3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Parody of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" - Take it or Leave it,
This review is from: The Soddit: Or, Let's Cash in Again (Cardboard Box of the Rings) (Hardcover)
Obviously, in order to appreciate this book, you have to read the original Tolkien book, "The Hobbit," and reading "The Lord of the Rings" wouldn't hurt either, because references to the trilogy are made here.
I gave this book a two star rating, but I would put it in a range to two to three stars, depending how much you like Andy Roberts (author's real name) and his other works. The first pun after the title is that he satirized Tolkien's name because of his two R's.
The reason I gave it a lower rating is because the book is too long. It gets into detail in the form of conversations, descriptions, and footnotes that are way too long that for the story. The book could have been half as long and twice as funny. I will not make a synopsis here, for the reader can catch on to this parody very easily.
I will say a few things about the story itself. The hero's name is Bingo, instead of Bilbo, who ventures with an absent minded wizard named Gandef (the reason for this is revealed in the end, and it will surprise you), and 13 dwarfs that decrease in number (some get killed) as the journey proceeds. It does differ from the story as Gandef stays with the journey all the way, as opposed to The Hobbit where Gandalf leaves for other business. As I mentioned, some dwarfs get killed along the way, by trolls, stupidity, and spiders. The characters along the way are embellished: Sollum (Gollum) is a philosopher, Biorn (Beorn the bear) is a Swedish interior decorator, Thorri (Thorin) speaks with a lisp, and Smug (Smaug) the Dragon is a gentleman of sorts, and the story itself takes a life of its own, and ends differently than the original Hobbit. I won't spoil it for you. I will say there are many other characters and situations I haven't mentioned here, but this is the main idea of the story.
There are references to "The Lord of the Rings" with in the Minty (Misty) Mountains, they pass through a gate similar to Moria, the Ring, known as the Thing, rather than rendering the wearer invisible, grants the opposite of what the wearer commands; i.e. if the wearer says "I'm not hungry," food comes piling down on him. Also, everyone knows it's the one Thing of power made by the evil Sharon.
Some amusing technical anecdotes are: the round door of a Soddit hole can only have one hinge, which isn't strong enough to hold the door, or "how can 10 thousand dwarfs carve a palace in the mountain using spades? It would literally take a thousands of years to do so, even working day and night continuously. The author also includes footnotes, much of them commenting on a play on words. All this would be better if the book was shorter. Harvard Lampoon's 1969 version of the trilogy, "Bored of the Rings" is a better parody because of it.
At the end of the book, there are other "books" advertised, with some witty comments, as on Tolkien's poetry, "Buy this book, flip through it, put it on the shelf, and never look at it again."
If you are old enough to remember the "Big-Little Books" they use to sell at five and dime stores, this book, in hardcover, is about that size, and I think that is the idea; making this book as some kind of novelty.
Note that the book was written and published in 2005 in England, but is released here now with the advent of the new Hobbit movies.
As for the book, take it or leave it.