Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lord of the Rings Retold

From: Rare Book Review

"One of the cult novels of the 1970s turned out to be Lord of the Rings. Written by one of the unlikeliest of best-selling authors, it affected a large number of people, not least of them being those people now in their teens saddled with names like Galadriel.
     How would this book have turned out had it been written by someone else?

Lord of the Rings, by Ian Fleming
Aragorn placed his hand on the cool, ivory hilt of his 6.38 Anduril sword, half-holding it in as casual manner as possible. His eyes swept the room of the Prancing Pony, eyeing up the potential threats. He took out his pipe, made from the warmed heartwood of a mature oak. In the palm of his left hand, he unwrapped his leather tobacco pouch filled, as he preferred, with Gondorian Silk Cut. Aragorn preferred it to the harsher, stronger Numenorian blend...

 Lord of the Rings, by Ernest Hemingway
Frodo Baggins looked at the ring. The ring was round. It was a good ring. The hole at the heart of the ring was also round. The hole was clean and pure. The hole at the heart of the ring had an emptiness in it that made Frodo Baggins remember the big skies of the Shire when his father had taken him out and taught him to tear the heads off the small, furred things that walked there, even though he hated blood in those days and the stink of the blood was always part of the emptiness for him then and ever after.
     Frodo Baggins could put the ring on his finger now. The stink of the blood and the hole and the emptiness could never leave him now. Frodo Baggins looked at the ash-heap slopes of Mordor and remembered the Cuban orc who had kept the ash on his cigar all the way to the end. The orc just drew on the cigar and smoked the cigar calmly and kept the ash in a long gray finger, a hard finger, right to the moment that the Rangers beat hit to death with clubs. He was mucho orco, the Cuban.
     Frodo Baggins looked at the ring and the hole and smelled the sulfur smell that came from the vent in the mountain. There were scorched black bushes round the vent. The vent was like the cleft of the old whore at the Prancing Pony on the night that the Black Riders came. Frodo Baggins reached in his pouch and took out the flask of good grappa there and filled his mouth and swallowed the grappa. She was mucha puta, the old whore.
     Frodo Baggins could spit again so he spat hard, once. He took the ring and threw it into the vent.
     The earth moved."

— Alison Brooks, Changing The Times

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