll find yourself having to repress the urge to skip through the tales of Belend and Luthwoman and Earwiggi. I also really resent the suggestion in the Synopsis above that no-one can be bothered to read 'The Silmarillion', the publishers should at least show a bit of respect for Tolkien's work (which they're quite happy to cash-in on).
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