Less Ambitious Novels

I saw the hashtag #lessambitiousnovels pop up on Twitter yesterday from my friend Eric James Stone, posting items like The Spy who liked me as a Friend or Chitty Bang and couldn’t help but jump in. That led an hour of me and my family coming up with goofy less ambitious novel titles while making dinner.

These are the ones we came up with:

Red Badge of Participation

Journey to the Center of my Living Room

For Whom the Phone Rings

Apocolypse When I Get Around To It

Lady Chatterly’s Optometrist

Guy I know in Normal Land

Minimum Bob

I am not a Serial Jay Walker

The Forever Police Action

Middle Aged Yeller

Squirrel Hunter International

John Carter of Fresno

Harry Potter and the Order of the Kleenex

A Tale of Two Suburbs

Loitering at 1600

Gatsby is pretty cool I guess


The Secret Garden Center

Horton Hears a Hobo

Throne of the Crescent Wrench

A Smart Car Named Desire

And my absolute favorites that I had to retweet from other people were:

Battlefield: Glendale

Interview with the Janitor

Slap-fight Club

Some Guy in an Aluminum Foil Mask

But what I didn’t realize was at the same time that hundreds of these were going up on Twitter in the space of an hour, every one I tweeted also created a new post on Facebook, where people went even more nuts. I had several hundred of these on my Facebook page this morning.

The Monster Hunters omnibus hardcover coming this month
An interview with me on the Otherwhere Gazette

I rather liked Dragonhop, Slightly Extended Daylight Period, Dusty Dozen and The Peckish Games myself.

Howard Tayler (@howardtayler)

I was super-pleased with “Monster Hunter Alfalfa.”


Personally I’d tweak the “Red Badge of Participation” to the “Pink Badge of Participation” as red really is too ambitious a color. Otherwise I’d go with “A Game of Folding Chairs” or “Ship of Optical Illusion and Stage Trickery” or “I am Some Random Guy”


How about “Monster Hunter Tri-County Area”?


I’m surprised you didn’t come up with ‘Soft Magic’.

Spellstoppedforquestioning comes to mind as well. =)


Darn you beat me to the punch lol

Can’t wait to check them out. I’m a little afraid someone else has already done these but here are a few off the top of my head: Les Inconfortables The Count of Monte Crisco Frankenstein’s Monster Truck Arguments and reconciliation (War and Peace) Soft and Cuddly Magic Harry potter and the order of phoenix with a side of fries Only Mostly Dead Six Low Expectations Ender’s board game Starship super troopers The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe malfunction To cook a mockingbird The Rumor (The secret) The grapes of angst The hitchhikers guide to the neighborhood Breaking Wind (Twilight)… Read more »

Still too ambitious in some cases.
CoMC – The City Councilman of Disciple’s Hill
Frank Stone, or The Guy Who Invented Modern Education
Harry Potter and the Chicken Combo number 4
Ferryboat Security Guards
The Cat, the Stage Magician, and the Disappearing Cabinet Trick
The Guy Who Didn’t Really Stand Out at the School Choir Recital


Larry, I read your tweet / FB post and spent a good 20 minutes racking my brain on Twitter as well. I LOL’d quite literally at the Red Badge of Participation because sadly, that’s how our society seems to work these days.

The Screwtape Tweets
Drive-Through at the End of the Universe
The Sauntering Man
James & the Peach Jolly Rancher

Not as funny as yours, but still 😉

JD(not the one with the picture)
JD(not the one with the picture)

I love peavybob’s list. Off topic, but how about a B-movie version of Horton Hears a Hobo with a Shotgun.


A Man for One Season; Homicide (from Card’s Xenocide);

Here’s a few more that occured to me after my last post: Around the Block in 80 days Atlas Hiccuped From the earth to the moonshine Twenty thousandths of a league under the sea Lost by Jules Verne (mysterious island) The Polaroid of Dorian Gray Pride and Pre-Judicial Activism The Usual Odors by Thomas Paine (Common Sense) Large Women The Redshirt’s badge of courage (posthumous) Whaling for Dummies (Moby Dick) Harry Potter: #1 and the sorcerer’s kidneystones #2 and the chamberpot of secrets #3 and the worst prison security in the world #4 and the spicy drink #5 and the… Read more »

Hooray! You liked mine 😉


I like “John Carter of Fresno” but I think “John Carter of Berkley” sounds cool.

