Friday, 4 September 2009

Literary procrastination

As I have nothing interesting, provocative, saucy, or useful to say just now (brain wiped out by all the writing I’ve been doing), I thought you might enjoy the following that myself and some snuggly friends composed in a fit of literary procrastination a little while ago.

The premis is simple. Look at book titles. Remove a single letter to change the title and add a pithy resumé of the new book.

For example, The War of the Worlds might become The War of the Words – Martians land in Surrey and become involved in an argument.

Some titles are repeated but have different resumés. And be warned there are a couple of rude words! Read, enjoy, and have a go yourself.

The Ill On The Floss - exposé of addiction in the dental industry.
Lucky 'im – envy and avarice in the Cockney underworld.
Harry Otter and the Philosopher’s Stone – river mammal thinks about a pebble it found.
Madame Ovary – woman donates eggs to prostitute.
Little Omen – even smaller child is a bad influence.
Harry Otter and the Philosopher's Stone – Son-of-Tarka finds treasure in a river.
And Then There Were One – a guide to common mistakes in the English language.
The Rooked House – wicked estate agent deceives MPs.
Death on the Ile – murder in Paris.
The Cunt of Monte Cristo – nasty man gets locked in dungeon.
Avid Copperfield – novel about a very keen young man.
My Air Lady – Concorde stewardess plays hard to get.
One with the Wind – embarrassing guest at a house party.
10 Dalmatians – carnage in a dogs' home.
Lien Resurrection – ancient legal claim starts inter-galactic war.
EMA – busybody girl gets education grant.
The Coning of Joanna May – sextuplets forced to dress up as motorway bollards.
Little Omen – four sisters have a feeling something unpleasant is about to happen.
Voices in the Ark – Noah develops paranoid schizophrenia.
Ride and Prejudice – steamy love story.
Leak House – study of the Welsh assembly.
Liver Twist – cooking for the impecunious.
Ale of Two Cities – German and Suffolk towns fight over whose bitter is best.
The Lighthose Keeper – man hoards beige 10 denier stockings.
The Cricket on the Earth – David Attenborough's latest.
The Lord of the Rigs – British Peer fights takeover bid for North Sea gas.
A Roo with a View – baby kangaroo peeps out of pouch.
The Man in the Ion Mask – chemistry professor robs bank.
Mutiny on the Bunty – girls’ magazine staff go on strike in the 60’s.
Huckleberry Inn – blue hound takes up tenancy of hostel.
Tits Groan – Mervyn Peake’s epic tale of one man's quest to design a better bra.
A Stud in Scarlet – Sherlock Holmes investigates the seedy underworld of male escorts.
The Tin Man – Dashiell Hammett’s version of The Wizard of Oz.
The Cow – Ted Hughes early career takes a different direction.
The Rapes of Wrath – memoirs of a Viking plunderer.
Bleak Ouse – the story of a Fenland river.
Beak House – a study of parrot keeping in the UK.
He Hobbit – long-awaited follow up to 'Me Tarzan' and 'You Jane'.
Lice in Wonderland – a tale of a dream quest for personal hygiene.
Lack Beauty – show them brains are longer-lasting.
Travels Round my Ant – Graham Green's very short travelogue.
The Return of the Naive – Hardy's epic tale of the foolish going home.
Far From the Madding Crow – Hardy's treatise on how to avoid crazed corvids.
Brighton Roc – mythical bird is discovered in seaside town.
The Spy Who Came in from the Cod – a fishy tale.
Anne of Green Gales – strange weather afflicts a young woman.
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Ma – woman struggles with artistic ambition whilst raising children.
The Way of the Wold – William Congreve's script for Emmerdale.
The Wastelad – T S Eliot’s poem about an apprentice dustman.
Twelfth Nigh – the tale of a weary golfer who still has a lot of holes to play.
The Holy Bile – a study of religion and the gall bladder.
Two Years Before the Mat – R H Dana's tale of the everday life of a carpet salesman.
Mad Marian – T L Peacock's tale of a dotty woman living beneath the greenwood tree.
King Ear – a laboratory mouse takes control of the animals.
Ales from Shakespeare – The Lambs list the drinks mentioned in the Bard's works.
A Tram Abroad – an attempt by Twain to rival the success of the Rev Awdry.
The Wave – Virginia Woolf's little known attempt at a disaster novel.
An Veronica – in which Wells proves he never got the hang of indefinite articles.
A Christmas Carl – Dicken's tale of a medieval peasant.
Pint Counter Pint – Huxley's experiences of working behind a bar.
Oral Island – adventures of a group of shipwrecked dentists.
A Par of Blue Eyes – Hardy recounts a round of golf with Sinatra.
Onan the Barbarian – (enough said).
E – Zamyatin's dystopic tale of Yorkshire folk.
Rendezvous with Ram – A C Clarke's sequel to Do Androids Dream of Electric Shep (Dick's tale of a robot border collie)
Anima Farm – revolution on a Jungian health farm.
Swallow Ale – Ransome's children go off the rails and start boozing.
Lice through the Looking Glass – disaster novel about a particularly virulent strain of glass-eating bugs.
Liver Twist – Dickens writes a Hannibal Lecter story.
Wallows and Amazons – a hippopotamus puchases books online.
Wild Wans – pale people run amok.
I, Root - an android researches his family tree.
OU of Africa – the Open University takes over tertiary education in Africa.
