Odd Book Titles

Radio 4’s Today programme has been running a competition for its listeners to come up with short works inspired by some of the more unusual book titles, including How Green Were The Nazis?, Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Daghestan and The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification.

Tim Sanders’ excellent offering was read out this morning, and begins:

The sound of creaking leather from their collective greatcoats broke the silence as the assembled Wehrmacht officers leaned forward to examine the huge table map of the Spreewald, the vast forest area standing between the XI SS Panzer Corps and the Red Army. The problem was clear – vast stretches of gorse in the forest (ulex europeus) were in flower and it was the nesting season of the rare inversely-spotted bark-spitter. “Well, gentlemen” General Busse announced to his colleagues “there is no way we can attack them through the forest – the damage to the environment would be too great. Our panzer tanks still emit excessive CO2 and the electric hybrid version is still on the drawing-board.”

In the banter that followed, judge Alexander McCall Smith commented (RealAudio): “… it really is a model for countries contemplating aggression, that they can still be aggressive but they can do so in an environmentally responsible fashion”.

The BBC has posted some of the entries online and will be adding others.


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