"And about flippin' time too," said Rose.
"What do you mean?" said Sam.
"There's been a storm and we've had three fence panels blow over since you went gadding off with Mr Frodo to who knows where."
"It's a secret. If I told you where I've been then I'd have to kill you."
"Well here's a secret for you, Sam Gamgee. The toilet's blocked too, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it."
He smiled at her.
"You know what, love? Highfalutin adventures is all fine and well. Elves, dwarves, wizards, and not forgetting magic rings and suchlike. But there ain't nothing that don't beat being back here in The Shire."
Speaking of blocked toilets, did you know, Jonny, that there is a sequel to LOTR? Written by some Russian hack (English translation available though). If I remember correctly, aged Sam is the protagonist in that book.
That would be a hell of a trick to pull off if they've managed it, Chris.
In my bottom drawer I have a LotR, Harry Potter, CS Lewis and GoT mash-up comedy trilogy in one volume.
I sometimes have a read through and it makes me laugh a lot, but sadly no one else. From time to time I think of giving it a real proper edit and seeing if I can get interest in it, but then common sense prevails.
Instead I'm keeping it for my 2nd or 3rd project to follow on from my Mann Booker winner next year.
If I were to re-write the ending of a famous book, I’d start with Origin (no pun intended) by Dan Brown, one of my favorite writers (do I hear booing?)
But seriously, I think Dan Brown is remarkably talented: he always comes up with fresh and intriguing ideas and interesting settings (Hawking knows, Brown is just as much to blame for the overcapacity of European tourism as Ryanair and AirBnB. I’d know; I have seen my gormless fellow-Americans posing in The Fountain of the Four Rivers) and he really knows how to maintain the pace and the suspense. His two major weaknesses are formulaic plot structures and whodunits which are often far-fetched or anti-climactic.
The idea that Robert Langdon could survive a fall from a helicopter in Angels and Demons is so utterly ridiculous; the scene absolutely had to be cut out when the film script was written. The ending of the Lost Symbol was such a dah that, 11 years later, Ron Howard is still trying to fix it.
I enjoyed the adrenaline-fueled chase across Spain depicted in Origin but was once again thoroughly disappointed by the ending.
To remind you, in Origin, Langdon is up against a global conspiracy to stop an atheist billionaire Edmond Kirsch from delivering definitive answers to the ultimate questions "Where did we come from?" and "Where are we going?" At the end of the novel, it is revealed that Kirsch has proved the non-existence of God through an abiogenesis experiment. The political and religious conspirators tried to prevent him publicizing his results in order to stop godless humanity from plunging into chaos.
I have found the idea naive. Hundreds of millions of religious adepts will not abandon their faith on the basis of any proof that cannot be seen with the naked eye, touched or tasted. There are any number of scientists who have no trouble reconciling the ideas of evolution and divine origin (Charles Darwin himself remained a theist until his dying day). What’s more, Biology majors in American universities have been manufacturing protobionts as part of their undergraduate training for years (Do do your research, Dan).
If I were to re-write the ending, I would concentrate on answering the question “Where are we going?” (Which, by the way, Brown does not bother with after first introducing it in one of the opening chapters). Because, in my opinion, it is the lack of a satisfactory answer to this very question that ultimately feeds people’s belief in God.
In the novel, there is a character of Winston, artificial intelligence which aids Robert Langdon in his search for truth. I think that the very idea of artificial intelligence would be (and is) a lot more threatening to religion that any findings, however spectacular, done in a bio-lab. I think, therefore, that it would be a lot more climactic and more logical if, in the end, Langdon discovered that Winston was actually Edmond Kirsch’s conscience (or soul, if you please) which the billionaire digitized before his death (he dies very early in the book) and stored for all eternity on that server in Barcelona.
In the epilogue, Robert Langdon would, perhaps, reflect on the new dilemma the humanity was now faced with in view of its newly discovered immortality.