Jams and the Giant Peach – Delia launches new preserve cookbook.
Charlie 'ad the Chocolate Factory – East End drug dealer holds Belgium to ransom.
Trough The Looking Glass - a pig-breeder's guide to using mirrors to fool stock into eating less.
'Ot Of Africa – Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells goes on Safari.
Middle Arch – tales of the dodgy car dealer.
Birdson – novices guide to budgie breeding.
Gone with the Win – crime mystery about lottery syndicate leader's sudden disappearance.
The Testament of Gideon Mac – fantasy tale of a raincoat's romance with a feather boa.
The Canterbury Ales – local pub guide.
The Coming Of The Ing – a Dutch bank's success story.
Middle Marc – a study of birth order among boys.
Iddlemarch – Caesar's oracle's unfortunate speech impediment.
2001: A Pace Odyssey – how I completed the London Marathon eight years ago.
The Tree Musketeers – Forestry Commission's guide to firearms training.
Goodbye Mr. Hips – a man's guide to slimming.
Lady Chatterley's Over – women cricketers of the twentieth century.
Tar Wars – the MacAdam Clan's battle to name a road surface.
Midsummer Night's Dram – holiday guide for whisky enthusiasts.
Chronicles of the Canonate – Scott's stories of a churchman's epicurean adventures.
Gulliver's Ravels – how a traveller got in a tangle.
A Severe Head – failing school gets new management.
The Pizza Tales – Melville's collection on Italian cuisine.
Plan Tales from the Hills - Kipling's account of his attempt to get permission to build a conservatory.
Around the World in Eight Days – an abridged version.
The Ploughman's Ale – Chaucer's drinking song.
The School for Sandal – Sheridan's popular shoe shop comedy.
Regauntlet – epic search for a new glove.
Silas Maner – adventures of a hairdresser.
The Gapes of Wrath – speechless with anger.
The Maser of Ballantrae – mad scientist builds super weapon in small Scottish village.
Vanity Fir – Scot's pine thinks a lot of itself.
What Maisie New – Maisie has a makeover.
The E-public – Plato for the 21st century.
Language, Ruth and Logic – an account of marital arguments.
Cold Comfort Arm – the case against sleeveless dresses.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Wool – why we should import American knitting.
Pus in Boots – a guide to foot infections.
The Hack – journalist encounters God in a log cabin.
War and Pace – workout video for the armed forces.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Seep – post apocalyptic horror story where robots battle to save their energy supply.
Gulliver's Ravels – a collection of knitting patterns gathered on his journies.
Heat of Darkness – A level physics manual.
Life of i – my soon to be finished autobiography.
Uncle Tom's Cain - past life regressions.
Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Ire – Harry, in his cups, Gets Very Angry!
Hard Ties – neckwear for real men.
The Prince And The Paper - HRH William caught reading Daily Express.
The Rave - partying with Eddie Poe.
The Ouchstone – how to sue when a brick lands on your head.
Whit Fang – Bank Holiday fun for vampires.
Robin Hod – brickie becomes an outlaw.
His Last Ow – detective stubs toe, tumbles over waterfall.
The Terminal Bach – Ballard’s tale of the last days of the great composer.
Rash – a cautionary tale of what to expect if you insist on that sort of behaviour in a car.
Unlimited Dram Company – distillery discovers it has a magic vat.
Super-Canes – what Max Mosely got up to in the south of France (allegedly)
Fahrenheit 45 – nice day for a bonfire (now, what can we burn?)
A Clockwork Range – wind-up cowboys.
The Reel – Camus’ treatise on fishing.
Shadow Dane – Angela Carter’s Scandinavian spy story.
The Magi Toyshop – they spent a long time in there before going next door and blowing it all on gold, frankincence and myrrh.
Artemis Owl – nocturnal bird takes to crime.
Omo – Michael Ende’s fantasy about washing powder.
Win in the Willows – Ratty enters the woodland olympics.
Our Ma in Havana – Mum’s trip to Cuba.
Rave New World – the US party scene.
The Tailor of Panam – get your trousers mended in-flight.
Absolute Fiends – le Carré’s horror story.
The Ox of Delights – bovine dispenses happiness.
The Sow Spider – genetic experiment goes horribly wrong.
Bedknob and Broomsick – witch discovers she has no stomach for flying.
Woman on the Edge of Tim – woman tries to attract man’s attention.
The Rouble with Harry – Russian financier is found dead, comic mayhem ensues.
Three Men In A Boa – fashion for the gay ménage a trois.
Hat Katy Did – young woman takes up millinery.
Hat Katy Did Next - young woman milliner joins forces with fashion chain.
Hat Katy Did At School - young woman opens Youth Training Scheme in millinery.
Stranger In A Range Land – a travellers' guide to Texas.
Dun – long, boring tale about the colour of desert sand.
Due – long, boring tale about the cost of desert sand.
Une – long, boring French tale about desert planet.
The Greatest Story Eve Told – first woman reveals all.
Rime and Punishment – ice-cold retribution.
The Boo of Common Prayer – supplications from the disaffected.
Close Encounters of the Third Kin - distant relatives in near miss.
Of Mice and Me – true confessions of a rodent fetishist.

And, yes, I'm aware there are a few film titles in there. They've all been novelised (if that counts), but who cares.