Thursday, June 28, 2018

Abridged Classics by John Atkinson

Abridged Classics by John Atkinson is an extraordinarily silly but sometimes spot-on book of literary cartoons in which classic books are described in few words.

Some examples:

The Pearl by John Steinbeck: Owning stuff is problematic.

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe: Old-timey Gilligan's Island

Recommended - Some of the cartoons worked for me and some didn't. They're funniest when they hit the main plot points of a book accurately and I thought some missed the mark. In general, Abridged Classics is a fun book that I'd particularly recommend for people looking for a cute coffee table or waiting room book. If you read it from cover to cover, it'll take 5-10 minutes, depending upon whether or not you sit around trying to think up alternative abridged synopses (I did that -- I'm on the 10-minute end).

Note: While I gave this book an average rating at Goodreads, I liked it enough that I'm considering hanging onto it so that I can flip back and see what the author has to say about future classics after I've finished reading them (there is a handy, dandy index - yay). I don't, unfortunately, own a coffee table. I know, weird.

Addendum: In case you're unable to see the print on the cover, it says:

War and Peace: Everyone is sad. It snows. 

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  1. Sounds fun. I haven’t read that many classics though. That might make this one less enjoyable for me.

    1. Yeah, the ones I haven't read left me flat, except when I was already familiar with the plot. And, some just didn't work for me. It's fun, though, and would be cool to have on a coffee table to see if it stimulated conversation. I really need to invest in a coffee table, someday. :)

  2. I actually went and added this to my cart on amazon before even commenting! I love the idea of this and as I teach literature, I think it will be a great book to bring in for my students and use a starting point for a class project. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh, wow, what a great use for it! I wouldn't have thought of suggesting it to use Abridged Classics as a jumping off point for describing classics. Hope your students enjoy it!


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