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Just for reference, the Robert Shaw arrangement of Drunken Sailor is the only really good one I've ever heard, and I've heard a lot of arrangements of that song. Below the break, my review of Tumbleweed's What Do You Do With a Drunken Unicorn?
Impressions before reading: I read this (though not its sequels, which I'll include in this review) a while back, and thought it was ridiculous and funny. So I'm calling shenanigans on the current 4.0 rating the story has on EqD; a lot of stories I re-read for review aren't as good as I remember, but Drunken Unicorn was better than that. Oh well; no sense getting worked up over people on the internet doing such things. And who knows? Maybe the story really is a lot worse than I recall.
Zero-ish spoiler summary: Twilight learns an important lesson about friendship from Fluttershy, and an important lesson about mixed drinks from Pinkie. Things only get crazier from there.
Thoughts after reading: A work of shameless mockery like this obviously needs to be judged by slightly different standards than a less ridiculous fanfic. After all, when the sequel starts with Princess Celestia receiving a letter from Twilight Sparkle beginning, "Dear Princess Celestia, I never thought it could happen to me..." it's obvious the author doesn't expect his work to be taken seriously. Questions about faithfulness to the source material are relevant only insofar as the characters and setting are still recognizable, and the tightness and coherence of the plot are relatively unimportant to such a piece.
But while these issues may not matter greatly, there are other factors which become far more important in this field of writing than in other stories. Foremost among these is pacing; while a story beingslow and ploddy is never a good thing, it's not by itself a defenestratable* sin in most cases. But in a random-style comedy, any sort of dullness is anathema. If there isn't something funny (or at least, something interesting) every few sentences, the comic mood on which such a piece relies is lost.
Drunken Unicorn and the first chapter of its sequel do a reasonably good job of keeping the tone ridiculous and breezy, and of peppering enough one-liners, jokes, and flat-out weirdness into story to keep it moving. Considering the subject matter (drinking in the first story, sexuality in the second) I don't think I need to add that both are pretty tasteless, though nothing is ever explicitly described. Indeed, the author draws a lot of his humor from artfully dancing around any salacious descriptions. The final chapter, however, relies a bit too much on sexual discomfort rather than genuine comedy to keep it moving.
How much "sexual discomfort" is too much? Well, that's a question different readers are going to have different answers to. There's no actual sex here, of course, but many people don't have any interest in thinking about ponies as sexual beings, even in a blatantly absurdist context. For them, this is obviously not a pair of stories worth reading. But even for those willing to accept the premise for comic purposes, I think some will find that their personal line is crossed in the last chapter. My advice? If you aren't comfortable with Twilight discussing the modifications she made to her dildo (regardless of how funny it is), then this probably isn't the fanfic for you.
The writing style in the first and third chapter occasionally suffered from overuse of attribution tags on dialogue, but was otherwise minimalistic and functional--a good match to the story style, as the quick pace of the narration matched the need to keep the action moving. Editing was fairly shoddy though, with a number of simple errors of every variety. When I quoted the opening line of the sequel above, I actually cleaned it up so as not to distract from the point I was trying to make; "Dear Princess, Celesita," is not the way to start a fanfic.
This is a goofy, irreverent set of stories, designed solely to be funny. I honestly think that how much a reader enjoys these is going to be based mostly on their attitude going in. If you start reading expecting nothing more than cheap laughs and absurdity, you won't be disappointed. But if you're looking for something deeper, sorry. Really, it's a lot like the Three Stooges (the originals, that is; I can't comment on the new movie, having not seen it): it's really quite good, as long as you don't expect it to be anything more or less than what it is.
Star rating: ★★★☆☆ (what does this mean?)
These stories do exactly what they set out to do. I admit the last chapter went a little outside my comfort zone, but I know I'm more prudish than many in this fandom. Drunken Unicorn is a positively hilarious take on Twilight getting completely blasted, and the sequel is even more tasteless. They certainly aren't for everyone, but that doesn't mean they aren't good for what they are.
Recommendation: If a shameless mockery portraying ponies drinking and talking about sex isn't something you're interested in, this is a story to skip. For those who are interested in random humor, your tolerance for crudeness will be the determining factor as to whether or not you enjoy these stories (though really, "crude" is too strong a word; to repeat, nothing is ever explicit). But if this is the kind of thing you enjoy, I have no doubt that you'll enjoy it immensely.
Next time: Number 12, by Squeak
*You thought I'd forgotten, hadn't you? Well you're welcome, CV