Thursday, 21 July 2016

Aciman, Alexander; Rensin, Emmett "Twitterature"

Aciman, Alexander; Rensin, Emmett "Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books Retold Through Twitter" - 2009

An interesting concept. Read all the classics in Twitter form.

Well, the idea is alright but the book itself ... Let me say it like this. "There is room for improvement."

First of all, I would not read any of the descriptions for the books I haven't read. Not only do they ruin the end, they don't really tell you a lot about it. They can be funny if you have read the book but not all of them are. They are certainly no "CliffsNotes". A nice little "bathroom book", so you have something to flip through if you have a minute.

From the back cover:

"Perhaps you once asked yourself, 'What exactly is Hamlet trying to tell me? Why must he mince his words, muse in lyricism and, in short, whack about the shrub?' No doubt such troubling questions would have been swiftly resolved were the Prince of Denmark a registered user on This, in essence, is Twitterature.

Here you will find seventy-five of the greatest works of western literature - from Beowulf to Bronte, from Kafka to Kerouac, and from Dostoevsky to Dickens - each distilled through the voice of Twitter to its purest, pithiest essence. Including a full glossary of online acronyms and Twitterary terms to aid the amateur, Twitterature provides everything you need to master the literature of the civilised world, while relieving you of the burdensome task of reading it.


From Dante's Inferno: I'm havin a midlife crisis. Lost in the woods. Shoulda brought my iPhone.

From Oedipus: PARTY IN THEBES!!! Nobody cares I killed that old dude, plus this woman is all over me. Total MILF.

From Paradise Lost: OH MY GOD I'M IN HELL.

'The classics are so last century' Guardian."

Works included in Twitterature
Milton, John "Paradise Lost"
Kafka, Franz "The Metamorphosis"
Sophocles "Oedipus the King"
Lord Byron, George "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage"
Stendhal "The Red and the Black"
Shakespeare, William "Macbeth"
Fitzgerald, F. Scott "The Great Gatsby"
Homer "The Iliad"
Shakespeare, William "Hamlet"
Gogol, Nikolai "The Overcoat"
Hemingway, Ernest "The Old Man and the Sea"
Alighieri, Dante "The Inferno"
Lermontov, Mikhail "A Hero of Our Time"
Unknown "Beowulf"
Voltaire "Candide"
Marlowe, Christopher "Doctor Faustus"
Austen, Jane "Emma"
Dickens, Charles "Great Expectations"
Conrad, Joseph "Heart of Darkness"
Shakespeare, William "King Lear"
Aristophanes "Lysistrata"
Capote, Truman "In Cold Blood"
Euripides "Medea"
Orwell, George "Nineteen Eighty-Four"
Kerouac, Jack "On the Road"
Dostoevsky, Fyodor "Notes from the Underground"
Defoe, Daniel "Robinson Crusoe"
Shakespeare, William "Romeo and Juliet"
Tolstoy, Leo "Anna Karenina"
Conan Doyle, Arthur "Sherlock Holmes"
Pushkin, Alexander "Eugene Onegin"
Unknown "The Epic of Gilgamesh"
Homer "The Odyssey"
Wilde, Oscar "The Picture of Dorian Gray"
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von "The Sorrows of Young Werther"
Sterne, Laurence "The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman"
Sacher-Masoch, Leopold von "Venus in Furs"
Woolf, Virginia "Mrs. Dalloway"
Dostoevsky, Fyodor "Crime and Punishment"
Brontë, Emily "Wuthering Heights"
Swift, Jonathan "Gulliver's Travels"
Austen, Jane "Pride & Prejudice"
Pearl Poet "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight"
Twain, Mark "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"
Shelley, Mary "Frankenstein"
Proust, Marcel "Swann's Way"
Virgil "The Aeneid"
Radiguet, Raymond "The Devil in the Flesh"
Stoker, Bram "Dracula"
Tayler Coleridge, Samuel "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
Lawrence, D.H. "Lady Chatterley's Lover"
Brontë, Charlotte "Jane Eyre"
Carroll, Lewis "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"
Shakespeare, William "The Tempest"
Flaubert, Gustave "Madame Bovary"
Mann, Thomas "Death in Venice"
Dumas, Alexandre "The Three Musketeers"
Melville, Herman "Moby-Dick"
Cervantes, Miguel de "Don Quixote"
Chaucer, Geoffrey "The Canterbury Tales"

Others in other books:
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Harry Potter (1–7) by J. K. Rowling
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
The Stranger by Albert Camus
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Ulysses by James Joyce
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
The Wall by Jean-Paul Sartre
The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot
Watchmen by Alan Moore


  1. Something about this book seems all wrong to me.

    1. I know. It is a weird kind of an idea but it looked like fun. Some of the descriptions I read in the bookshop before I bought it really made me smile. As I said, only worth to read the description in here if you know the book already.

      Have a good week,