Carter: Mars… I’m on Mars.
Student: Mars? Naw man, this is Berkley. Everyone is weird here!


This is hilarious. I love it.

20 Inches Under the Pond
The Telltale Fart
The Little Hole and the Swingy Thing
Middle Management of the Round Metal Object
Pleasure Island (arguable in its ambition depending on the genre)

Joe in PNG

The Mote in Bob’s Eye
The Man in the High Apartment
At the Foothills of Mildness
The Sorta Got The Munchies Games
Conan the Slightly Rude
Macon, GA is A Harsh Mistress
The Riddle of the Crosswords
And Machivelli’s “The City Manager”

Joe in PNG

Some less than ambitious History text:
-The Rise and Fall of the Roma Pizzaria
-The Influence of Seaweed Upon History
-The History of The L33t Speaking Peoples
-At Dawn We Slept In
-The Welsh Corgi of Nations
-Das Capitol
-Discourses on the First Decade of Titus Little


How about:
Residents: A History of the French Snit
Streams of a Medium-sized County
The Powder Saucer
Across the Small Papio (if you live in Omaha, you know this creek)

and for the literary types:
Cocktail Fork Creek Small Collection

John Henry

How about we go Shakespearean
Hank IV
The Taming of the Poodle
The Light Showers
Two Guys of Mount Vernon
The Vendor of Venice Beach
A Bit To Do About Nothing
A Mid Summer Afternoon’s Nap

That Guy

Stephen King’s “The Green Furlong”
Cautious Old World
Alas, Bastrop
As I Lay With a Hangover
Go Tell it on the Molehill
The Liver of Lightness
A Room with Free HBO
One Walk under a Sparrows Nest
Fahrenheit 350 for 20 Minutes or Until Crust is Golden Brown
The Call Waiting of The Wild
Something Nifty This Way Comes
The World According to Romney
Lymph Meridian
The Pitcher in the Bermuda
The Satellite is a Strange Wife
The Lord of the Lap-Band

Calvin Gordon Dodge

Isn’t “Red Badge of Participation” what El Presidente is flaunting as he spikes the football?

Joe in PNG

And now some more
-Jim Salem’s Lot
-Thinner in 30 days
-The Canary
-The Thing UPS Left On the Doorstep
-The Dream Quest of Unknown Kentucky
-The Hunt for Red’s October Deals
-The Cat Who Walked Into Walls
-A World Lit Only by Lightbulbs

Brian Lewis

The Charge of the Morbidly Obese Brigade
Gunda Dim Sum
The Finger Painted Man
The Tropic of Candy Corn
The World According To Carp
To Deep Fry a Mockingbird with Fries
The Blueberries of Wrath
The Dogfather

Spy Novels:
Dr. Maybe
The Hunt For Black Friday
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Garbage Man
The Spy Who Mugged Me

Brian Lewis

The Fat Guy with a Dragon tattoo

Brian Lewis

Off topic: ET The Extra Testical

That Guy

The Sum of All Nagging Suspicions.

mike S

Larry- Of all of the titles, “Slap Fight Club” made me laugh out loud. Thank you!


Or debate club. Much less dangerous than slapfighting. Someone might break a nail

The Last of Fallen Demigods
The Last of Fallen Demigods

Middle Manager of the Flies
The Search for Pink November

The Last of Fallen Demigods
The Last of Fallen Demigods


Ring (Halo)
Basements and Lizards (D&D)
Warhammer 5k


The Canterbury Knock-Knock Jokes
Less Ambitious Expectations
Something Mildly Upsetting Wanders into the Area


Stranger at a Strange Party
Destination: Tabloid
Have Briefcase – Will Travel
Meek New World