While browsing Twitter today, I noticed that a few people were tweeting with the hashtag, RemoveALetterSpoilABook. I don’t know where this hashtag came from, but nevertheless, it set my mind thinking, and here are some ideas of books that would have a very different feel if just one letter was removed from its title.
The Holy Bile
A heavily abridged version of the Holy Bible, edited to only include those passages that reference bodily discharge in some way. Here are a few example passages. These are genuine biblical quotes.
“Ehud reached with his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly. And the hilt also went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade, for he did not pull the sword out of his belly; and the dung came out.”
“Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife, he wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother. But what he did was displeasing in the sight of the LORD; so He took his life also.”
“Yet she increased her prostitution, remembering the days of her youth when she engaged in prostitution in the land of Egypt. She lusted after their genitals – as large as those of donkeys, and their seminal emission was as strong as that of stallions.”
““When a woman has a discharge, and the discharge in her body is blood, she shall be in her menstrual impurity for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until the evening.”
“’If there is a man who lies with a menstruous woman and uncovers her nakedness, he has laid bare her flow, and she has exposed the flow of her blood; thus both of them shall be cut off from among their people.”
These are passages that you probably won’t come across too often if you go to church, as it’s not the kind of subject that a vicar would want to do their Sunday sermon on, just before he and his congregation head home for a lovely Sunday roast. But this book is the ideal gift for anyone who loves reading about blood, gore and shit, but wouldn’t read the bible because they hate all that boring stuff about being nice to one another.
The Da Vinci Cod
While away on business, the controversial and widely contested fish communicator, Turbot Lingdon, receives an urgent late-night phone call. Ling ling, ling ling, goes his phone; it’s Mr Lingdon’s idea of a hilarious joke. But this phone call is certainly no joke, for his good friend, dilettante fish communicator and owner of one of the world’s largest fisheries, has been murdered.
A couple of days later, Mr Lingdon receives a letter, written to him by his recently murdered friend, which predicts his own murder and outlines the reason for it. Accompanying the letter is a computer disc which features a series of fish communication recordings. Mr Lingdon and his friend claim to be able to interpret what fish are saying by analysing the pattern of their swim. The letter had intimated that he was receiving some highly interesting messages from the fish, in particular the cod, yet he had been unable to fully understand what they meant. But recently he had been sent a death threat that warned him that, unless he stopped meddling in things he didn’t understand, and quit his job at the fishery, he would be killed.
After days of painstakingly analysing the fish messages on the disc, Mr Lingdon finally uncovered that the messages were spelling out the name’s of paintings by Da Vinci. After weeks spent Consulting these paintings, and constantly rereading the fish messages, he begins to slowly decipher hidden clues within the paintings, which seem to be referring to the location of a vastly important religious relic, hidden for centuries. But he needs more information from the fish. The person who murdered his friend must have discovered what he was doing and therefore killed him in an attempt to keep the location of this ancient artefact hidden, or possibly to discover it for himself first.
So, under the cover of darkness, Lingdon breaks into the fishery, in order to have a clandestine conversation with the fish. But Mr Lingdon is not alone. He reels in horror at the sight before him: hundreds of fish are being tortured by a man, who is shrieking at the fish to swim and to reveal their secrets about the hidden relic. But the fish, despite their interrogation, are refusing to comply. One of the fish, a cod, is being slowly cooked by the evil man. The fish is still alive , but his seconds are numbered. The man has a pike fish in a tank and he is screaming at it to reveal where the location is, or his friend will be cooked to death. But the tortured cod being cooked in the pan begins to swim an impassioned, defiant swim, and when the man looks around, he is horrified to see that the cod’s dying words to his fish friend are, “don’t tell him pike.”
What will happen? Who will uncover the ancient religious relic first? And how many fish will die in the process? Find out by reading, the epic, Da Vinci Cod.
My other offering is, The Lion The itch and The Wardrobe, but if I start going off on a long ramble about what that could consist of, then I’ll never get anything done today.