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Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters

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3.63  ·  Rating details ·  9,273 ratings  ·  1,820 reviews
Hilariously imagined text conversations—the passive aggressive, the clever, and the strange—from classic and modern literary figures, from Scarlett O’Hara to Jessica Wakefield.

Mallory Ortberg, the co-creator of the cult-favorite website The Toast, presents this whimsical collection of hysterical text conversations from your favorite literary characters. Everyone knows that
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Hardcover, 226 pages
Published November 4th 2014 by Henry Holt and Co.
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Popular Answered Questions
Heather The text exchanges are funnier if you know the book/author, or at least know ABOUT them. E.g. I haven't read Walden since high school, but I still cra…moreThe text exchanges are funnier if you know the book/author, or at least know ABOUT them. E.g. I haven't read Walden since high school, but I still cracked up over texts from hipster "off the grid" wannabe Henry David Thoreau. I haven't read Wuthering Heights, but I know the basic situation so the texts between Heathcliff and Cathy were hilarious.
OTOH I haven't read The Babysitters Club so I didn't think those texts were very funny. (less)
Lucy To some extent, yes, although mostly through widely known things. There's no storyline though so you could just skip books you haven't read if you are…moreTo some extent, yes, although mostly through widely known things. There's no storyline though so you could just skip books you haven't read if you are afraid of being spoilt (less)

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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  9,273 ratings  ·  1,820 reviews


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Roxane
Jul 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fuck you this is hilarious.
karen
this is the time of year i float reviews of fun books that would make nice presents. not for me, i already have them. i’m just being a kindly readers’ advisory holiday angel.

so, it's probably more like a 3.5, but i'm in a good mood.

two words of warning - 1) if you have the ARC of this, like i do, know that the formatting is frequently all kinds of jacked up, with missing words, text-bubbles on the wrong side of the conversation, attributed to the wrong character and etc etc. but you're a smart k
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Raeleen Lemay
Jun 23, 2015 rated it liked it
SOLID. My only problem was that I had only read about 25% of the books mentioned, so a ton of the jokes went right over my head. However, the ones I did understand were hilarious, and some that I didn't get were still funny too. I'll definitely be keeping this on hand so when I do read those books in the future, I can come back to this and have a good laugh.
Heidi The Reader
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, humor
Though the premise was clever, Texts from Jane Eyre reads a lot like text message conversations in real life- shallow and repetitive after the first few lines. Also, there wasn't a synopsis included in these pages, so if you hadn't read a classic or, if you'd read it so long ago that you'd forgotten most of it, you were out of luck.

The best of the lot was the Samuel Taylor Coleridge chapter that starts on pg 43 in which he's on a ramble about the golden palace of Kubla Khan and then a delivery g
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Alex
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
READ MALLORY ORTBERG'S BOOK
who
MALLORY ORTBERG
yeah who is that
MALLORY ORTBERG PERFECT AMAZON TRAIN GODDESS
that doesnt answer my question
perfect amazon train goddess is not actually a thing
IT IS A THING
no
IT IS A THING BECAUSE I SAY IT IS A THING
IT IS A THING BECAUSE IT IS A THING
your logic is unsound
YOUR FACE IS UNSOUND
...
I'M SORRY I'M JUST EXCITED
YOUR FACE IS SOUND
A VERY SOUND FACE
THE SOUNDEST FACE I KNOW
you still havent told me who she is
SHE IS MALLORY ORTBERG
jesus fuck okay lets try something e
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Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
I'm calling it now: This book is your go-to Christmas or birthday present for anyone bookish. It's the kind of book that I would probably never buy for myself - but I would definitely grab it for a literature-obsessed friend....and I would be delighted if someone got it for me.

The concept is simple - what if your favourite literary characters had cell phones and were able to text each other? What would they say? Would they use emoji? (Answer: YES).

As you can probably tell, this book is chock ful
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Ashley
If you’re ever having a bad day, you could do worse than self-medicating with maybe a hot bath or some hot cocoa or ice cream or soft pajamas or episodes of Gilmore Girls, but maybe also think about adding Texts From Jane Eyre in there as well. There were parts of this book that made me laugh until tears squeezed out of my eyeholes.

