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Laura Reviews: All Fantasy Classics

One time I had to read Sword of Shannarah for school. My eighth grade English teacher made us pick names of authors out of a hat, and mine was Pearl Buck or something, who Paul thinks may have written books about a guy and his raccon. But my teacher was all "You wouldn't like that," which I probably wouldn't, at that, and she picked out a new name for me, and it was Terry Brooks. She thought I would like him, I don't know why, it's not like she could really make an accurate judgment of my character based on the lame 2-page stories I threw together out of necessity in one night as per the class requirements.

      Anyway, I had to read two books by Terry Brooks and draw parallels between them. So I got Sword of Shannarah, the first in a wicked long Shannarah series, itself a whopping 700+ pages. The other book was Magic Kingdom for Sale--Sold!! which was one of good old Terry's little romps into the world of "comedy." (ughhhhh...)

      I will now review these two books as well as, what the hey, all the other fantasy classics I've read. And I use the word "read" lightly.

Sword of Shannarah: Once upon a time there was a villager and his wife and they had three children. The first they named "Lame." The second they named "Laaame!" and the third they named "Boring." No, it's not what happens in the book. It's just a story I felt like telling so I wouldn't have to tell the story in the book, cause I really don't remember it that well.

      SoS had paragraphs about 3 pages long. I couldn't keep my eye on the page because it was all covered in letters. So I fell asleep a lot. And that's why I didn't actually get that much of it read. I think there was a part where they climbed a tree. Maybe. No, definitely. Paul reaffirms. (That's where he left off reading it in junior high too, coincidentally enough. We call this part the "Tree Factor" meaning the part of the book you never get past. No we don't, but we should.)

      I don't have the book anymore, so all I really have to be sure that it even exists is a picture I drew during the period of my "read"ing it. It shows a girl huntress and it says, in the scrawly handwriting of my misspent youth, "MENION LEAH FROM 'SWORD OF SHANNARAH' SHOULD HAVE BEEN A CHICK!" I then remembered a character who was a hunter, or maybe a ranger, this total macho type guy, who sucked, but would have been great as a chick. There were, like, no chicks in that book. How do they expect to keep my attention without a sexy girl? If there had been a chick in the tree maybe I would have finished.

Magic Kingdom For Sale Another lame Terry Brooks book, this one purporting to be comedy. Whatever!!! It's about a regular chap like you or me who finds an ad in the paper that says "MAN WITH FAST HANDS WANTED FOR..." No wait. I was getting this confused with something I like. My mistake!!! Actually, the ad said (surprise!) "MAGIC KINGDOM FOR SALE." So this chap guffaws and says, "Perhaps I will buy this kingdom, ha ha." So he does, and is whisked into a world of wonder and wonder where he becomes the king and has to ward of some kind of evil. Along the way they have some yuks. For example (and get ready for joke #1): the wizard--is a dog???!!!! HA. HA. And now, as if your sides weren't already splitting, good old Terry comes right back atcha with joke #2:The wizard-- HAS FLEAS??????!!!!!! Ohhhh, you! (waggling finger) That's about it for MKFS-S!!. There is a chick, but she's a tree. I'm not kidding.

The Fellowship of the Ring I'm out of my Brooks-bashing and into J.R.R. Tolkien. I never read the Fellowship of the Ring series but I get the feeling it would be good because I have really fuzzy memory of liking the Return of the King cartoon when I was kid. I may have had a crush on Samwise. Or Frodo. Were they horrible little trolls or something? I don't remember... My mom says once when I was two I went around at a party introducing myself as Samwise. That seems a little outgoing for me, as a shy kid. My brother was shy too as a kid, but my parents have a story where he went around at a party asking everyone what kind of dinosaur they were. We think they secretly made up the party stories because they just need an embarrassing story for each of us. Also, why would we be at a party? I can just imagine my dad in a marroon tux, with my mom in a sparkly evening gown, at a country club. HA! (Note: preceding mental image was not funny if you don't know my parents.)

The Hobbit I had to read this in eighth grade, too. Actually, I had to read it for summer reading, but I think it counts as eighth grade, since I didn't actually read it until about a month into school, when the report was due. I picked it because I pretty much knew the story from the cartoon. It was kind of boring at the beginning and it didn't have the song about the plates. But then it really picked up when they starting being on the journal. Ooh, Gandalf is so mystical. Ha ha, those dwarves are funny! Oooh, the Golem is scary. Look, there's the ring from the cartoon!

      But then they climbed a tree, and they spent a long time climbing it, and I was like "They're in a tree!"

      So I stopped reading it.

A Spell For Chameleon by Piers "XANTHONY!" Ha ha ha ha. This is the first book in the neverending Xanth series. I had to read this at the same time as I had to read The Hobbit. I actually read this one because it was short and easy. It was about a guy called Bink. There was a chick who was sometimes beautiful and dumb, so Bink has sex with her, and sometimes smart and ugly, so Bink has conversations with her. Way to go, Bink.

The Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis. I actually read all of the Narnia Chronicles except for The Last Battle because my mom said it was lame. I know I read The Horse and His Boy but I don't remember it at all. Have you ever seen the old 80s The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe cartoon? The facial expressions are to die for! I didn't like the PBS live action The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe mini-series, but I did like the Five Children and It miniseries. Whoooo doggies! Brit kids are so cute.