A GAME OF GROANS by Geore R.R. Washington


A Sonnet Of Slush And Soot
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A pseudonymous author delivers the inevitable satire of George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy (now a hit HBO series).

This is an uneven but not disagreeable parody. Anyone unfamiliar with the lush swords-and-sex panorama of Westeros is likely to be lost, though. The book opens with a witty take on “The Others,” as a bespectacled boy wizard, a black-clad cyborg mystic and a pointy-eared science officer debate protocol on the far side of The Wall. Then the book launches into a turn-by-turn journey of the clashes and soap operatic feuds in Easterrabbit, ruled by its grog-loving king “Bobbert Barfonme.” He’s come to the North to recruit his amigo Lord Headcase Barker, over numerous objections. “Tough patooties. You’re my new Foot. Pack up your crap. We’re outta here,” proclaims the king. For all the poo-and-fart jokes that abound, there is some fun to be squeezed out of the source material, not least the torrent of incest jokes made at the expense of the evil Queen Cerevix and her twin brother, Sur Jagweed the “Not-Kingslayer” Sinister. Their brother Tritone is a bit of a waste—merely the tallest man on the continent, with less humor than his pint-sized counterpart in Game of Thrones, while Headcase’s wife Gateway gets too much air time. Across the sea, Lolyta Tornadobutt, Princess of Duckseventually and her brother-of-questionable-sexuality Vladymyr, conspire under the protection of Ivan Drago, ruler of Dork. Thankfully, the book doesn’t attempt to match Martin’s well-known verbosity, with shortcuts like this one from the oath-taking of Juan Nieve: “Ever watched Anymal Housse while sipping on grog, gnawing on a turkey leg, and rubbing a cheese grater across your stomach? It was a lot like that.”

A featherweight lampoon that could amuse Martin fans with a sense of humor. More obsessive followers may well go medieval.

Pub Date: March 27th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-250-01126-8
Page count: 236pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2012


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