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Customer Review

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment., 13 Jan. 2004
This review is from: The Soddit (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Hardcover)
THE STORY:
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...
WHAT'S GOOD:
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.
WHAT'S BAD:
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.
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Ian Tapley
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