Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Getting Fondled at the Country Fair

Here’s an amusing site that promises it will “cut through all the cryptic crap, and give you the meat of the story in one condensed image. Now you can read the greatest literary works of all time in mere seconds!”

What it does is rename the book with a title meant to reveal something about the story.

One of my favorites is Mrs. Dalloway, which is renamed “A Quaint, Mid-Afternoon Panic Attack.” Another funny one is Charles Bukowski’s Post Office (aka Factotum), which is called “Drunk Sex with Poor People.” That surely does reveal a lot more about the plot.

Bleak House is renamed “Lolita Gets Smallpox.” That made me laugh, too, disregarding that there was no 'Lolita' to refer to in 1852, which may be why Dickens didn't come up with the idea himself. Still, what a case of smallpox she had.

I was interested to learn that The Amazing Adventure of Kavalier and Clay would be better called “Gay Jewish Magicians Kill Nazis.” This did persuade me, though, that I don’t have to read the book. I also took Super Sad Love Story off my to-read list, finding out it’d be more aptly named “1984 in AOL Speak.” No thanks, especially since I never bothered to read 1984.

It’s funny but it doesn’t completely live up to its mission. Sometimes it simply takes a shot at the author or book. Nothing of the plot or content of Infinite Jest, for example, comes across in “Too Long.” And the title “I’m Only Reading This So My Friends Will Stop Telling Me To Read This Book” could be slapped on a number of books, not just The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Still the layout it great, and they put up a new book every day.

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