[Reviewer’s note: In this review there are criticisms of the comedy styling of The Wobbit. I know that this will open me and, possibly, The Outhouse staff (heh) as a whole to comments regarding how funny we are(n’t) and we accept that. Not everyone’s definition of “funny” is the same, and we know that we have not always succeeded in making people laugh. That being said, the only definition of “funny” I can go by is my own and the review below should be read in that light.]
[Extra-sexy note: My definition of "funny" should also be YOUR definition of funny. If it isn't, you're doing it wrong.]
The Wobbit: A Parody
Written by: The Harvard Lampoon
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Published: November 26, 2013
Price: $13.99 Paperback
Maybe it’s from growing up with the Naked Gun movies, maybe it’s from my lifelong enjoyment of “Weird” Al, maybe its the genius that is South Park, or maybe it’s all Mel Brooks’ fault, but I know, deep down in the cockles of my heart, that “parody” does not have to mean “stupid.” There can be plot, character development, themes, motifs, and all those other things that “real” stories have, along with the references and the funny. Sadly, The Harvard Lampoon’s newest book, The Wobbit: A Parody fails to live up to what I know a parody book can and should be.
From the solicitation:
When Aaron Sorkinshield and his band of Little People embark on a quest across Widdle Wearth to reclaim the hoard of Academy Awards stolen from them by the lonely Puff the Magic Dragon, senile wizard Dumbledalf suggests an unlikely and completely unqualified accomplice: Billy Bagboy, an unassuming wobbit dwelling in terrorist-riddled Wobbottabad.
Along the way, the company faces internet trolls, moblins, one really big spider that must be at least an inch and a half wide, and slightly worse. But as they journey from the wonders of Livinwell to the terrors of Jerkwood and beyond, Billy will find that there is more to him than anyone—Tolkien included—ever dreamed. Propelled to his destiny by a series of courageous adventures and indented paragraphs, Billy will set out on the greatest YOLO of all time…one that leads deep into the dark caverns hiding a mysterious man named Goldstein, who’s just trying to have a nice Seder.
I’ll admit, reading this description of the book put me in a good mood. The Harvard Lampoon is “the world's longest continually published humor magazine” and has produced some great talents such as Conan O’Brian and B.J. Novak, there was no reason for me to expect this to disappoint, except reality. Devoid of a coherent plot, likeable characters, or anything regarding substance, The Wobbit is a referenced filled jumble of nonsense from a hodgepodge of popular fantasy franchises that would make the writers of Scary Movie proud. Character names are uninspired mashings of well known charcters as are the situations they find themselves in. The plot, such as it is, of The Wobbit reads like the writers tore pages out of The Lord Of The Rings, Harry Potter, and Game Of Thrones* and tossed them into a manatee tank (see how you like a random refrence.):
I would like to say that there were some good points in this book, heck I remember almost chuckling twice, but beyond that I can think of nothing positive to say about The Wobbit.
Trudging through The Wobbit became a chore that I had to finish (because I said I’d read it) and by the end I loathed everyone in the book, involved with the book, the book itself, and my Kindle for not telling me to stop reading and go back to my fifith time through the Robotech novels.
There is much more that could be said about this book, but I really don’t want to think about it anymore.
Basically, imagine if one of The Outhouser’s articles went on for 200 pages (the horror.)
*Yes, I know its really called A Song Of Ice And Fire, but Game Of Thrones is what most people call it.