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Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less

3.07  ·  Rating Details ·  923 Ratings  ·  207 Reviews
Perhaps while reading Shakespeare you've asked yourself, What exactly is Hamlet trying to tell me? Why must he mince words and muse in lyricism and, in short, whack about the shrub? But if the Prince of Denmark had a Twitter account and an iPhone, he could tell his story in real time--and concisely! Hence the genius of Twitterature.

Hatched in a dorm room at the brain trus
Paperback, 224 pages
Published December 29th 2009 by Penguin Books (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30)
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I am Bastet
Sep 25, 2012 I am Bastet rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In the interest of full disclosure, I only read some of these. I started out with the books I'd read, then I started skimming, then skipping over most of everything. The only even remotely funny one was Twilight, because that book is so surface level it's easy to make fun of.

What's wrong with this book is that to write effective parodies of literature, you have to actually understand the literature really well. This reads more like sparknotes in tweet form, and I can't help but feel like the aut
Dec 18, 2009 Scott rated it it was ok
Shelves: humor
This book was a good idea, but poorly executed. Their claim that they "twitterize" classics was a bit of an exaggeration; I'd like to think that I'm pretty well-read, and I hadn't heard of a third of the books listed in here. Despite that, even for the books that I know very well, the tweets were just not all that clever. In some cases, they went for the easy jokes rather than actually parodying the story. I agree with the reviews on the front page - this really does not bode well for the future ...more
May 05, 2010 Namratha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to two articulate AND disrespectful nineteen year olds, the world’s greatest classics have now been condensed to their impurest form.

While the puritans would gasp aloud and turn red to see the much loved tomes reduced to a bunch of impudent tweets, the imp inside us all is wholly entertained.

My favourite was the hack-job on Romeo and Juliet. Have copied it here for your reading pleasure:

By William Shakespeare


Jan 15, 2010 Sarah rated it it was ok
This book is a great idea. Seriously.

These two college freshman took all the great works of literature and condensed them into about 20 tweets, all 140 characters or less. The result, at times, is pretty funny.

However, there was excessive swearing and sexual innuendo and most of it was done in tweets for books that didn't need it. I can understand using it in, say, Dracula or Catcher in the Rye -- those types. However, this was clearly done just for "humor" and "shock value." I don't understand
May 14, 2010 Cindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, anthology
Got this from my Penguin niece. Yes, she's a penguin.

Tons of fun, very clever, but does get a little same-y if you read too many at once. It must have been riotously fun following the re-telling of great literature live on Twitter. All compiled into one dead-tree book, the wit loses its edge. However, I do really look forward to re-reading individual abridgments after reading the classic they are parodying.
Sep 08, 2014 Sue rated it did not like it
This book does not "satirize" the classics. It outright mocks them and their authors and devotees with racist, misogynistic, and homophobic dude-bro humor. Disappointing. Don't waste your time.
Dec 15, 2015 Camille rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review and others posted over at my blog.

From the cover: amalgamation of “twitter” and “literature”; humorous reworkings of literary classics for the twenty-first century intellect, in digestible portions of 20 tweets or fewer.

If you, dear reader, like me, thought you’d be delving into a clever and witty little book of old texts reborn with a modern twist via social media, then you, like me, would be incredibly disappointed. I expected that this book would reflect an appreciation and unde
Jan 05, 2010 Nikki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, humour
Twitterature is pretty fun and light-hearted. Don't read it if you don't like the idea of fun being poked at classic books, or things like Sherlock Holmes' use of cocaine to be emphasised, etc. The humour wears a little thin after you've read a lot of them, and it's easiest to appreciate when you've already read the classic in question.

