Roast Mutton Revisited
2009 Award Category: Genres: Adventure
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: Teen ✧ Reason for Rating: A somewhat darker version of Bilbo's adventure with the trolls.
Summary: What really happened when Bilbo encountered those three trolls?
Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger ✧ Score: 8
I thoroughly enjoyed this revision of Bilbo's encounter with the three trolls. I've often felt that Bilbo's account of his adventures was a fairly sanitized version, and it's comforting to know that someone like Dreamflower shares that opinion. Even better, someone like Dreamflower decides to do something about it. The original words from ["The Hobbit"] are seamlessly woven into the additional words, and for great effect! I especially loved the exchange between Glóin and Óin about how there really ought to be fifteen of them, with Óin's words from the book neatly inserted into the debate. Another thing I love about this is that Dreamflower takes the extra effort to characterize the dwarves. In particular, Óin and Glóin feel like brothers, and they argue like brothers, too. The troll encounter itself is more intense than Bilbo's version from the books, but it's still close enough that it's easy to see where Bilbo trimmed, edited, or invented. Faithful to the original but closer to the world portrayed in the rest of the series.
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 6
We know the story of Bilbo and the Dwarves and the three Trolls from the Hobbit, of course. But--but what if it were, perhaps, a bit more--realistic, eh? What if there wasn't a squeaking wallet in the troll's pocket, and if their language--such as it is, couldn't be interpreted by a mere Hobbit? How might the situation REALLY have happened? Well if you ever wondered, now is your chance to find out! Dreamflower's story is so perfect, and most satisfying! You can certainly appreciate just why Bilbo might have changed it a wee bit before telling it to generations of children within the Shire! Funny and terrifying, with a perfect balance of tension to keep us riveted. Dreamflower does well at seeing behind Bilbo's tales!
Reviewed by: Dwimordene ✧ Score: 5
Dreamflower writes with her usual precision to evoke Tolkien's own style and put us back into the books, though this time, with a bit of a change. The unedited version of Bilbo's tale is certainly what one might expect of trolls: Dreamflower depicts their brutality and divisiveness, their ugliness and the smell of carrion that one would expect to attend anything that makes raw meat its meal. The language barrier is very welcome, and the substitute of the Troll's purse and its magic key is ingenious on Bilbo's part for what "really" he had tried to filch. Nicely done, Dreamflower! Fans of [The Hobbit] should find this an interesting rethinking of Bilbo's encounter with Trolls. And that last line was a nice, ironic touch.
Reviewed by: Imhiriel ✧ Score: 4
Yes, I can very well imagine Bilbo telling a more harmless version of what he experienced on his adventure! I thought one of the most telling things was that since he couldn't understand the trolls, he only found out after the fact that Gandalf had tricked them. The canon lines are woven naturally into the narrative, and despite this more serious and dangerous alternative version, the characteristics of the Dwarves are well-preserved.
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 3
Interesting take on the incident of the three Trolls encountered by Bilbo & Company in THE HOBBIT - the Trolls are far less lumpish and more monstrous and terrifying in Bilbo's memory and thus in his real living of the adventure, then they are in the stories he tells the hobbit youngsters after his return. Good twist on a story within a story!
Reviewed by: SurgicalSteel ✧ Score: 2
Dreamflower doesn't do dark and spooky very often, but damn, when she does it? She does it really well.