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Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don't Float: Classic Lit Signs on to Facebook Paperback – August 25, 2009


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Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don't Float: Classic Lit Signs on to Facebook + Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less + ShrinkLits: Seventy of the World's Towering Classics Cut Down to Size
Price for all three: $31.66

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (August 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452295734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452295735
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Brilliant/Highbrow" --New York Magazine's Approval Matrix

Bench Pick --The New Yorker, The Book Bench blog

"[O]ne of the funniest and wittiest books I've read in years, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves literature" --Curled Up With a Good Book

"Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don't Float: Classic Lit Signs on to Facebook is the most ingenious and entertaining book about classic literature that I have ever read" --BookLoons.com

About the Author

Sarah Schmelling has written about entertainment, travel, and pop culture for The Washington Post, Spin, Paste, Salon, Newsweek, Real Simple, the Los Angeles Times, Variety, McSweeney’s, and The Huffington Post. She lives with her husband and son outside of Washington, DC. Ophelia Joined The Group Maidens Who Don’t Float: Classic Lit Signs On To Facebook is her first book.

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Customer Reviews

This is the funniest, smartest book I have read all summer!
E. Jean Carroll
This book is a refreshing breather for high school and college students reeling from reading lists, and may give them the inspiration they need to soldier on.
C. Minor
It's an affectionate parody of the works themselves, as well as the conventions and idiosyncrasies of Facebook itself.
Rachel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. McGee TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 26, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jane Austen says it is a truth universally acknowledged that in the depths of a recession, people need something to laugh about.

Elizbeth Bennet posted a comment: OK, Jane, but did you HAVE to tell the world about all those ridiculous
gifts Mr. Collins sent me, especially that Chai Cream Frappucino? (And what is that, anyway?)

William Shakespeare (through the best efforts of author Sarah Schmelling) has founded the Classics-Gone-Facebook Network.

Miss Havisham, Humbert Humbert, Dr. Jekyll and Beowulf joined the network.
Scrooge joined the network, but is rejecting friend requests.
Huck Finn, Oscar Wilde and Ernest (call me "Papa") Hemingway have joined the network.
Sarah Schmelling reports that Jane Austen is now friends with Helen Fielding, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, and 4,534 others, and is still wondering who all these people are and why they are all forming clubs to discuss her books.

If I were one iota as clever and witty as Sarah Schmelling, I would try to write this review in the same Facebook style that Schmelling has used to celebrate and poke fun at her favorite literary figures (both authors and characters) as well as to settle scores with those she could live without. (To his disgust, Humbert's admin blocks his account for his yearnings over Lolita, while still allowing Lady Chatterley and the gamekeeper to continue with their antics.) I know my limitations, and will have to stick to the traditional format, however...

Schmelling's first stab at turning literature into Facebook feeds was a hilarious reinterpretation of Hamlet that 'went viral' on the Internet a year or more ago. (The book's title comes from that.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. McGlynn on August 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
If you are a part of the Facebook generation (and even my grandmother is!), you will laugh at the hilarity contained within this book!

There's a bit of educational value to it, too; it's like super-cliffnotes for the Facebook generation.

If you haven't read the books that are covered (and there are many, from Hawthorne to Shakespeare to Austen and more!), this book will make you want to, if for no other reason than to be in on the jokes.

Pick this one up at your local bookstore and flip through it, but beware, you may get dirty looks for your raucous laughter!

I suspect this would translate very well for the Kindle, for those of you who are so inclined.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Hawkins on September 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
The perfect type of book for lit nerds, English majors, or people who were forced to read all of these classics in school. I absolutely recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rachel on January 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a highly entertaining collection of Facebook updates from characters of the a number of the classics, including Wuthering Heights, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice, the eponymous Ophelia and co. from Hamlet, and Dracula, who can't work out why Buffy, Edward Cullen, Bella Swan and the Sesame Street Count would be "People He May Know" or how to get the vampire application to work. It's an affectionate parody of the works themselves, as well as the conventions and idiosyncrasies of Facebook itself.

As S. McGee notes, this is not necessarily a "read from cover to cover" book; you can, but it's just as much fun, if not more, to dip into chapters at random. Very funny and extremely clever - I wish I'd thought of it myself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Minor on October 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
As another reviewer mentioned below, this book is great fun if you're a lit nerd or just had to read lots of classic literature in high school. The inside jokes and hilarity that ensues when fictional characters start dropping in on each other's Facebook pages with sly comments will make the already-in-the-know reader guffaw and the uninitiated head for the library to check out some of those Great Works! This book is a refreshing breather for high school and college students reeling from reading lists, and may give them the inspiration they need to soldier on.

My only disappointment was finding out that you used to be able to throw livestock at people on Facebook.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Inquiring Mind on September 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is sort of Reduced Shakespeare Company, Monty Python and Cliff Notes all rolled into one. The premise is original, the inside jokes are great, the parody works. A little forced sometimes, but no problem. Good fun for the last gasp of summer.
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By JAthey on April 9, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
3 stars because it's clever. But repetitious and smug. Not the author; she's very knowledgeable, but the book quickly becomes an in-your-face Do you remember that? trial over all the classics we read. The tweeting format is cute, but one great book after another is delineated with smug one-liners, dozens for each work. Miss Havisham asks "What if you put on a wedding dress and no one came?" Holden Caulfield calls everyone phony but loves the ducks in the park. Magwitch is friends with Jaggers and Wemmick. Marlowe worries, "Yeah, it's this really scary thing. What's the word I'm looking for?" and Kurtz helps him out, "Horror. The Horror." James Joyce updates his status each hour of the day. Oscar can resist anything but temptation. Vonnegut calms down Billy Pilgrim with "So it goes." Ophelia joined the group Maidens Who Don't Float. (I thought she did, at least in the painting. Speaking of dubious claims, the one I spotted was "Miss Havisham joined the group Maidens Who Are Not Inflammable." Inflammable and flammable are interchangeable, the same thing, and Miss H. catches fire, doesn't she?) Lady Chatterley is "too Twentieth Century for all of you." Maybe I'm too 20th-century and out of date; other reviewers said they liked the . . . what was they liked? passing the test in allusion-recognition perhaps. So it goes.
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More About the Author

Sarah Schmelling is a humor writer and journalist, and author of Hamlet (Facebook News Feed Edition) on McSweeney's Internet Tendency. She has written about entertainment, travel and pop culture for The Washington Post, Spin, Paste, Salon, Newsweek, Real Simple, the Los Angeles Times, World Hum and other publications. She lives outside of Washington, DC.

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Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don't Float: Classic Lit Signs on to Facebook
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