I think this'd be more fun to dip into than to actually sit down and read straight through.
Jun 09, 2016 June rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
the concept was fun but I think I am just far too old to enjoy it for more than 5 minutes. I also found the casual use of the word 'retard' jarring.... I think it has almost fallen out of use in the UK (I hope I'm right)
Jun 30, 2011 Johnny rated it it was ok
Shelves: trite
This book was seriously disappointing. I read the few sample tweets on the books website when I was setting up a Twitterature review assignment for my students, and the Hamlet and Harry Potter ones are pretty amusing (although I admittedly had to clean them up a bit as examples for my public high school sophomores). I checked this book out from the library as a lover of both literature and wit, but for the most part the collections of tweets are an adolescent romp through Western literature. I w ...more
Aug 31, 2014 Katja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: geschenkbuch
Weltliteratur in 140 Zeichen - geht das?
Ich war anfangs etwas skeptisch, weil ich eigentlich nicht so dafür bin, dass man Klassiker der Literatur modernisieren sollte, aber ich twittere selber auch, also dachte ich mir, ich versuche es einfach mal und schaue, ob mir das Buch gefällt. Immerhin wird es ja mit dem "Muss für alle Twitter-Fans" beworben.

Und das Buch hat mich wirklich überrascht, weil es den Nagel wirklich auf den Kopf trifft. Der einzige Nachteil ist eben, dass durch die Verkürzung
Amanda Butler
Sep 18, 2016 Amanda Butler rated it did not like it
I was expecting satire in the form of 140-character tweets of “Twitter-literature.” I was expecting to laugh, or at least chuckle a little to myself. But no. What seemed to be a good idea evolved into racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, and pretentious execution.

It starts with the arrogance of the introduction: “We prefer to think of ourselves as modern-day Martin Luthers.” In reality, the book was written by two college freshmen with a remedial understanding of the classics, at best.

This boo
Aletha Tavares
Jun 21, 2010 Aletha Tavares rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Life can offer us no greater treasure than art. It is all that is beautiful, and all that allows a man's soul to take leave of the quotidian trifles that molest his waking mind, to be lifted to the highest peaks of experience, and to peer briefly into the sublime. It is that which removes man from the static residue of time and casts him into the gentle waves of the eternal. It is to hear and to speak softly the beauteous tongue of antiquity, and yet to forsee all that will unfold through the i ...more
Jul 17, 2010 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2000s
Ever wonder what Robinson Crusoe would tweet (he’s twitter name is @iamnotgilligan) about? Probably not, but wouldn’t it be interesting to read? Now you can. Twitterature is a book that takes some of the greatest novels and converts it into a twitter account. All those great books in literature converted into little updates, 140 characters of less. Surprisingly it is very amusing and a lot of fun to read; especially if you’ve read the original. They are some great novels in this book such as;

May 21, 2011 Sheela rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've granted one-star to this book because the concept is clever. Taking classic books and making them into 140-character tweets (IN THEORY) is a brilliant idea, but in actuality, authors such as Jane Austen and J.D. Salinger are rolling in their graves. The whole book just seemed like it came to fruition as part of an "end of the year school assignment" and to think some publisher thought it would be fantastic to bring it to publication...well, he/she should be fired. This was an abomination to ...more
Jan 05, 2010 Melissa rated it really liked it
Very funny and irreverent. Definitely for those who are both used to Twitter and have read the majority of the books (there's only one title in the book I havcn't read - The Devil in the Flesh by Raymond Radiguet - and that book's set of tweets didn't make nearly as much sense as the others. I did hear someone say something about how this is the next evolution in Cliff's Notes/Sparknotes and I beg to differ; this definitely won't help you pass a test or write your term paper. It's just a fun way ...more
Jul 31, 2010 Kirsti rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, fiction, sarcasm
Works of literature reimagined as tweets. I wasn't that impressed with the book, but I was impressed that two college freshmen could come up with this idea, write the book, and sell it to Penguin Books. Go U of C kids.

From Ender's Game: "At times I feel inadequate but then realize I'm doing pretty well for an eight-year-old with a murder in my past and an army at my command."

From Watchmen: "Must break into a military facility and visit Doctor Manhattan. I hate seeing him, he's always waving his
Dec 27, 2015 emma rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, dnf, nope, reviewed
oh, yikes. this was so cringeworthy.

i couldn't bring myself to read every entry (that would've been spoiling myself for tons and tons of books i want to read in the future!) but i read a decent amount of these. and they were trying sooo hard.

