Heather's Reviews > The Western Lit Survival Kit: An Irreverent Guide to the Classics, from Homer to Faulkner

The Western Lit Survival Kit by Sandra Newman
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This is the funniest book I've read since Haven Kimmel's "She Got Up Off the Couch," which was the funniest book I'd read since Haven Kimmel's "A Girl Named Zippy." In actual fact, "The Western Lit Survival Kit" is kind of like if Haven Kimmel wrote recaplets of the entire Western canon.

In some ways, Sandra Newman's book is a love letter to literature. And it's because she loves words and stories so much that she's able to take the piss out of every author and poet and book and sonnet without coming off like some kind of prick. I chewed through the book in two days, only putting it down because I was so overcome with guffaws I thought I might hurt myself if I didn't take a break. By the time I got to the Brontes, I basically spent the rest of the book crying tears of hilarity all down my face.

I couldn't figure out which passage to quote because they're all so good and I annotated so many, so I just opened the book to any old page and here's what I had highlighted:
One saving grace of The Faerie Queen is that it's in orgasmically bad taste. An example: in Book III, a giantess appears (out of nowhere, like everything else in The Faerie Queen), riding through the countryside, grabbing knights by the nape of the neck, slinging them over her saddle, and carrying them off to be her sex slaves. She will make do with animals if there are no knights. She and her brother Ollyphant, being twins, were already doing it in the womb; in fact, they were born fucking.
Also, after recapping all of Dickens, she turns to "A Christmas Carol" and says: "You probably know the plot of 'A Christmas Carol.' If you do not, you are a priceless resource that should not be tampered with."

This book is perfect, is what I am saying.
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message 1: by Ashley (new) - added it

Ashley Oh, I have to read this book.

P.S. YOU'RE WRITING REVIEWS AGAIN!!!!!


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