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Literary Combinations


Rating: PG
Quality: (Quality: Unrated)

Merge-matic books from the Washington Post Invitational: Report from Week 312, in which readers were asked to combine the works of two authors and 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.) First Runner-Up: "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) Honorable Mentions: "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, Washington) "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) "Tarzan of the Grapes" -- The beleaguered Okies of the dust bowl are saved by a strong and brave savage who swings from grapevine to grapevine. (Joseph Romm, Washington) "Curious Georgefather" -- The monkey finally sticks his nose where it don't belong. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge) "The Hunchback Also Rises" -- Hideously deformed fellow is cloistered in bell tower by despicable clergymen. And that's the good news... (John Verba, Washington) "The Silence of the Hams" -- In this endearing update of the Seuss classic, young Sam-I-Am presses unconventional foodstuffs on his friend, Hannibal, who turns the tables. (Mark Eckenwiler, Washington) "Portnoy's Choice" -- A man is forced to choose between his right and left hand. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg) "Jane Eyre Jordan" -- Plucky English orphan girl survives hardships to lead the Chicago Bulls to the NBA championship. (Dave Pickering, Bowie) "Nicholas and Alexandra Nickleby" -- Having narrowly escaped a Bolshevik firing squad, the former czar and czarina join a troupe of actors only to find that playing the Palace isn't as grand as living in it. (Sandra Hull, Arlington) "Looking for Mr. Godot" -- A young woman waits for Mr. Right to enter her life. She has a looong wait. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

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