More evidence that I can't resist mucking about

What I love about the word 'antonym' is that it means 'opposite' and 'antonym' is the opposite of the word 'synonym' - it's so cool when things turn out like that.

What would have happened had some famous novelists thought, 'Nah!  Stupid idea!  I'll do just the opposite.'  I have had a think about this, and here I offer you some 'Antonymised (?) Book Titles' and the storylines which may have emerged ...

A Room Without a View - A young middle-class woman visits Italy and gets a room with a beautiful view.  Some chaps next door offer to swap it for one which overlooks the hotel boiler room and a yard where the dustbins are kept.  She feels she can't say no and gives in.  This leads to more giving in when someone called Cecil asks her to marry him.  Having settled for a view of a hotel boiler room and dustbin yard, marrying someone called Cecil seems to fit into the general picture of settling for second best.  Just in time, she dumps Cecil and marries George instead.  It's a close-run thing, though, and to be borne in mind by all young women who are taken in by fellow hotel guests.

Gulliver's Dossing About at Home - A chap called Gulliver whose business has failed leafs through a few travel brochures wondering what to do with his spare time.  He drops off to sleep and has a strange dream in which he meets some very tiny people, some very big people, some very clever but silly people, some very old but silly people and some very brainy horses who are served by some more very silly people.  When he wakes up from this dream, he thanks his lucky stars that none of it was real, because if so he would have felt inclined to write it all down, and an unlikely tale that would have proved!  He pours himself a beer and settles back down on the sofa to watch re-runs of old black and white films.

Three Men Outside a Boat - Three friends, all dressed in white suits and wearing ridiculous boater-style hats, decide that it would be ripping fun to sail down the Thames just because there is nothing else to do.  They stand beside the boat, looking at it.  There is a problem.  Inside the boat is the most humungous dog.  Not only is the dog humungous, but it is called Montmerency.  'Well,' says one of the friends, 'I have no objection to squeezing into the boat alongside a canine, but being in a boat with a canine called Montmerency is a situation up with which I will not put.'   (This particular chap was a pedant and would not have dreamed of splitting an infinitive.)  The other two friends try to persuade him that Montmerency isn't a bad name for a dog, but he is impossible to convince and keeps saying, 'We either change it to Rover or Spot, or I am afraid you will have to sail without me', and in the end, they have to abandon the trip and go to work.  No one gets to hear, therefore, about any comic incidents to do with barometers and bagpipes.  Not everyone is upset by this.


  1. I'll name my do Montmerency. And I'll make him wear a boater.

  2. Dog, obviously. Not do:) *read the comment before you press publish!*

  3. Alexandra Crocodile - please, please post a picture of Montmerency in his boater.

  4. Well funny - the bit about where he wouldn't get in the boat unless Montmerency was renamed Spot or Rover. You crazy fool!!!

  5. Below average expectations? teehee!

    BG -

  6. Some other possible antonym book titles:

    Butterfingers In The Rye

    The Youngster of the Sea

    Hello To Arms

    Big Dorrit

    Great Disappointments (or Small Expectations, oh-so-very-British)

    Gulliver's Staycation

    Around the Shops in 20 minutes

    The Average Gatsby

    Twelve Contented Men

  7. Tried this out at home, husband's best effort was 'daft and thick-skinned' (Sense and Sensibility)... I'm sure more will emerge!

  8. Jee - see? It's a fun game. Beats playing board games together.

  9. Annie - he was probably thinking, 'Okay, we only have a few days to sail down the Thames. If we keep calling the dog Montmerency, at least a day of that time will be spent saying a dog's name rather than having other conversation.' I see his point.

    Billygean - Yeah, good one. Someone needs to write that.

    She Means Well - these are great! Thanks for joining in. I love 'The Average Gatsby'. FSF must be turning in his grave.

  10. Anonymous24/8/10 21:05

    Very amusing. Thanks.

    All the best, Boonie

  11. My own favourites are Wuthering Lows, The Madding Individual and Peace and War (think about it).

  12. Doh! Don't start me off - I'm supposed to be writing!

  13. Boonie - always happy to oblige. Thanks for reading.

    Steve - Wuthering Lows is my favourite here. A ripping 19th century yarn about manic depression?

    Chris Stovell - in which case, what the heck are you doing here, woman?!

  14. Very funny, Fran, when I first heard of the success of 'Brooklyn' the novel, I thought it was by Victoria Beckham about her son and I was nearly going to email her and ask when we could expect the sequel 'Cruz'.
    That really would have helped my career in the Irish literary circle.

  15. Love it! How about:

    Right in the Middle of the Madding Crowd
    Crime and Getting Away With It
    Scared New World
    Peace and War... erm... not sure if that works or not!!

  16. I love the thought of the first one - 'A Room Without a View'. I can only imagine a whole book written about that!

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  18. Humility And Laissez-Faire .

  19. Should this blog be called 'Not Being Me' or 'Being You'?

  20. Brigid - all I can say about the Beckhams naming their child after the place it was conceived is ... good thing they weren't holidaying in Langton Matravers, Dorset.

    Brokenbiro - love these ideas, especially 'Scared New World'!

    Talli - They could make the film version really cheaply if they only needed a back yard as a set.

    Lane - Mabel Karenina made me laugh! Such a come-down.

    SmitandSon - yes, good one. Funny how the French makes it suddenly sound like a much better novel.

    Mise - probably. Sometimes I think it should be called 'Not Being Very Sensible about Things'.

  21. The thing about Mabel is that she is a sharp lady and through a series of sharp business moves, she ends up bankrupting the Vronsky's and HE ends up under the train wheels.


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