A sampling of characters and their Tolkien cognates:

Dildo Bugger for Bilbo Baggins
Frito Bugger for Frodo Baggins
Spam for Sam Gamgee
Sorehed for Sauron
Stomper for Strider
Goodgulf for Gandalf
Legolam for Legolas
Schlob for Shelob

For a silly, and intentionally tasteless lampoon of Lord of the Rings, Bored of the Rings was very well done; it was delightfully silly and its tasteless intent was blatant, humorous in itself. It adheres to the style of its Mad Magazine-ish subgenre as brilliantly as the film American Pie in the subgenre of Porky's-esque coming-of-age comedy.

I've read it so many times that I no longer laugh myself sick all the way through, but it cannot be recommended too highly. The parody extends to the foreword, the map (I like "Land of the people with the medium-sized teeth" tucked away between Fordor and Tudor), the acknowledgements and reviews, the other books in the Harvard Lampoon series (David Matzohfield, the Matzoh of Casterbridge, etc.), and the Prologue concerning boggies.

This book is predominantly concerned with making money, and from its pages a reader may learn much about the character and the literary integrity of the authors. Of boggies, however, he will discover next to nothing, since anyone in the possession of a mere moiety of his marbles will readily concede that such creatures could exist only in the minds of children of the sort whose childhoods are spent in wicker baskets, and who grow up to be muggers, dog thieves, and insurance salesmen.
Boggies are an "unattractive but annoying people" who don't like machines more complicated than a garotte or a blackjack, and avoid the Big Folk except when they can assemble in a hundred or so against a lone farmer or hunter. Dwarves refer to them as "the boggie peril". They wear shiny grey suits with narrow lapels, alpine hats, and string ties.

Under the Naugahyde brothers Brasso and Drano the boggies settled in the Sty, where they organized a government that would have been considered unusually crude for a colony of cherrystone clams. Little happened until Mr Dildo Bugger went on an expedition with some dwarves and Goodgulf the wizard, and took the ring from Goddam. Our story begins years later.

At the giant pig-out that Dildo throws ("It takes a heap o' vittles to gag a boggie"), he and Frito learn that the Nine Nozdrul are abroad, and Sorhed has rearisen. The other two volunteer Frito to go and throw it away in the Zazu Pits, with his idiot servant Spam, plus the expendable twins Moxie and Pepsi.

In the Evilyn Wood they meet Tim Benzedrine and his chick Hashberry. Then at the Goode Eats & Lodging inn in Whee, where the staff are all dressed as suckling pigs, with false ears, snout, and tail, as they sit amid the Muzak contemplating the "Uncle Piggy's Oink-Oink Burger-on-a-Bun" from the menu, Spam ogles the scantily-clad "piglets".

One of the piglets sidled up to the table for their order as Spam greedily took stock of her big red eyes, crooked blond wig, and hairy legs.

"Youse slobs wanna order yet?" asked the piglet as she teetered uncomfortably on her spiked heels.

"Two Oink-Oink Burgers and two Bow-Wow Specials, please," answered Frito respectfully.

"Somethun' t' ring, uh, I mean, drink, sir?"

"Just four Orca-Colas, thank you."

As the waitress lurched off, wobbling on her heels and tripping over her long, black scabbard, Frito surveyed the crowd for anyone suspicious.

(The Strider character they meet is in fact called Stomper.) And I could keep on summarizing until the cows come home, in fact there are a couple of Jerseys nuzzling at the front door right now, but that's enough for one node. Drive carefully and don't take any oaken thruppences.

The Lampoon also did Doon, a parody of Dune.

Bored of the Rings is a brilliant work of parody. It does get nasty at the parts, but as the authors warn in the beginning, it's not really meant to hurt and everyone really should go read the original, too.

The book was originally published in 1969, and translated to Finnish in early 1970s (under title Loru Sorbusten Herrasta). I remember the first time I read it (somewhere in early 1990s) - Getting the book from the library was hard, and it was missing one page.

