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The Chronicles of Blarnia (Gollancz) (2005)

by Michael Gerber

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563389,534 (2.5)None
A much loved classic of fantasy literature written by a grumpy, pipe smoking don in a smelly tweedy jacket being turned into a massive worldwide cinema hit. Where have we seen that before? Lord of the Rings was, of course, immense when it got the Hollywood treatment. Narnia will match it. We sold more than 300,000 copies of BORED OF THE RINGS and followed this 160,000 sales of two associated Tolkien parodies. Now Mike Gerber moves on from his 500,000 copy BARRY TROTTER sucess to line up the next big target.… (more)
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This reminds me of movies like Date Movie and Superhero Movie. All it does is take the cheap shots and is never really clever about it's jokes. It was a pain to read and I'm glad it wasn't very long. ( )
  Shirezu | Mar 31, 2013 |
As was no doubt Gerber’s intention, C.S. Lewis would be turning in his grave. No stone of Narnia is left un-mocked in this merciless parody of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, or, as this book announces, The Lying Bitch in the Wardrobe. While it is probably going to offend many lovers of the original children’s classic, there’s no denying that it is funny. Gerber’s style of humour will suit some people more than others, but nobody will get through this book without laughing out loud at least a few times. Ultimately, the people who will enjoy this novel most are those who have both read the original book and seen the movie, as Gerber lays into both of them with equal vigour.

While a little bit of crude humour is unavoidable and often a good thing, I can’t help but feel that Gerber has gone a bit over-the-top – there’s a bit too much crude humour for me. Nearly half of the jokes in The Chronicles of Blarnia are rude, and, while they are admittedly funny, it is somewhat sad to see that Gerber has to resort to such a low form of humour to make his writing amusing. It can potentially get quite tiring after a while.

Some of the more clever humour in The Chronicles of Blarnia comes from the way Gerber points out plot holes or illogical parts of the original book and film. For example, the fact that, despite what the professor may think, it is completely stupid to think that you can diagnose madness just by looking at someone. Another example: the bizarre state of winter that Narnia seems to be in, where it is cold enough to snow, but warm enough for four children to walk around in relative comfort wearing only a few fur coats. It is quite refreshing to be shown that, for all its popularity and prestige as a ‘timeless classic’, C.S. Lewis’ original novel contains mistakes and unrealities just like any other book.

The Chronicles of Blarnia is funny, but not the funniest book you will ever come across. Read it for some light entertainment, and try not to be too offended. Recommended for readers aged 13 and older.
  SamuelW | Jun 15, 2009 |
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A much loved classic of fantasy literature written by a grumpy, pipe smoking don in a smelly tweedy jacket being turned into a massive worldwide cinema hit. Where have we seen that before? Lord of the Rings was, of course, immense when it got the Hollywood treatment. Narnia will match it. We sold more than 300,000 copies of BORED OF THE RINGS and followed this 160,000 sales of two associated Tolkien parodies. Now Mike Gerber moves on from his 500,000 copy BARRY TROTTER sucess to line up the next big target.

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