RiffTrax Forum

General Discussion => Books 'n Readin' => Topic started by: Junkyard on May 09, 2007, 11:47:48 AM

Title: Riffable Books?
Post by: Junkyard on May 09, 2007, 11:47:48 AM
So, in my time, I've read some bad books. Generally, there's nothing very fun about a crappy book, but I started thinking- could any books be salvaged through a literary Riffing?
It's a long shot, of course, but
A: What are some books that you think deserve riffing/could be riffed?
and
B: How would you go about it?

Me, I'd say-
 Almost anything by Dean Koontz. (That man has "mother issues.")
The Divine Comedy. ("Now which level of Hell should I put that guy who shortchanged me seven years ago?")
And although I actually kind of like his stuff, The Watchers Out of Time by H.P. Lovecraft. (So, I assume you'll explain what a "rugose cone" is later in the book? And why I should fear it?)

As for how? As a history major, I'd say footnotes. Or maybe margin notes.

Any ideas?

ps- Here's what I got for rugose cone on google:
(http://www.gpc.edu/~pgore/myphotos/fossils/rugose.jpg)
EEEWWWWWW
Title: Re: Riffable Books?
Post by: PsypherPunk on May 09, 2007, 12:07:59 PM
The Anita Blake series, for one.
Title: Re: Riffable Books?
Post by: David on May 09, 2007, 12:12:20 PM
I've seen a lot of 'text riffs' of fan fiction and stuff like that. Basically they just interrupt the main text with riffs. All the white space between text excerpts and riffs can make for a document at least triple the size of the original.
Title: Re: Riffable Books?
Post by: Junkyard on May 09, 2007, 12:21:32 PM
Riffing on Fan Fiction? Fan fiction can be sad. Taking time and energy to make fun of fan fiction? Damn.
Also, Anita Blake would be just a little less "fish in a barrel"-y at least.
Title: Re: Riffable Books?
Post by: AmazingThor on May 09, 2007, 12:37:21 PM
Riffable books:
The original Dragons of Autumn twilight series. Its basically a cheap D&D ripoff of Tolkien.
Anything by Anne Rice or Dan Brown.
The Secret. (I'm still waiting for this book to show up on Penn and Teller's BS)
Title: Re: Riffable Books?
Post by: gbeenie on May 10, 2007, 10:59:09 AM
Mazes & Monsters by Rona Jaffe. What an unimaginable pile of shite. Picture one of Jack Thompson's rants lasting an entire novel.
Title: Re: Riffable Books?
Post by: Junkyard on May 10, 2007, 07:59:39 PM
Most of Robert J. Sawyer's stuff seems Riffable.
He sets up imaginative and often complex stories in his books, but he fills them to the brim with "subtle social commentary," by which I mean heavy handed condemnations of religion.
"But in accordance with my religion," (Me: MESSAGE COMING IN!)  "I can't get a divorce from my lovless husband without getting excommunicated!" (MESSAGE HAS LANDED SAFELY. PLEASE DISEMBARK MESSAGE)

Oh, and I LIKED the old Dragonlance books, AmazingThor! When I was a kid, at least.
Title: Re: Riffable Books?
Post by: AmazingThor on May 14, 2007, 11:23:19 AM
Mazes & Monsters by Rona Jaffe. What an unimaginable pile of shite. Picture one of Jack Thompson's rants lasting an entire novel.
Was that the inspiration for Tom Hanks' breakout hit?

(http://ia.ec.imdb.com/media/imdb/01/I/56/54/75m.jpg)
Title: Re: Riffable Books?
Post by: gbeenie on May 14, 2007, 05:19:21 PM
Mazes & Monsters by Rona Jaffe. What an unimaginable pile of shite. Picture one of Jack Thompson's rants lasting an entire novel.
Was that the inspiration for Tom Hanks' breakout hit?

