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Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less Paperback – December 29, 2009

2.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The age of Twitter has arrived, and precocious young writers Aicman and Rensin have taken it upon themselves to redo the world's most beloved literary classics for the Status Update generation. Taking the point of view of the protagonist (sometime several), the duo translate everything from The Old Man and the Sea to The Aeneid to the graphic novel Watchmen in under 2800 characters (20 "tweets" of up to 140 characters each). Splitting the focus between succinct mimicry and anachronistic wackiness (from The Great Gatsby: "Two bad drives met. :O," "Gatsby is so emo. Who cries about his girlfriend while eating breakfast... IN THE POOL?"), Aicman and Rensin can reach moments of inspired hilarity; from Oedipus: "this woman is ALL OVER ME! Total MILF." Juvenile comic asides and texting abbreviations abound ("WTF is Mercutio talking about?"), as do titter-worthy internet cultural references (from Frankenstein: "Just did a bit-torrent-style grave robbery"), though the target audience probably won't have much interest in running commentary on Goethe, no matter how clever (or brief) it is. Readers who persevere will find structured wit and classic charm that belie the authors' 19 years, making this a promising curiosity for the wired literary enthusiast.
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Review

"Do you hear that? It's the sound of Shakespeare, rolling over in his grave."
--The Wall Street Journal

"Twitterature makes me want to punch someone, preferably the 'authors'. They're in Chicago. I'm gonna take a road trip..."
--@damig, Twitter

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1 edition (December 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143117327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143117322
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #784,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The only value in this work is the titles of the classical works of Literature. It's always nice to see them.
The comments are meant to be clever and amusing. I found them to be neither. I did however find them to be vulgar, stupid and degrading.
There is no effort on the part of the twitterers to catch in any way the style and tone, the feeling of any of these classic works.
The concept 'rip-off' comes to mind.
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Such a pity, all the work Aciman went through in order to put out this book. Basically he took a bunch of classics and rewrote them in signature Twitter style: all retold in 20 tweets of 140 characters or less. Some lines are funny, yes... but after, say, 10 twitterized classics, they just become monotonous and boring. Nice try, though.
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By Lina Z on February 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
Terribly dull and not worth the paper that it's printed on. Best left to twitter itself.
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Format: Paperback
The problem with twitterature is that while it would've made a fantastic blog post (or series thereof), as a book it's simply trying too hard, and after a while, you realize there's better humor online, for free.
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Format: Paperback
Let's get one thing straight: This is utter, blatant satire. SATIRE. That means that the authors are trying to poke fun at the foundation that literature is based on. Since I'm in high school, I've read quite a few of the classics and I must say that I really did dislike some of them. The authors are geniuses to evoke laughter as well as horror as well as a sense of brilliance for doing this. I'm not saying that this book will be a replacement for any of the books it degrades, but it's a fine way to supplement your knowledge of classic literature in a humorous (if vulgar) fashion.

I can imagine that the audience most offended by this book would be those that have enjoyed these classics for decades/ does not know how twitter works. I've shown this to a few English teachers and they have laughed at seeing their favorites being deconstructed in a mere 1400 or so characters (most books being 10-20 tweets, 140 characters max.)

Just a quick complaint: The book does go into vulgar territory, so much that one could deduce that a couple of college students wrote this as a way to pass time. With that said, carry an open mind, read a "twitterized" passage and ROFL until morning.

While it may be an indication that conventional learning has gone the way of the dodo, it's also a refreshing take on centuries of books.
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The IDEA behind this book is great. The execution, however, is terrible. To make up for the lack of relevant or funny content, the authors threw in as many dirty words as possible. I do not recommend this book. However, I do recommend the idea to someone who can write it better. If it were a clean book (and if the content were a little more relevant to the actual plots, but still in a funny way), the authors would make much more money.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I had only read about a dozen of the books that they talked about in this book. The tweets from the books I read were hilarious though.
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