Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Armless Fun

With the unspeakbly grim English non-summer rolling on into another month, it's time to lift the spirits with a bit of harmless fun...
On Radio 4's 'antidote to panel games' the other day, there was a round in which the teams were invited to come up with song titles from which one letter had been dropped, thereby changing everything - e.g. Boiled Bee and Carrots, My Grandfather's Cock, Bras in Pocket, etc. Surely this could profitably (profitably?) be extended to the titles of novels.
Thus we could have Henry James's Portrait of a Lad (not to mention The Golden Owl). Or Proust's In Search of Lost Tim (illus. Edward Ardizzone). Edith Wharton spraying the jokes around with The Hose of Mirth. Then there's Ford Madox Ford's invaluable handbook The Good Solder (aka The Saddest Tory). Graham Greene's entertaining Travels with My Ant. And of course Philip Roth's touching profile of Britain's leading Richard Madeley impersonator, The Human Stan...
Now I must take my medication and have a lie down. Over to you - there must be many more...


  1. Harry Otter, fifty shads of grey, animal arm

  2. Oh yes! Keep 'em coming...

  3. Oliver Twit and Barnaby Rude; Bellow's the Angling Man and Humboldt's Git; this year's Booker entry from Rushdie, Same; Boyd's waterfront in Tars and Bars; Waugh's camp cricketers in Love Among the Runs; Woolf's Outback adventure, Jacob's Roo; Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe hatches a fiendish plot in Pigs have Wigs; Naipaul's summer of drought in A Hose for Mr Biswas.

    I think someone already put medicine in my tea.

  4. That classic of the English lakeland summer Wallows and Amazons

    Leak House

    Wuthering Eights

    And of course I always like to keep my Tristram Handy

  5. Myles entomological classic The Poor Moth

    From your own favourite Portis, the tale of a western curmudgeon True Git

    Waugh's novel of poultry journalism Coop!

  6. Oh these are brilliant! Especially True Git...

  7. There was of course Updike's Jewish phase, which produced the classic trilogy 'Rabbi, Run', 'Rabbi is Rich' and 'Rabbi Redux'.

    Then there was Dickens' tale of two tough Cockney bruisers both called Timothy, 'Hard Tims'... and the same story again but set in Rome: 'A Tale of Two Ities.'

    And talking of Lawrence Sterne I guess the book that drove him mad must have been 'A Sent Mental Journey'

  8. Then there is Robert Graves tilt at the embryo
    Roman electronics industry..iClaudius.

  9. Thomas Hardy wrote a splendid book about egg-based condiments, The Mayo Of Casterbridge. There is also his The Return Of The Naive.

  10. Sholokhov's last, aimed at the Russian porn market...
    Virgins,oiled, upturned.