Monday, 13 January 2020

Atkinson, John "Abridged Classics"

Atkinson, John "Abridged Classics: Brief Summaries of Books You Were Supposed to Read but Probably Didn't" - 2018

A funny book. Hundred classics you can read in five minutes. I think the descriptions are funnier when you know the story, though, but I had so much fun with all of these, whether I read them or not.

Since we want our friends to have fun with it, as well, it is now THE reading material in our guest toilet and has led to many funny and also deep and interesting conversations.

Some of my favourites:
Ulysses "Dublin, something, something, something, run-on sentence."
War and Peace "Everyone is sad. It snows."
Peter Pan "Some kids and a crocodile pester an amputee."
The Lord of the Rings trilogy "Middle-earth’s epic jewellery return policy."

The title says "abridged" and it surely is "abridged". If anyone didn't know what abridged means, they will after reading this book.

From the back cover:

"A collection of irreverent summations of more than 100 well-known works of literature, from Anna Karenina to Wuthering Heights, cleverly described in the fewest words possible and accompanied with funny color illustrations.

Abridged Classics: Brief Summaries of Books You Were Supposed to Read but Probably Didn’t is packed with dozens of humorous super-condensed summations of some of the most famous works of literature from many of the world’s most revered authors, including William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Emily Brontë, Leo Tolstoy, Jane Austen, Mark Twain, J.R.R. Tolkien, Margaret Atwood, James Joyce, Plato, Ernest Hemingway, Dan Brown, Ayn Rand, and Herman Melville.

From 'Old ladies convince a guy to ruin Scotland' (Macbeth) to 'Everyone is sad. It snows.' (War and Peace), these clever, humorous synopses are sure to make book lovers smile."


  1. If I were to visit your guest bathroom, I would peruse this book!

    1. And you'd be more than welcome to it, of course. It's also a great way of starting a conversation about books - as if I'd need an excuse. ;)