Have you ever wanted to meet your favorite literary character or author in person, to talk to him or her, or to offer that character or author advice? Now you can (sort of), thanks to the author of the spoof Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don't Float: Classic Lit Signs on to Facebook. For those who either love literature or had to put up with reading it just to earn much-needed credits in high school and college, this book is sure to give you feed your inner bookworm and make you LOL hysterically (sometimes hours later, in inappropriate places).
Facebook, the wildly popular social networking website used by countless millions of people, you are getting just a little bit too big for your britches and need to be taken down a few pegs. Or, let out a few inches, keeping with the pants metaphor - but, that doesn’t make much sense. Boiling it down, cutting it short, no longer beating around the bush, it’s about time someone let the wind out of your proverbial sails and did a spoof of you, using the most popular characters and authors of literature. Sarah Schmelling does a commendable job of doing just that, worthy of a Pulitzer (maybe even a Nobel) Prize.
Using the conventions of Facebook such as profile pages, status updates, news feeds, games and quizzes, the author takes us on an intimate journey into the psyches, the ids, egos, and superegos, the yins and the yangs of characters from books like The Odyssey to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Pride and Prejudice, Lolita, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
All of your most loved literary figures are here - Edgar Allan Poe, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Hester Pryme, Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula, Captain Ahab, and Pip from Great Expectations - and you can finally find out what really makes them tick. You’ll learn that Jane Eyre’s favorite song is “Hard Knock Life,” and that some of the songs on Scout Finch’s Playlist (from To Kill A Mockingbird) include “Small Town,” “I Fought the Law,” and “Papa Don’t Preach.”
There’s something for everyone to enjoy and laugh out loud about in this excellent and cleverly thought-out spoof. I particularly liked reading the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland NEWS FEED, especially her concerns about her changing size and whether or not she should have a drink, and the comments that characters from Lost make regarding the episode “White Rabbit” and the Dharma Initiative.
Another of the many highlights here is the Gulliver’s Travels NEWS FEED. Gulliver does mini reviews of his various Recent Vacations and rates them from 1 to five stars. He’s not very impressed with Laputa, giving it only 2 out of 5 stars:
“Yeah, the good news about Laputa is not so many tourist are there since it’s
off the ground and all. And they let me conjure up dead people. Got to talk to
Aristotle! The bad news is they’re a bunch of science geeks. What kind of society
renounces right angles? They’re just sooo smart and intellectual. So superior
and great that you can barely have a conversation with any of them. And,
okay, they made me feel like a dumbass.”
The perfect remedy to prevent yourselves from feeling like “dumbasses,” is not to brush up on your Shakespeare, but to run out and buy this book (or click on the helpfully highlighted links here and buy it that way) without further delay. Is it guaranteed to take the place of reading your required daily doses of literature and earning you an A+, or at the minimum a passing grade in English 101? Will it take the place of CliffsNotes? Will it make your breath smell minty fresh? The answer to at least two of these perplexing questions is “Sorry, but no.” What it will do is provide you with lots of reading pleasure and tickled ribs and/or funnybones, and it will be a book that your friends will want to steal - er, borrow - when they see it on your coffee table. It’s one of the funniest and wittiest books I’ve read in years, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves literature but likes to poke fun at it sometimes.