the worst part of this book was probably how impressive its authors seemed to deem it. absolutely anyone can do this. all you need is a quick scan of sparknotes and a knowledge of semi-outdated slang to pull this off. everyone has, at some point, joked aroun
This was such a disappointment. I gave the second star pretty much only for the idea behind it, because that idea should have resulted in a really cool book. But it didn't.
There are a few lines that made me laugh, but mostly the writers just think they're being a lot more witty than they actually are, going for easy jokes instead of actual parody.
This would have been a 4 or 5 star book if (someone with a sense of humor and talent for parody like) Cleolinda had written it.
Amy Murphy
Jan 27, 2015 Amy Murphy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I really liked the idea of this book when I read the introduction, I always enjoy modernisations, and the idea of literature through modern media is really interesting for me. But I didn't think the book gave true "translations" of classic stories like it claimed, since it included inside meta jokes and judgements on the original stories. Furthermore, I thought the Twittter language didn't feel authentic or modern enough to really achieve its purpose.
Maria Paiz
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.
Favorites were Harry Potter (1-7), The Hobbit, and Eugene Onegin. Unfortunately the LOLZ did not entirely outweigh the groans, the fact that it's written by a couple of college boys would explain the fact that the humor is overwhelmingly 'dudish'.
idea carina e originale, e soprattutto simaptica, quella di "riscrivere" i grandi classici della letteratura (e Twilight!) sotto forma di tweets!!
Jan 06, 2010 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Definitely written by college sophomores. Borderline funny. But just borderline.
Apr 16, 2013 Flyingbroom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very funny indeed. Especially if you've read the classics mentioned in the book.
Sahar Sabati
I never thought classics could be so funny. And I never thought I would appreciate Twilight so much.

Twitterature is exactly what you think it is when you first hear the word: literature via Twitter. Imagine some of your favourite classics (and some less favourite ones that made you sweat in class): The Catcher in the Rye, Macbeth, The Iliad, The Three Musketeers. Now strip them of all the extra fluff, and image these stories told with only the bare essentials – as well as in 20 tweets of 140 cha
Sep 20, 2013 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
We all like our parodies, don't we? (if not I'll like them for you) From GR reviews to Tumblr tags to a snark of a commentary scrawled in the margins, guaranteed a smile if nothing else.

I used to have this lecturer who was one of those people who'd have some kind of inner orgasm over something he'd say that he'd perceive to be witty, profound or whatever in equal parts. Honestly, he'd have this self-serving wankdom of a smile after coming out with these one-liners like he'd passed on a riddle w
Caleb Abel
Aug 14, 2012 Caleb Abel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, laura-bc

Laura and I headed back to my hometown of Rocky Mount this past weekend to attend my little brother’s Homecoming. It’s a two hour drive each way, and thanks to a little Southern Snowstorm, we ended up with six total hours to blow. Fortunately, Laura, being the brilliant woman that she is, thought to buy a book pre-trip that would be easy to pick up and drop just as easily without worrying about remembering silly details like characters or setting or plot. The result this
Hannah (Filia Libri)
Diese und weitere Rezensionen findet ihr auf meinem Blog Anima Libri - Buchseele

Ich weiß ehrlich gesagt nicht so ganz, was ich von diesem Büchlein erwartet habe, aber enttäuscht hat es mich nichtsdestotrotz.

„Twitteratur: Weltliteratur in 140 Zeichen“ ist flach und – in meinen Augen – oftmals ziemlich geschmacklos, dazu ist der Titel für mich irreführend gewesen. Denn statt die Werke der Weltliteratur, die hier verhunzt werden, tatsächlich mit nur 140 Zeichen zusammen zu fassen, haben die Autoren
Sep 28, 2012 TheMadHatter rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, adult, humor
This book was written by two 19 year old college students and I'd take my hat off (if I was wearing one) to them for a really clever idea. They had an unique idea (taking the classics and twitterfying them), they executed it and they got it published in the mainstream. Impressive stuff.

However, this book really didn't work for me. Maybe I am too old, but I just didn't get the humor (most people think my humor is off key most of the time, so maybe that is a bad sign for this book if even I didn't
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Emmett L. Rensin (left) and Alexander Aciman (right) are sophomores at the University of Chicago. Alex has contributed several essays to The New York Times, is a devoted follower of Napoleon Bonaparte, and is known on occasion to enjoy a game of Bocce, or Pugilism. Emmett is a Huffington Post contributor and an ordained reverend and is devoted to accomplishing his three life goals: penning the Gre ...more
More about Alexander Aciman...

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