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Literature / The Private Life of Genghis Khan

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After twenty years of these two-hour battles I get the feeling that there must be more to life, you know.
—Genghis Khan

The Private Life of Genghis Khan is a short story by Douglas Adams, based partially on a sketch planned for Graham Chapman's Sketch Show, Out of the Trees. It features the famed Mongolian conqueror as a blood-thirsty warlord by day, paranoid neurotic by night, fussing endlessly over an absurd and arbitrary schedule, wondering whether he's put on too much weight, and coercing the wives of murdered enemies into asking him about his day (instead of the expected sexual favors). All of this comes as a big headache to his son, Ogdai, who wants nothing more than to just get on with it and conquer the Earth already. Alas, his father's emotional issues and constant bouts of melancholy make this an unlikely prospect.


The end features a very special guest appearance from a character Adams fans may recognize.