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The Private Life of Genghis Khan

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Title: The Private Life of Genghis Khan  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt, Young Zaphod Plays It Safe, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, Mostly Harmless
Collection: 1975 Short Stories, British Short Stories, Short Stories by Douglas Adams
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

The Private Life of Genghis Khan

"The Private Life of Genghis Khan" is a short story written by Douglas Adams and Graham Chapman. It is based in part on a sketch devised by Graham Chapman, and written by Chapman and Adams for the 1975 TV show pilot Out of the Trees.[1] It appears in The Utterly Utterly Merry Comic Relief Christmas Book and some versions of The Salmon of Doubt. It is also available on Douglas Adams' website.[2]

Wowbagger, the Infinitely Prolonged makes a brief appearance in the story.

Plot summary

The short story presents a humorous account of Genghis's day. The first section is an encounter with a woman in his home, where a soldier instructs the woman to ask the Khan questions about his day with affection, to which he replies in an apathetic manner. The Soldier, while repeatedly thrashing and threatening the woman, demands that she continue to ask the Khan questions about his day in an affectionate manner like a wife. The Khan takes out some scrolls and begins to read them, while the soldier instructs the woman to continue her line of questioning and nag the Khan. The woman, afraid for her life, finally gives up and falls at the Khan's feet offering herself in order for the ordeal to stop, to which the Khan's replies "No" and "you'd only laugh — you're just like all the others." The section then ends with the line, "He stormed out of the hut and rode off into the night in such a rage that he almost forgot to burn down the village before he left."

The second section deals with a conversation between the Khan and his son,


  1. ^ Entry from LocusMag Index to Science Fiction
  2. ^ The Story on Douglas Adam's Website
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