Ten or fifteen years ago I read a hilarious parody review of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. The piece was written with the conceit that the reviewer was completely unfamiliar with Tolkien and unaware of the book's publication date, assuming that it was a new release. The reviewer denounced Tolkien's writing as derivative, demonstrating how he had shamelessly lifted his writing style, characters, and plots from the popular swords-and-sorcery books of the 1980s and 1990s such as The Wheel of Time series. The joke, of course, was that all the books the reviewer listed were in fact inspired by The Lord of the Rings, rather than the other way around.

I remember reading the review online, either on the Web or in the rec.arts.books.tolkien newsgroup, though it's old enough that it may have originally appeared in a print magazine such as Amon Hen. Can anyone provide me with the author and title of the piece, and the original publication details?

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A long review by Craig Clark that I found on The Grey Havens is similar to what you’re asking, though none of the books you mentioned are referenced. In fact all the books and authors mentioned are slightly humorous modifications to actual fantasy works. Not able to determine an exact date this was created.

Unfortunately, this kind of silliness is compelled by Tolkien's plot, which has been plagiarised, almost incident by incident, from that masterpiece of modern fantasy, The Blade of Bannara by Jerry Crookes. In fact, the legions of Crookes fans throughout the world will quickly be able to predict what is going to happen on the next page of The Lord of the Rings, because they've read it all before. The courageous diminutive hero who flees his rustic home with his friends, pursued by the servants of the Dark Lord; the enigmatic man who helps them and who is revealed to be the heir to the long-deserted throne of a great kingdom; the battle between the wizard and an evil spirit of the underworld which ends in the wizard's death

"The Blade of Bannara", Jerry Crooks is a reference to "The Sword of Shannara", Terry Brooks.

Tolkien has already got together a whole volume of 'background mythology' - expanding on those interminable appendices, no doubt - which he's called The Silmarillion. Judging by that title alone, I suspect a carbon copy of David Meddings' The Melgariad is coming our way.

"The Melgariad", David Meddins is a reference to "The Belgariad", David Eddings.

Finally, there's little or no whacky humour, Jerry Cratchitt-style. In fact, the novel is far too grim for anyone's taste, and it ends on a depressingly down-beat note. The forces of evil having been vanquished for the time being, readers have come to expect their heroes to return to their homes to await the next call to defend the world from the shadow of darkness in the next book in the series. Instead of this venerable convention, we have the hobbits returning to their native land of the Shire, only to find that evil has sprouted there in their absence.

Jerry Cratchitt is an obvious reference to Discworld author, Terry Pratchett.

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    Yes, this is the one! (I suppose I misremembered the review referencing The Wheel of Time, and while I did suspect it referenced Eddings, the subtle name mangling would have made it impossible to find that way.) Do you know where Clark originally published this review? That website claims it was transcribed from a print source via OCR.
    – Psychonaut
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 11:22
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    @Psychonaut: Apparently, it was originally a Usenet message, published in rec.arts.books.tolkien on 1995-04-30: groups.google.com/…
    – chirlu
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 3:21

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