11 Contemporary Novels, Summarized in 140 Characters or Fewer
Even those of us who love Stephen King dearly have to admit that sometimes, his books could stand to have, oh, about 80,000 or so words cut from them. Well, Lit Reactor’s Max Booth III has done us all one better, by condensing every single one of Stephen King’s novels down to 140 Twitter-able characters (yes, that includes all fifty of his published novels, even the ones that King himself doesn’t remember writing a word of).
But why stop with America’s undisputed master of long-winded sentences about writers and their literal and figurative demons? What if we Twitter-fied some of the greatest contemporary novels of the past few decades? Imagine how much time it would free up in your schedule! And your free time is at a premium right now, especially with Halloween coming up, and Gilmore Girls streaming on Netflix and everything. And have you even thought about what you're buying everyone for Christmas?! You need all the shortcuts you can get, my friend.
So read on for our Twitter-ready recaps of all the books you were assigned by your book club/Contemporary Novels class/Oprah. But please, take them with the same grain of salt you’d take anything you read on Twitter — so if you actually try to use these to fake your way through a class discussion, you have only yourself to blame.
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
I am Henry the VIII I am, Henry the VIII I am — oh wait, no, I’m actually Thomas Cromwell, whoops, sorry.
Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon
Hippies have funny names, are up to no good, and do not generally make excellent private investigators.
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Record executives, drug addicts, precocious children from the near future— none of them are happy, and you probably shouldn’t be, either.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
Gender expectations hurt everybody — especially gentle nerds from New Jersey who just want love.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, it’s… GUILT AND SHAME!
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Families! Am I right, guys?
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
Delayed maturity, romantic turmoil, record collecting and I’m an asshole for even saying this, but the movie’s better.
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
We all have our secrets, and sometimes, those secrets turn out to be a long-running family history of incestuous marriages.
The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño
Poets! Am I right, guys?
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Psychic women, eerie netherworlds just below the surface of our reality, hapless men — it’s just another day in Mr. Murakami’s neighborhood.
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
Hey, remember this? This guy used to be pretty good!
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