There were also other parts, mostly to do with classics and mythology, that made me glad I have my friendly Google machine at my disposal. (I’m still not quite sure I
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Sara
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: eh, satire
This...wasn't that funny. I admit I giggled a bit when Emily Dickinson madly texts her sister(?) from the yard yelling that everyone is snakes and its kind of stupid funny when Hamlet texts his mother about not putting "crunchy stuff" in his tuna fish sandwich but its also kinda pointless.

I'm just not really sure what the take home is here. While funny for the first ten or so pages eventually all these "characters" sound like the same pretentious hipster you're stuck talking to at a college part
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Ron Charles
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
If your kids are ignoring your messages, you can take some comfort in Mallory Ortberg’s LOL parody, “Texts from Jane Eyre” (Henry Holt, $23). In these pages, Ortberg offers us cellphone conversations with Plato, Harry Potter, Emily Dickinson and others. Each dialogue is catnip for English majors, and many of them are FOTFL. Imagine receiving a prank text from Ahab, or trying to get Nancy Drew’s attention when she’s on a case.

In the spirit of these witty dialogues, I interviewed Ortberg about her
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Moonkiszt
Within the first few minutes I busted out laughing, and I've gotta say that it continued that way to the very end. Reimagined texts from literary characters to their co-characters were dazzling, and hilarious!!!!! If you are moderately widely read, you'll get them all. Even if you aren't they'd be amusing, but having read the book from whence the characters spring will boost your laughter higher - and seriously some of it is so funny!

4 stars. Funny enough for 5, but it's under a 2 hour listen. D
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Diane Barnes
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
These are funny, until they're not. Probably should be read sporadically, one or two at a time. Gets boring very quickly.
Mike
Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Texts from Jane Eyre takes a nice poke at some of literature's greatest characters and works, re-imagining them in a world with texting. Ortberg does a lovely and loving job magnifying the flaws of great literary characters through this medium. Here are some of my favorites:

Medea:

Medea: anyhow so to SHOW YOU how soft my feelings are
I got you guys a wedding present!!!...
Glauce [Jason's new bride]: oh! you must mean the box that came on Thursday
Medea: yessssss I TOTALLY MEAN THAT
Glauce: it's a dre
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Punk
Nov 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Literary Humor. What if Plato had a cell phone? Or: Finally, a use for my English degree.

I love Ortberg's sense of humor. One of the best things I've read this year was a line from his Toast piece How To Tell If You Are In A Thomas Hardy Novel : "You saw a tractor once, and hated it."

I've never read even a single Thomas Hardy novel, and that line is still hilarious to me. It's the comma, really. I imagine if I were familiar with Hardy, the joke would be even funnier. And so it is with this bo
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K.
Nov 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
The section from Wuthering Heights is simply perfect.
c: oh my god
what are you going to scream at my grave
h: oh man
what aren't i going to scream at your grave
i'll scream everything
i'll scream at your soul
c: good good
h: i'll scream about what a bitch you were
c: i am so excited
i am going to just
ruin heaven with my screaming back at you
h: that is so sweet of you to do that
c: i'll just murder everyone's heart
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
OH.MY.GAWD.

Poe, Sherlock, Les Miserables, BSC and WCW cracked me UP! I literally couldn't breathe for a minute and was sitting here making wheeze noises. It got weird looks from 1 man + 2 cats. I feel accomplished.

But I need to read more of the classics! I didn't skip any of these but there are so many where I don't know the story that I didn't quite get the jokes all the way, you know? So I shall return to this at a later date, and probably with a full oxygen tank.
Bonnie
Texts From Jane Eyre: the re-imagined conversations between literary characters if they all carried a smartphone. Sounds hilarious, but I admittedly didn’t have much interest in this initially because I feared far too much of this would go right over my head considering I’m quite ignorant of the vast majority of “classics”. I listened to a 60 second clip of this audiobook though and I was already cracking up so I decided to give this one a shot regardless. Texts From Jane Eyre goes beyond just J ...more
Kalena
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Thought this was an interesting idea and there were a couple I thought were quite humorous. However, the language and some of the interpretations were more crude than witty. And as Maggie Smith says, “Vulgarity is no substitute for wit.”
Susana
Dec 16, 2014 rated it really liked it


Now this was a laugh out loud, insane as you can get, _and also educational! _ combination of hilarious dialogues between characters of some literary famous masterpieces....and other literary oddities! ;)

For instance, we have some dialogues between Medea and Glauce (Jason's second wife...or better yet, second wife of his harem..since he was still married. The bastard!):

you probably already have a million plans, it’s your wedding
it was just my favorite part of my wedding
(except for the par
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Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Here's my one sentence review: this book is so hilarious, it's coming with me to the delivery room for when I need a laugh. (My midwife says laughing helps relieve pain and anxiety).

