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.

7 comments:

Pom said...

Clever and obviously an excellent creative exercise!

Leatherdykeuk said...

Some very funny ones there. Thanks for the laugh.

Carol said...

Very clever!!! I'm not even going to try and compete!!

C x

Graeme K Talboys said...

Glad you enjoyed them. We had great fun producing them. And there is always the excuse that it is an excellent exercise in producing a single sentence summary of a title.

Lane said...

This is so good. I'm still sniggering. Absolute gems. I can't even chose a favourite.

Lane said...

Had to come back for another read.

Still laughing:-)

Graeme K Talboys said...

:-)