The book was about to disintegrate and it was definitely out of print. I had very very very hard time finding it: It just wasn't available anywhere...

But then came the end of 2001, and a new LotR movie came out. The publishers, probably hinted by the readers a bit, noticed what was notoriously missing from the flood of usual movie merchandise.

So, while the LotR:FotR movie was one of the art landmarks of last year, the new, fixed printing of this book was the art landmark of this year. The fans of the book had dreamed of reprint for decades...

Now it was again possible to walk into a bookstore and get it. My sister got a copy, and went to a vacation with it, so I have not yet re-read it. Instead, I got the English version of the book (that too was likely a bit difficult to find here). Hardback. Unbelieveable that a book like this is printed hardback.

It seems to me the original version is a little bit gentler book than the Finnish translation.

Understandably, the new printing has a "Not a major film!" comment on the cover! =)

The book has also inspired one role-playing game parody (see LMERP).

(More information to come as soon as I get both versions read... any day now, this is on my list, honest.)


randombit says There was also a 25th aniversary edition (which is the one I've got). I'm not sure how widely it was sold; I got my copy at an old used bookstore in Portland maybe 6 years ago.
(W4: Um, so, the original English version gets reprinted more often, what a surprise. *g* The copy I have says it's the first printing of the book in UK, though, so yes, Europe has been in the shadows more often...)

Don't forget

Tim Benzedrino for Tom Bombadil

Tim's song:

Toke-a-lid! Smoke-a-lid! Pop the mescalino!
Stash the hash! Gonna crash! Make mine methedrino!
Hop a hill! Pop a pill! For Old Tim Benzedrino!"

Though mad with fear, all strained to the rising melody sung by someone who sounded like he had terminal mumps:

"Snorting, sporting! Speeding through the arbor,
Pushing till the folk you burn toss you in the harbor!
Screeching like a dying loon, zooming like the thrush!
Follow me and very soon, your mind will turn to mush!

Higher than the nowhere birds grooving in the air,
We'll open up a sandal shop where everyone will share!
Flower folk are springing up, wearing bead and boot,
And if you down me you can stick a flower up your snoot!

To Love and Peace and Brotherhood we all can snort a toast,
And if the heat is on again, we'll all split to the Coast!

 

 

The most memorable character in Bored of the Rings, was, (for me at least), Tim Benzedrino, a spoof of the most memorable character in The Lord of the Rings, Tom Bombadil. I remember the rumors and speculation prior to the release of Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring about who would play Tom. Robin Williams was the favorite front runner in the rumor mill, but, alas, poor Tom was entirely dropped, to my everlasting disappointment.

 

The long-missing Effovex opined that perhaps Tom was intentionally left out of the movie so that loyal fans of the book version wouldn't be outraged by the fact that the movie version didn't live up to the book version, but I have to disagree. Film is a perceptually one-dimensional medium. They show you something, and there it is. But literature lets the mind of the reader fill in more depth than could ever be intentionally shown; when can a film ever live up to that?

To wit; a film can show you a beautiful stream, where a subtle bit of writing can show you a an ice-cold stream, sparkling and skipping its way through a wintr'y granite bed, folding ice and snow in upon itself as it gathers strength, smelling of innocence and spring and babies, as the slightest hints of newborn grass spring to life in its wake. As much as I love cinema, there's just no way it can produce the sensations that even a mediocre, heavy-handed bit of writing like that can evoke.

So, disappointing fans of the book can be no excuse for leaving Bombadil out. If that was what they were afraid of, they might have been better served to leave Gollum out. The wonderful thing about the characters in Tolkein's masterwork was that he left most of the work to the reader's imagination, hinting at details like hairy feet and round bellies, providing an outline but leaving the reader fill in the whole, to imagine the perfect vision of a hobbit, perfectly suited to the reader's experience and preferences.

The advantage of film, I suppose, is that it doesn't tend get get NEARLY as far off-topic as this thread.

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