- These are from the Washington Post Invitational contest, which calls them
Merge-Matic Books. Readers were asked to combine the works of two authors,
and to provide a suitable blurb.
"Machiavelli's The Little Prince" - Antoine de Saint-Exupery's classic
children's tale as presented by Machiavelli. The whimsy of human nature is
embodied in many delightful and intriguing characters, all of whom are
executed. (Erik Anderson, Tempe, Ariz.)
"Green Eggs and Hamlet" - Would you kill him in his bed? Thrust a dagger
through his head? I would not, could not, kill the King. I could not do that
evil thing. I would not wed this girl, you see. Now get her to a nunnery.
(Robin Parry, Arlington)
And the Winner of the Dancing Critter:
"Fahrenheit 451 of the Vanities" - An '80s yuppie is denied books. He does
not object, or even notice. (Mike Long, Burke)
"Where's Walden?"- Alas, the challenge of locating Henry David Thoreau in
each richly-detailed drawing loses its appeal when it quickly becomes clear
that he is always in the woods. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)
"Catch-22 in the Rye" - Holden learns that if you're insane, you'll probably
flunk out of prep school, but if you're flunking out of prep school, you're
probably not insane. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)
"2001: A Space Iliad"- The Hal 9000 computer wages an insane 10-year war
against the Greeks after falling victim to the Y2K bug. (Joseph Romm,
"Rikki-Kon-Tiki-Tavi"- Thor Heyerdahl recounts his attempt to prove Rudyard
Kipling's theory that the mongoose first came to India on a raft from
Polynesia. (David Laughton, Washington)
"The Maltese Faulkner" - Is the black bird a tortured symbol of Sam's
struggles with race and family? Does it signify his decay of soul along with
the soul of the Old South? Is it merely a crow, mocking his attempts to
understand? Or is it worth a cool mil? (Thad Humphries, Warrenton)
"Jane Eyre Jordan" - Plucky English orphan girl survives hardships to lead
the Chicago Bulls to the NBA championship. (Dave Pickering, Bowie)
"Looking for Mr. Godot"- A young woman waits for Mr. Right to enter her
life. She has a loooong wait. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)
Other notable entries:
"The Scarlet Pimpernel Letter" - An 18th-century English nobleman leads a
double life, freeing comely young adulteresses from the prisons of
"Lorna Dune" - An English farmer, Paul Atreides, falls for the daughter of a
notorious rival clan, the Harkonnens, and pursues a career as a giant worm
jockey in order to impress her.
"The Remains of the Day of the Jackal" - A formal English butler puts his
loyalty to his employer above all else, until he is persuaded to join a plot
to assassinate Charles deGaulle.
"The Invisible Man of La Mancha"- Don Quixote discovers a mysterious elixir
which renders him invisible. He proceeds to go on a mad rampage of
corruption and terror, attacking innocent people in the streets and all the
while singing "To fight the Invisible Man!" until he is finally stopped by a
"Singing in the Black Rain"- A gang of vicious Japanese druglords beat the
crap out of Gene Kelly.
"Of Three Blind Mice and Men" - Burgess Meredith has his limbs hacked off by
a psychopathic farmer's wife. Did you ever see such a sight in your life?
"Planet of the Grapes of Wrath" - Astronaut lands on mysterious planet, only
to discover that it is his very own home planet of Earth, which has been
taken over by the Joads, a race of dirt-poor corn farmers who miraculously
developed rudimentary technology and evolved the ability to speak after
exposure to nuclear radiation.
"Paradise Lost in Space"- Satan, Moloch, and Belial are sentenced to spend
eternity in a flying saucer with a goofy robot, an evil scientist, and 2
"The Exorstentialist" - Camus psychological thriller about a priest who
casts out a demon by convincing it that there's really no purpose to what
it's doing. >>
We should be able to come up with some Mythopoeic Merge-Matic Books, such
as. . .
Farmer Giles of Ham In the Dell: Recounts the story of a traditional game
with tragic overtones, in which the Dragon is always chosen last.
Your turn. . .
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