"Very good, sir. Should I lay out your crazy adventure garb?"
August 19, 2012 7:47 AM   Subscribe

I would LOVE to read Chandler's Lord of the Rings!
posted by Foci for Analysis at 8:02 AM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]

Did not see Archbishop Cranmer coming.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:12 AM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]

I'd read Hemingway's, and probably Wodehouse's.

I don't know Dylan Thomas well enough to know how that corresponds to his writing style, but the idea of LOTR told from an orc's perspective is a thousand times more interesting than the actual story.
posted by Sara C. at 8:18 AM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]

well, Sara, you are in for a treat.
posted by mwhybark at 8:26 AM on August 19, 2012 [19 favorites]

posted by noaccident at 8:28 AM on August 19, 2012

No Ayn Rand?
posted by scratch at 8:29 AM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Saruman looked over the smelter and the Orcs' desperate attempt to lay down the tracks. Before he had begun the excavation, the Ents had overseen millenia of somnolent stewardship of this range: beginning with nothing and ending with less than nothing. It had taken Saruman and the Orcs a mere five years to begin digging the caverns, refining the minerals, and laying subterranean tracks where once there had been only ore and possibility. But would the work be completed on time? He turned to the awaiting goblins and passed to them sheets of orders, instructions, amendments and improvements. Even at this late time, his concern for the track would not diminish.

The goblins began running outwards like a tracery of firing neurons in a great subterranean mind. "Will we finish? Will we finish?" they wondered. One looked back to Saruman, who was already considering his next belated and vital amendments. "We need help," muttered one goblin to his fellow. "Who is Sauron Galt?'
posted by One Hand Slowclapping at 8:30 AM on August 19, 2012 [24 favorites]

In Rand Sauron is the heroic protagonist.
posted by The Whelk at 8:31 AM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]

What is Sauron Gault stopped making rings?
posted by munchingzombie at 8:35 AM on August 19, 2012

Would it have killed them to do a Joe Orton rendition?
posted by sonascope at 8:50 AM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

They never leave Bree cause Aragorn and Boromir have rented out all the rooms in the inn.
posted by The Whelk at 8:53 AM on August 19, 2012

Challenge: write The Lord Of The Rings as a Mefi fpp.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:08 AM on August 19, 2012 [4 favorites]

A Flashman-style reimagining of LOTR? Mein Gott, that's an amazing idea.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:10 AM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]

In the name of the most holy and individual Trinity: Be it known to all, and every one whom it may concern, or to whom in any manner it may belong, That for many Years past, Discords and Civil Divisions being stir'd up in Mordor, which increas'd to such a degree, that not only all Gondor, but also the neighboring Kingdoms, and Rivendell particularly, have been involv'd in the Disorders of a long and cruel War...
posted by spitefulcrow at 9:21 AM on August 19, 2012 [6 favorites]

What If Other Authors Had Written LOTR? - straight dope message board:

""Gandalf, Gandalf! Take the ring!
I am too small to carry this thing!"

"I can not, will not hold the One.
You have a slim chance, but I have none.
I will not take it on a boat,
I will not take it across a moat.
I cannot take it under Moria,
that's one thing I can't do for ya.
I would not bring it into Mordor,
I would not make it to the border."

-excerpt from Dr. Suess's FOTR."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:26 AM on August 19, 2012 [18 favorites]

GMF would be great, but I'm hoping someone here will show us how DFW would have done it.
posted by Flashman at 9:27 AM on August 19, 2012

What If Other Authors Had Written The Lord Of The Rings?

It could certainly have benefited from even a slight awareness of humour. Not to mention about a hundred other things.
posted by Decani at 9:36 AM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

I prefer the Wodehouse version I found on alt.humor.best-of-usenet many a year ago:
Subject: [alt.books.tom-holt] One Ring To Rule Them All, Jeeves

Scene; Mount Doom. Bertie Wooster and Jeeves discovered sitting on a 
rock engulfed on all sides in fiery molten lava.

