Rivendell 9 to 5
2006 Award Category: Times: Fourth Age and Beyond: Incomplete - First Place
Story Type: Incomplete ✧ Length: Medium Length
Rating: PG ✧ Reason for Rating: Minor language and implied sexuality
Summary: Elladan, Prime Minister of Rivendell, does his best not to muck things up as he chooses his immortal fate and attempts an ill-advised holiday in Mirkwood.
Reviewed by: Dawn Felagund ✧ Score: 10
Many are the humor stories that use absurdity to garner a few chuckles from the audience, but Claudio's Elladan stories--culminated by "Rivendell 9 to 5"--take it a step beyond. The antics of Elrond's twin sons--particularly Elrohir--and their various associates at times have me laughing so hard that I earn some pretty worried looks from my husband. This story, as Claudio's others in this series, are set in Tolkien's universe if it had been modernized. This clever blending of Middle-earth and Modern-earth brings up some serious issues, despite the overall humorous nature of the story. As a recent university graduate myself and current State employee, I relate to Elladan's dilemmas: managing finances, demystifying income tax, and putting together Ikea furniture. Scattered across the story are moments that are quite sad--for example, Elladan's last sight of his father as he gets on the plane to Aman and his musing that they might never meet again. But just when the story is in danger of losing its levity, Elladan comes up with some quirky observation to lighten the mood. In this case, Elrond leans over to hike up his socks, a perfect moment for lightening the mood and perfectly exemplifying Claudio's character of Elrond. When "The Elladan Show" ended, I was forlorn. Alas, the antics of Elladan and Elrohir are far from over, and I am so pleased to see "Rivendell 9 to 5," which Claudio manages to keep just as hilarious and quirky as the original stories.
Reviewed by: digdigil ✧ Score: 10
Rivendell 9 to 5, as its predecessor, The Elladan Show, brings Tolkiens Elves into the modern era, but as themselves they are strange and archaic social outcastsmisfits in a wayyet fully functioning within their own communities of Rivendell and Mirkwood. The author uses a great deal of ironic humor in the story, which helps to make the reader see how odd the Elves and the whole situation is. We are drawn to these loveable misfits and their adventures in the modern world in a way that makes them seem like family. It makes us want to read on and learn more about their adventures and relationships. The characterizations are clever and while encapsulating each character into his own niche, the author never turns a character into a caricature. Yet we have, for example, Legolas, who was so mindlessly vacuous in The Elladan Show, evolving into a character with a lot more depth than we had previously seen, within the confines of his own home and familiar situations. We see him as a very capable, helpful sort of person who may or may not have his own agenda where Elladan is concerned. Elladan, the protagonist, is more capable a leader than he thinks he is, but it is fascinating to see how he worries about and grapples with everyday sorts of problems. Even his incompetent slacker brother Elrohir of The Elladan Show is not what he seems, becoming more fully developed as a character in this story as it progresses. This wonderfully humorous work-in-progress is character-driven, but the author also provides some vivid images and description. The ski-race at the end of the last chapter is so well described that the reader feels he/she has actually taken part in it. Plot-wise, it looks as if there is one developing, but it cleverly does not get in the way of the Elves daily adventures. All in all, this story is a delightful read, and makes the reader anxious for the author to continue it.
Reviewed by: Oshun ✧ Score: 10
Rivendell 9 to 5 is hardcore hilarious, serious nonsense. One of my guilty pleasures of the last few months has been reading Claudios fics. I adore them. He has seen me through many a long and lonely night, bouts of depression, and pernicious and persistent writers block. When the world has been dark and dreary and the dawn both too close and too far away, he has always been there for me. (Patience, patience. This is being scored on number of words you know and Claudio is a master and deserves the full complement.) I learned at a highly-respected university that among the characteristics of what constitutes great literature is a universality of themes and a quality that draws the reader to return to read it over and over again only to discover with the passage of time and experience further precious nuggets of Truth. Hey, then, by those standards, Rivendell 9 to 5 is unequivocally great literature. And how about those timeless and well-drawn characters? I can see my own often more than mildly dysfunctional family through the prism of Claudios characters and his understanding that every family in its own special way is dysfunctional be it Noldor, Sindar or Silvan, living in Rivendell, Mirkwood, or on its way to Valinor. When my youngest rails on about how her older brother unknowingly embarrasses and humiliates her by sending her publicly visible stupid comments on MySpace, I cannot help but think that she is my Elladan (intelligent, sensitive, but seemingly mired in the trivial inanities of day-to-day modern life), while he is her Elrohir (beloved, irritating, immature, amazingly clueless brother). More examples of how Rivendell 9 to 5 transcends place and time: I flew to a family wedding last week. And what did I think of as I neared the security checkpoint? I thought of how Erestor had his nail file confiscated at the airport before that fateful flight which comprised the first leg of the journey of he and Elrond to Valinor. By the way, when I first read that airport section of the first chapter and Claudio slyly slips in that momentous bit from Elladan that he thinks he might not see his father again, I was overcome by emotion. What is this? Is Elladan pondering the choice of the Peredhel? Can he be thinking of a mortal life? Well, I still dont know: cliffhanger, foreshadowing, red herring? No matter. Im hooked. There are too many great parts to list them all. But Ive got to mention a few. Loved it when Legolas, in the company of Elladan and Elrohir, is reading Thranduils email and gets caught by an IM and is stuck exchanging endless IMs with Glorfindel while pretending to be his father. Cant tell you why reading Celeborn being called grandpa in Claudios context is so funny. It just is. Love the part where Elladan and Elrohir go to Mirkwood and the description of its discomforts in comparison to Rivendell or Lothlórien. Great line there too: [Valar save me, I am in a third world country.] Been there. Done that. (Not Mirkwood, but places like that!) The lack of water pressure and hoping for something ethnic and getting Frosted Flakes. Legolas is adorable in this storymuch more developed and likeable than he was in The Elladan show. What a guy! He knows how to make Nandorin food, including hot and sour soup and pan fried dumplings. Hmmm? And hes nice to look at too. Well, I wont speculate on what comes next, but just hope Claudio gets back to work on this story soon. Great stuff.
Reviewed by: Marta ✧ Score: 6
This series of stories has really grown on me as I've read them. The premise of elves in a Middle-earth tht's really rather modern isn't one that is naturally appealing to me, but it's hilarious in these author's hands. And every now and then we see just enough of a hint of Middle-earth to where it still seems like fanfic. Farse, obviously, but there are tie-ins like how a Noldorin elf woould view Silvan culture (and vice versa). Here we see Elladan as the de-facto ruler of Rivendell now that Elrond et al have sailed for Valinor. One would think that Elrohir would mature, but he is still so... well, Elrohir as he is in all the earlier stories. Iguana, Nintendo, and all. The stress of working in an office, the idiocy of income taxes, the frustration with bureaucracy and the realization that even if you are the prime minister you can't get two bowls of soup - well, it made me smile. I look forward to more.
Reviewed by: Súlriel ✧ Score: 4
This is just too funny, I don't even know where to start, from the mental image of Elrond pulling up his socks to the pool noodles, the sprained jaw and the cafeteria cards, I'm laughing so hard I'm crying. All I can think is Elladan must secretly be in charge of my life and I'm afraid to look outside, because I think there might be a rubber catus on my truck's antenna. and don't even 'go there' with the salary and taxes. Thank you again for another addition to your wonderful Elladan and Elrohir stories.
Reviewed by: Dreamflower ✧ Score: 1
This is *seriously* strange! I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it before.