Cover image for Abridged classics : brief summaries of books you were supposed to read but probably didn't / John Atkinson, creator of Wrong hands.
Abridged classics : brief summaries of books you were supposed to read but probably didn't / John Atkinson, creator of Wrong hands.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : HarperDesign, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2018.

Physical Description:
159 pages : color illustrations ; 21 cm
"Abridged Classics is a witty collection of some of the major works of Western literature. John Atkinson, the creator of Wrong Hands cartoons, cleverly sums up these works in the least amount of words possible, enhanced by his delightfully deadpan illustrations. More than a hundred titles are included from Brave New World to Pride and Prejudice and Romeo and Juliet to The Great Gatsby. The literary endeavors contained in these pages -- which make pithy molehills out of verbose mountains -- are sure to amuse, confuse, educate, or irritate." -- Back cover.
Subject Term:


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1 Bob Harkins Branch 817.6 ATK Book Adult General Collection
1 Nechako Branch 817.6 ATK Book Adult General Collection

On Order



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.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

As the title suggests, this entertaining volume from Atkinson (Wrong Hands) takes more than 100 classics and condenses them into brief, one-sentence summaries, each featured with a humorous, full-color illustration. These often accurate interpretations of the original texts simplify things to an absurd degree. For example, Peter Pan is described as "Some Kids and a Crocodile pester an amputee"; Hamlet as "Guy with daddy issues mopes and whines about who to kill." By and large, these are rather funny takes on stories, with fairly basic gags. However, unlike what the title suggests, you probably do need some familiarity with the work to get the joke, although plenty of references to pop culture make it so even non-English majors will enjoy. Verdict A fun book with a dry sense of humor that will appeal to fans of single-panel cartoons. Lit lovers who don't mind some good-natured poking at their favorite reads will be amused as well.-Lucy Roehrig, Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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