BW: Well, Jeeves, here we are, what?
J:  Indeed, sir.
BW: I have to say, Jeeves, that the o. is looking a trifle g.
J:  Quite, sir. Most disturbing.
BW: That's putting it mildly, Jeeves. Dash it all, here we are on this
    bally mountain, with the sky falling in and hell's foundations
    quivering. It's all looking more than a little squiffy, if you ask me
J:  Very much so, sir
BW: On the other hand, we owe it to ourselves to look on the bright side.
J:  Sir?
BW: I mean, true, certain death may loom and we may be going down for
    the third time in the old cock-a-leekie, but at least I'm not going to
    have to marry Madeline Basset.
J:  Very true, sir
BW. Or Florence Craye. Or, come to that, Honoria Glossop.
J:  There is that aspect to the situation, sir.
BW: So really, it could be worse.
J:  Arguably, sir. Might I suggest a tourniquet for your hand, sir?
BW: You could manage that?
J:  I believe such an article could be improvised from, say, one of your socks.
BW: Not the purple ones, Jeeves.
J:  Sir?
BW: You've never liked those purple socks of mine, Jeeves. I've seen you
    looking at them as if they were something you'd found under a flat
J:  If I might be pardoned for saying so, the sacrifice, though
    considerable, would appear to be justified in the circumstances, sir.
BW: Oh, very well, Jeeves. Tournique away.
J:  Thank you, sir.
BW: I don't know, Jeeves. Who'd have thought Sir Watkyn Basset would've
    turned out to be the Dark Lord?
J:  With hindsight, sir, the contingency was one that might well have
    been anticipated. It was fortuitous, in the event, that you were able to
    convince Mr Spode to leap into the fire, holding the One Cow-Creamer.
BW: Eulalie, bless her.
J:  Quite, sir. Otherwise, the consequences might have been most regrettable.
BW: Just goes to show, really. Like Aunt Dahlia said, even Spode may yet
    have something to do.
J:  A most acute observation, sir.
BW: Looking back, I'm not sure I could've done it myself, Jeeves. It's
    like that thing you came out with the other day.
J:  Sir?
BW: Cats came into it, as I recall.
J:  Letting I dare not wait upon I would, sir, like the poor cat i' the adage.
BW: I', Jeeves? You mean 'in', surely.
J:  No, sir. The terminal consonant is elided for purposes of euphony.
BW: Is it? Well, anyway, that's all done and dusted. I'm glad you're
    here with me, don't you know. Here at the end of all things, Jeeves.
posted by fings at 9:40 AM on August 19, 2012 [58 favorites]

Let us just give thanks that it was not an iRing
posted by fallingbadgers at 9:53 AM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

I can't speak about most of the others, but that Ian Fleming one seems spot on.
posted by Canageek at 9:58 AM on August 19, 2012

He took out his pipe, made from the warmed heartwood of a mature oak.

Pipes are made of Briarwood. Ian Fleming would have known that.
posted by TedW at 10:18 AM on August 19, 2012

That wasn't actually a response to you, Canageek; I just hadn't refreshed the page for a while before hitting post.
posted by TedW at 10:20 AM on August 19, 2012

Roddenberry was good:

"Boromir, put on that red armour."....
posted by TedW at 10:25 AM on August 19, 2012 [6 favorites]

Given the film version of FOTR represents perhaps the biggest mainstream movie with significant gay themes, then Armistead Maupin's Tales of the Ring would be interesting.
posted by biffa at 11:07 AM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Pipes are made of Briarwood.

Not exclusively. Any sufficiently dense wood will do--and has been used at some point or another. Oak heartwood would be fine.

If we're looking for nits to pick, though, while I love fings's P.G. Wodehouse one above, Wodehouse would not have thought "fortuitously" meant "fortunately."
posted by yoink at 11:16 AM on August 19, 2012

I wanted to like these, but most of them aren't LOTR as a particular author would have written them, they're crude pastiches of a stereotyped example of the author's writing with the character names changed.

I did think the Pooh one was perfect, though.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:44 AM on August 19, 2012

By contrast, the usenet Jeeves that fing posted is very much LOTR in the manner of Wodehouse, as opposed to bad imitation Wodehouse with LOTR character names substituted. A lovely piece of work. And I disagree about the use of "fortuitous" (note not fortuitously); it is used completely appropriately as a more Jeevesian choice of synonym for the plainer "fortunate".
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:59 AM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

(fings, not fing. Frightfully sorry, old sport.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:04 PM on August 19, 2012

(Hmm. Not to beat it to death but I'll back off on "fortuitous" -- its connotation of "unintended" is stronger than that in "fortunate", making it less appropriate to an intentional act. Even "fortunate" would be technically wrong, but more ordinary and accepted in context. I'll shut up now.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:12 PM on August 19, 2012

If you would prefer your Ayn Rand's fantasy adventure with more allegory, perhaps Aslan Shrugged is for you.
posted by wobh at 12:39 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

I loved the George MacDonald Fraser and Ray Chandler versions. Someone should do Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle as well.
posted by vidur at 12:49 PM on August 19, 2012

Cormac McCarthy, obviously. I'd personally think Donald Barthelme and Steven Millhauser versions would be a hoot as well.
posted by furiousthought at 1:13 PM on August 19, 2012

Glad to see Twist and Turns' link to the SDMB. I remember that from years ago and thought it was killer. First intimation to me of the power of what you kids call crowdsourcing.
posted by Bill Peschel at 1:17 PM on August 19, 2012

Burroughs, please. Bree is sort of like Interzone, isn't it?
posted by usonian at 1:28 PM on August 19, 2012

I want William Blake's epic poem about Tom Bombadil.

I want Thomas Ligotti's story from the One Ring's point of view.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:19 PM on August 19, 2012

Tom Clancy. He'd get the Dwarfs to let him describe the mithril mines in excruciating detail.
posted by Cranberry at 2:38 PM on August 19, 2012

And I disagree about the use of "fortuitous" (note not fortuitously); it is used completely appropriately as a more Jeevesian choice of synonym for the plainer "fortunate".