(http://ia.ec.imdb.com/media/imdb/01/I/56/54/75m.jpg)

"Hit" might be generous terminology. And the answer is yes. I saw M & M when it originally aired, twenty-plus years ago. As a D & D nerd, I found it completely laughable; having finally read the book within the last year, I can tell you that the TV movie barely showed the tip of the iceberg of Stupid that this book represents. And with assholes like Jack Thompson running around, getting media face-time for the same kinds of irresponsible pronouncements, I find the whole thing a lot less funny.
Title: Re: Riffable Books?
Post by: hare.29 on May 15, 2007, 08:44:13 AM
Most latter-day Crichton. Time-thingy, Prey, etc. Lost World.  I read Timethingy (line? I don't care enough to look it up) and thought, wow, this sounds like it was written to be a major motion picture. Then three weeks later it was a major motion picture. Then two days after that, it left theaters.
Title: Re: Riffable Books?
Post by: Junkyard on May 15, 2007, 01:12:14 PM
I always thought that Crichton's stuff was a little too obviously pretentious.

Arthur C. Clarke, sadly, is another author who's let the ball drop, so to speak. 3001 was terrible, as is the newer "Time's Eye" series.
Title: Re: Riffable Books?
Post by: AmazingThor on May 18, 2007, 02:16:55 PM
Was that the inspiration for Tom Hanks' breakout hit?

"Hit" might be generous terminology.

Yeah. That was tongue-in-cheek. I figured this movie came out at the peak of the anti-D&D media extravaganza. I don't see what people were so scared of. No one turned out evil due to D&D. You would have thought they'd learned that but the same thing happened again when Harry Potter came out.
Title: Re: Riffable Books?
Post by: Ranika on May 18, 2007, 03:38:47 PM
I love Mazes and Monsters. It was hilariously stupid. I still play D&D every weekend, same campaign been running since I was 14. M&M was just a horrible, hilarious bit of utter nonsense.

I have to agree that any Anne Rice would be completely riffable. Her writing is laughably awful, surviving only due to the extreme pandering to daffy way-too-serious goths. A lot of Stephen King is very riffable, I'd say most notably The Tommyknockers. It's like issues upon issues upon issues. So many issues this man has.

Robert Sawyer, there's a damn goon if there ever was one. That heavy handed babbling ninnyhammer. Seen subtler politicizing and condemnation of various bits and bobs from an anarchist metal band. Also, he looks really weird to me. I know that's not very adult, but, come on. Have you ever seen him? He always looks sort of drunk and weird to me, with a kind of monkey-face expression, and his glasses pushed up way too far on his face.

Also, I love the Divine Comedy, but it'd be totally riffable. Well, at least Hell, and probably Purgatory. Paradise gets a bit weighty, though I'm sure it could be made fun of too, it's just, it's not so funny inherently as the layers of Hell with their really bizarre torture and all.
Title: Re: Riffable Books?
Post by: daltysmilth on June 26, 2007, 01:46:33 PM
Any of Kevin J. Anderson's Star Wars books, especially Darksaber.  Also Splinter Of The Mind's Eye by Alan Dean Foster.  The whole Left Behind series.  And even though I haven't read most of them, I'm going to included pretty much all of the Star Trek licensed novels.
Title: Re: Riffable Books?
Post by: Lady Kitsch on June 29, 2007, 05:34:08 PM
For the ones who mentioned Anita Blake, this comic book blog that riffs the comic based on her book might be of interest: http://the-isb.blogspot.com/2007/03/annotated-anita-blake-vampire-hunter-5.html

Riffing an entire book might be a tall order, but riffing parts of a book or stories or comic books are certainly possible and have been done on the Internet.  One of my favorite forums used to be for a site called Godawful Fanfiction that would do great MST3K style spoofs of fanfic.   Perhaps Rifftrax can include some written riffs in the future.   As for book suggestions, I'd go with an author of (unintentionally) hilarious action novels named Matthew Reilly. 
Title: Re: Riffable Books?
Post by: Dim of the Yard on July 02, 2007, 11:21:35 AM
Riffing an entire book might be a tall order, but riffing parts of a book or stories or comic books are certainly possible and have been done on the Internet.  One of my favorite forums used to be for a site called Godawful Fanfiction that would do great MST3K style spoofs of fanfic.

The forums are back, actually.  You can find them here. (http://www.godawful.net/gaff_forums/index.php?)  You have to register for an account to see the forums, but I think it's worth it.