King Rear

Boris went to the vet only to be told (as usual) how goddamned fat he is. That led to this, Hack’s third Shakespearean adaptation, from a play which your humble narrator considers to be the greatest work of art ever created. I don’t think anyone will say the same about this novelization but at least it has enough of Hack’s signature anal sex scenes to hold the reader’s interest.


This was Hack’s second Shakespearean adaptation after Puglet, once again featuring his cover artist Jonny M.’s pug Boris in the title role. This novel proved to be as unlucky as the play it was based on because three times Hack sent Boris the only existing manuscript for approval and all three times the pug urinated on it until it shriveled into pulp. Boris swears it was an accident although his attorney did file a restraining order to try and stop its publication.

The Prisoner of Splenda

The Prisoner of Zenda is an adventure novel written by Anthony Hope in 1894 which became a theatrical warhorse in the early 20th century and was adapted into many movie versions, the best of which is a 1937 film starring Ronald Colman and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and directed by John Cromwell (father of Babe star James Cromwell). It has an insane plot in which an Englishman on a Ruritarian holiday discovers that he is the exact double for the country’s prince, a charming fellow but a desperate alcoholic who is kidnapped on the eve of his coronation as part of a coup by his evil brother, so the Englishman must step in to save the day. We’ve all seen ripoffs of the concept in movies from The Great Dictator to Dave (and a marvelous satire in a large section of The Great Race) but this is what started it all, and it’s still highly enjoyable.

Hack wrote this version when he ordered coffee at a diner and threw a tantrum to end all tantrums when the only sweetener they had was Splenda. The wild thing is that even though it has almost the exact same plot of The Prisoner of Zenda, he had never heard of the story before and was greatly surprised when he was the subject of a plagiarism suit by the Halliburton Corporation, which had somehow become the owner of Hope’s copyright.