The Soddit by Adam Roberts
Review by Cat Fitzpatrick
Bingo Sac Grabbins is asked by the coughing wizard Gandef and some (oddly Welsh) dwarves to help them relieve the great dragon Smug of his gold.
We’re going all the way back to 2003 with this stocking-filler spoof of The Hobbit, written by novelist and parodist, Adam Roberts. Paradoxically it’s a sequel to Bored of the Rings, a parody of Lord of the Rings, which is itself a sequel to The Hobbit. Whatever it is, both books were cashing in on the LOTR mania that still is sweeping the land as two Hobbit films hove into view, so we may see this little gem reappear on the counter of Waterstones next Christmas.
Like the Barry Trotter series of parodies by Michael Gerber, the basic idea is to take the names of the original characters and just change them slightly to appear funny, so Bilbo Baggins is Bingo Grabbings, Gandalf is Gandef and Smaug is Smug. We then run through the Hobbit’s story with people falling over things, Gandef being a deaf old man, and various other slapstick goings on.
As you probably expect, this is a mildly amusing top-up gift for fans of LOTR, which holds no interest for people who don’t know the books, and limited interest for those that do. Basically, these books are a one-trick pony that may amuse until the end of Boxing Day. It sounds harsh for what is really an inoffensive comedy gift, but really there was very little point to this apart from to make some money. However, anybody picking this up can get that from looking at the cover so maybe we’re all to blame. At least it’s not as bad as Barry Trotter.
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