This deliciously irreverent volume re-imagines classic and favorite books, poems, and authors from Western literature and recasts them as a series of text messages. Featuring over sixty pieces, each just a few pages long, characters and story arcs are distilled into snarky, silly, and sublime extremes: Rochester is a
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Elizabeth
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Am I that easy?
I don't even care.

The Outsiders texts? i die.

Meet the American Girls: Meet Samantha/Meet Molly/Meet Addy/Meet Kirsten/Meet Felicity/Boxed Set texts? i can't even.

Emily Dickinson texts? i think i might have giggled and/or tittered.

And, the Atlas Shrugged texts? i effin' cackled. then followed that up with a horselaugh.

So fun.
Thanks for the shits and giggles, Mallory Ortberg.
I love your work on The Toast.
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Jessica
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm laughing so hard right now. Ortberg has managed to capture the essence of dozens, DOZENS of works of literature and authors in a few choice texts. Everything from Jane Eyre to Fight Club can be found here. The Babysitters' Club. Medea. William Blake texting his wife is freaking hysterical. "I already have so many watercolors of flayings." Absolutely hilarious, and a must-read for anyone who considers themselves well-read!
K.
4.5 stars.

HILARIOUS.

It's exactly what it sounds like - various classic stories (ranging from Medea to Harry Potter and everything in between) retold in text messages. I laughed out loud numerous times. I think the Medea and the Jane Eyre ones were my favourites, but they were all pretty wonderful. (Although I will admit that I skim read the handful that I didn't know of)

A really quick and easy read, and a fabulous way to start my reading for 2017!
Kaethe Douglas
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ortberg is genius. Her text conversations as distillations of famous works of literature are brilliant, especially of classics which don't have a clear plot line. Not that The Hunger Games isn't mighty amusing as well. Not recommended for anyone who isn't at least passing familiar with the books being parodied, because they're just not very funny if you don't get it.

Library copy
Allie
Highly recommended! I was cackling like a maniac when I read this on the bus. I think it should be mandatory reading for all librarians and bookish types!

All of these texts are so on point! Most of these are books I haven't even read, but have merely a passing familiarity. Danny Lavery's work (read the Toast!) is so bitingly funny, he perfectly distills these characters, authors, and conflicts to their petulant teen essentials. I died (DIED!) when I read the section on the American Girl books, e
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Andrea
It seems almost petty to blame this book for being pretty much what you would expect. However, for having TONS of source material to work with, a lot of the "chapters" seemed to fall short or go for more juvenile jokes than could have been made. I can’t say I was familiar with all the works and authors here so I did skim a little when it wasn’t material I was familiar with. Even some of those I was familiar with seemed to fall a bit short of the level of wit and cleverness I was hoping for. A so ...more
Heather
Aug 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
I am so glad I waited until I was drunk to read the Pride and Prejudice one. I saved it especially for being drunk. It did not disappoint, in a big way. I laughed so much it hurt me, also in a good way.
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Apr 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor
Parts of this were fun, but apparently I've read very few classics... and most of the jokes went over my head.
Sherry
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-this-year
This book is hilarious! Made me laugh so hard that now I must rush out and buy a copy. The texts between Cathy and Heathcliff are priceless.
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Moments where I was like what? What is going on? Okay that was kind of funny. This sounded hilarious. And it was. Some of the titles I recognized. I read some and others simply heard of. Fun but quick read.
Sarah
Mar 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Like the wonderful ShrinkLits: Seventy of the World's Towering Classics Cut Down to Size, full enjoyment of this book is based upon the reader's familiarity with the authors and texts referred to. Fortunately for me, I'd read a little over half of the books Ortberg's series of texted conversations refer to, and am familiar enough with another quarter to get the gist. For the remaining works, I relied on Wikipedia entries to assist in interpretation.
Several of the texted conversations were very c
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