"Fortuitous" and "fortunate" are not synonyms. There is no implication that the turn of events was a happy or positive one in "fortuitous"--it simply means that the event happened by chance.
posted by yoink at 2:39 PM on August 19, 2012

Alfred Bester, with Gollum as the antihero.

"The Bagginsssss," he croaked. "I kill you filthy."
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:39 PM on August 19, 2012

Pipes are made of Briarwood. Ian Fleming would have known that.

Or at least Major Boothroyd would have set him straight.
posted by rifflesby at 2:56 PM on August 19, 2012

Holy crap, that straight dope thread that the man of twists and turns linked above- it's 2000+ posts long. From my limited time spent reading through it, I'd say that if you have a comment along the lines of "why not this other author too?", someone probably did it there, Good stuff.
posted by hap_hazard at 4:11 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

That was funny, and the Straight Dope thread adds a lot to it. I'll bet there's not a Flannery O'Connor or William Faulkner yet, but I'd be happy to be proved wrong.
posted by notashroom at 7:39 PM on August 19, 2012

I'd like a James Ellroy version in his Cold Six Thousands mode.
Frodo Baggins
(The Shire, 4/12/3018)
They sent him to Mordor to throw some ring in Mount Doom. He wasn't sure he could do it.
Gandalf and the Boys flew him. They supplied poneys. They tapped their slush fund. They greased him. They fed him cram.
Nobody said it:
Kill Sauron. Do it good. Take our hit fee.

posted by elgilito at 8:19 PM on August 19, 2012

Here's a good one, what if Peter Jackson, that weird New Zealand director who makes a bunch of raunchy low budget horror comedies made a version of Lord of the Rings. It would probably be filled with juvenile ultra-bloody slapstick.
posted by dgaicun at 9:16 PM on August 19, 2012 [4 favorites]

Wow, that Howard Hawks version from the Straight Dope board makes me think that a film-noir adaptation would have been genuinely brilliant.
posted by dgaicun at 9:30 PM on August 19, 2012

Lord of the Rings, as written still being penned by George R. R. Martin

Book One: The Fellowship of the Rings

Chapter One: Frodo

Frodo Baggins, Bilbo's cousin, was adopted by Bilbo at the age of 21 after spending much of his formative years in the ancestral holding of the Brandybucks, Brandy Hall.

Frodo's mother, Primula, the only daughter of Gorbadoc Brandybuck, Master of Buckland, and Mirabella Took, the youngest daughter of Gerontius "Old" Took, who had the similar good fortune to live well unto his 13th decade and served for 72 years as Thain in the region, sadly did not share her grandfather's genetic infallibility. Shortly after Frodo's ninth birthday, Primula, along with his father, Drogo Baggins (no relation to the Kahl who shared his surname), succumbed in a mysterious boating accident, leaving Frodo an orphan.

Thus young Frodo retired to the home of his maternal family, Brandy Hall, over which the Brandybuck standard--a white-tailed deer, rampant, with eponymous argent brandy snifter ordinary, the whole emblazoned upon a crimson escutcheon--proudly stood watch. Below the snifter, picked out in silver thread, the family motto, "fundamenta inconcussa", served as a welcome beacon to weary travelers seeking shelter within its walls.

As hobbits (for such were young Frodo and his family) rarely venture out into the wide world beyond the boundaries of the Shire, the hall saw few travelers during young Frodo's childhood, which passed happily enough until he turned one-and-twenty, at which point his cousin, Bilbo Baggins of the Bags End Bagginses, took the boy into his own home, formally adopting him.

So it was that, 12 years later, on the very day of reaching his maturity, Frodo, sated from a feast of hot soups, new loaves with huge slabs of butter and cold meats; boiled, mashed and stewed potatoes; savory mushrooms stuffed with ripe cheese; blackberry tart and assorted pasties (as well as several generous helpings of his cousin's eleventy-first birthday cake!), sat drowsily across the table from one Gandalf the Grey, sharing a fine selection of Old Winyard Red and musing over the strange--and hasty--departure of Frodo's guardian...

Book Two: The Two Towers expected publication date: June 2014
posted by misha at 12:28 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

A fellow by the name of Bryan Ekers posted this on the straight dope thread mentioned upthread.
Smeagol writhed in corruption, his lifelong attempts to collectivize the Hobbit economy had twisted his soul and body and brought ruin to the Shire. "Precious," he muttered. "Precious colective good giving according to need." He shuddered at the thought of the unbroken individual standing proudly over a conquered plain with the Ring, and felt jealous that the wholesome power could not be his.

-Lord of the Rings, by Ayn Rand.
posted by dougzilla at 10:00 PM on August 20, 2012

Misha, you forgot the lamprey pie.
posted by Sara C. at 10:58 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

And you forgot something along the lines of-

"And what would you deem this desperate enterprise?"

"Why, Ser Elrond, this would be naught but the fellowship of the rings."
posted by Apocryphon at 11:04 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

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