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VINE VOICEon 12 January 2008
The only common denominator is that each item is a humorous summarisation of a famous work of literature. The style varies wildly between different contributors. To quote some examples:
-Shakespeare plays reported as real events in a series of Sun newspaper articles
-Great Expectations written in the style of Janet and John
-Jane Austen's Emma told as a monologue by Miss Bates

If you are familiar with some of the stories, and you have a sense of humour (and especially if you have ever enjoyed a Reduced Shakespeare Company production) you will love this.
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Good fun, and a great dip-into read.

This little book by many authors presents a synopsis or each of the literary classics named, some as a short poem or limerick, others as a short story, series of notes or a diary entry or letter. The idea is that if you read a synopsis you have enough information to discuss the book or play.

Of course while the pieces themselves can be fun, the more familiar you are with the original work, the funnier they are.

I recommend reading this along with Poetry For Cats by Henry Beard, if you like cats.
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on 2 February 2009
If you are looking for brief entertainment and at the same time evolving your litterary horizon this is just the book. Nicely written and very easy to understand. You get a resume of the story and the characters so that the next you are stuck in smalltalk, you will be able to talk about many classics in litterature or you'll be able to impress a girl or boy with all your knowledge in classic litterature.
This book is great for the quick intro to litterature. But it cannot compare with the real deal.
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on 30 January 2001
I won't get anywhere NEAR 1,000 words - that wouldn't be in the spirit of the book. "Well-read" predates the internet but some years, but for literature its pastiches encapsulate its spirit. It tugs at the heartstring of the vain who want to impress at dinner parties and exposes them for the frauds that they are. AND it allows you to bone up in a way that COULD pull the wool over their eyes. So buy some!
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on 10 May 2014
Guaranteed to make the reader laugh out loud. Leopoldo Bloom on "This is your Life" is hilarious. I recommend it.
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on 16 December 2014
Good. Very amusing. Condition what I expected from second hand.
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VINE VOICEon 10 April 2008
This is a humourous little book, packed full of what are for the most part witty synopsis of some of the greatest works of literature (mostly English literature) ever written, but don't be fooled by the title: the synopsis are so short that you get little flavour of the novels covered. Indeed, I found that the more familiar I was with the novel forming the subject of the synopsis, the more enjoyable the book was whereas those of works I didn't know at all gave very little insight whatsoever. Sadly, then, I have to remain lamentably under-read, the book failing to fulfill it's promise of making me well-read in an evening. It seems there's no alternative but to read the books themselves. Even so, I loved reading this and spent much of the time laughing out loud. My favourite was the metered verse retelling the story of Mansfield Park in little more than a dozen lines.
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I don't think you'll even recognise the books that you have read from these over pretentious summaries. And they are not even funny.
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