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MUDDLE EARTH by Paul Stewart


by Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell & illustrated by Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: Aug. 14th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-385-73316-8
Publisher: Delacorte

The title, an anemic volcano dubbed “Mount Boom” and a late bit of verse are the only connections to Tolkien in this long, lame farce. Summoned away from this world into a land of gossipy trees and miasmic stenches by Randalf the Wise, young Joe runs into farting pigs, greasily entrepreneurial goblins, huge but infantile trolls, a maternal dragon, mighty-thewed Brenda the Warrior Princess, crazed and giggling sorcerer Doctor Cuddles and like characters in his persistent quest to get home. As usual with this pair, Riddell’s many expert ink drawings both provide the main draw and are so small that the intricate details are hard to make out. Steer readers with a taste for spoof quest epics to the likes of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld tales, Jodi Lynn Anderson’s May Bird in the Ever After (2005) or the granddaddy of them all, the Harvard Lampoon’s Bored of the Rings (1969). (Fantasy. 11-13)