ACW

ACW

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Or perhaps Aardvark Farm? - Messing around with book titles - by Fran Hill


If you're writing a novel featuring animals, how do you choose? What made Golding choose flies, or Conan Doyle choose a hound? And how might the plots have changed had they chosen otherwise? 

Lord of the Wasp – schoolboys land on a desert island and begin to hate each other, arguing over giant pink shells and fires that go out.  Some littluns swear they've seen a man in a yellow and black stripey jumper plunge from the sky and land in a tree. Yes, there is a parachutist in a tree, but what they've seen is a giant wasp.  Later, frenzied with fear and excitement, they build a fire and dance round it while noshing on pig. A nice boy who thinks he knows what the yellow and black thing is runs down the hill to tell everyone not to worry, but he is beaten to death with a pair of broken glasses.In the end, the giant wasp (friends with the pig) stings all the boys, just before a rescue ship arrives.  So when a naval officer in a white uniform arrives on the beach, finds a group of young savages running around yelling 'Ouch! Ouch!' and says, ‘Boys will be boys’, he is vastly misreading the situation. The wasp, annoyed at his stupidity, plunges his sting into the top lip of the naval officer, so that he sports a mouth to rival a fighter's after three rounds with a tough opponent.  This is, indeed, the story he tells his fellow sailors. 

The Duck Of the Baskervilles – a horrific tale in which a duck haunts the moors of Devon, terrorising the neighbourhood with its beak of dripping flame and tendency to make a lot of noise at night.  Its eyes can be seen from Cornwall and not because of coloured contact lenses. A man dies of shock after seeing the Baskerville Duck, and no wonder. He falls heavily to the ground, and his injuries include quacked ribs.  Beside his body is found a pair of giant webbed footprints.  The Baskerville Duck is slain by Mr Sherlock Holmes and is now the name of a popular dish in a local Devonian gastropub.  It comes served with rocket and a blackberry jus.  Then you get the bill.

This is my daughter's shower curtain, bearing its Baskerville Duck design. I want one of these! 


Beoworm – A breathtakingly exciting tale in which a heroic creature slithers from the earth, silently creeping up on a green monster, who then slips on him and brains himself on the edge of a table made from real Anglo-Saxon oak and measuring forty feet by eighty feet.  Beoworm is rewarded by being immortalised in a long, long poem in a form of English no one can understand but everyone says they have read.

8 comments:

  1. Loving the shower curtain! Duck of the Baskervilles made me smile x
    (For the record, I haven't read that poem!)

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    1. I agree - I think the shower curtain is genius!

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  2. Fran, your posts are a breath of fresh air. One can have too much earnestness!

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    1. Thanks, Veronica. I'm not good at 'earnest' when I need to be - that's the problem ...

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  3. I love these books. But how many rejection slips would they have received? (probably would have been snapped up straightaway, knowing the perversity of the publishing world).

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    1. As you say, the irony of it is, they'd probably be bestsellers.

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  4. I love these books. But how many rejection slips would they have received? (probably would have been snapped up straightaway, knowing the perversity of the publishing world).

    ReplyDelete
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