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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
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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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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 (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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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.
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Meg on May 2, 2015
Format: Paperback
Ophelia Joined The Group Maidens Who Don't Float: Classic Lit Signs On To Facebook, by Sarah Schmelling was a chance find for me. My husband and I stopped by the bookstore to pick up a few much anticipated purchases with coupons we'd been saving. On the way in, they had some shelves with clearance books right in the front foyer. (Isn't that how they get you?) A couple of books caught my eye, including another one I will be reviewing sometime soon. At $2.00-$3.00 per book, I could afford to get both as impulse purchases, even on my limited budget. Why did this one hit me? You'd have to look at the cover, which is why I posted it above, but here's the text:

Virginia Woolf is afraid of Edward Albee.

Hester Prynne received a piece of flair.

Edgar Allan Poe will not stop looking at you that way.

Ernest Hemingway took the ARE YOU A REAL MAN? quiz.

At last, your favorite characters and authors from classic literature have caved to the pressure and joined a social network. William Shakespeare, with a little help from author Sarah Schmelling, rallies together everyone from Jane Austen to Oedipus Rex to James Joyce to his online booke club group. Of course, mayhem soon ensues:

Mark Twain infiltrates Oscar Wilde's profile page and challenges him to a "quip off."
Jane Eyre listens to "Hard Knock Life" on repeat.
Hamlet becomes a fan of Daggers.
Dracula wonders why this "Edward" and "Bella" are people he may know.
A loving spoof of social networking conventions and a playful game of literary who's who, Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don't Float is sure to have book lovers and Facebook addicts alike twittering with joy.

To be or not to be... on Facebook that is.
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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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