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

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3.65  ·  Rating details ·  8,034 Ratings  ·  1,594 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
...more
Hardcover, 226 pages
Published November 4th 2014 by Henry Holt and Co.
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Popular Answered Questions
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)
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…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)

Community 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
...more
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.
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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
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 book
...more
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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Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
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
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 part wh
...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.”
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
...more
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.
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!
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. Mallory Ortberg's work (read the Toast!) is so bitingly funny, she perfectly distills these characters, authors, and conflicts to their petulant teen essentials. I died (DIED!) when I read the section on the American Girl book
...more
Kaethe
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
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.
Kristina
May 16, 2017 added it
Shelves: readathon17
Όχι ακριβώς βιβλίο αλλά σίγουρα διαβάζεται εύκολα, κάποια ήταν απλώς αστεία texts (για τους χαρακτήρες που δεν ήξερα), αλλα για εκείνους που ήξερα ήταν ξεκαρδιστικά. (Θα γελάω για πάντα με τον Hamlet).Γνώρισα και αγάπησα την Mallory Ortberg ως δημιουργό του ΦΑΝΤΑΣΤΙΚΟΥ The Toast,ένα από τα πολυτιμότερα δώρα που μου έδωσε ποτέ το ίντερνετ ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/t... ) κ ευκαιρία να μοιραστώ για ακόμα μία φορά το λινκ με το οποίο έχω γελάσει περισσότερο από οτιδήποτε άλλο τα τελευτα ...more
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.
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
Just OK. The idea is very cute and some of these were funny, but most of them weren't that clever.
Malin
Oh people, how do I even start reviewing this book? I'm pretty sure I devoured the whole thing in less than two hours total (in between running errands, meeting up with friends, working and other stuff). I can tell you that for the bits that worked for me (about 75% of the book), I laughed so hard on occasion that my abs hurt.

I kept quouting bits out loud at my husband, demanding that he also load this onto his e-reader, so he can read the whole glorious thing. I have long been a huge fan of a l
...more
Magali
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
(Reread in April 2015... still stand by this review.)

A perfect five stars for one of the smartest, funniest and best-read voices out there today. Mallory Ortberg is a gift to humankind.

In case the title didn’t give it away, this book imagines what conversations with historical, literary and artistic figures might have sounded like if they had access to text messaging. Most of the entries are short, a few pages only, but they perfectly encapsulate the subject’s character and voice and tell the wh
...more
Dixie Conley
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
I received a copy of this book in return for a review.

Well, at least it's a quick read. The copy I received is obviously not the finished version. The formatting needs some work, as it's hit or miss whether a text bubble fully encloses its text or indeed if there is a text bubble at all. I also noticed some typos and misnumbering of sections, along with the table of contents being unnumbered.

I'd expected the book to be a humorous riff on classic literature and, to a certain extent, it was. But a
...more
Joy Olivia
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Texts from Jane Eyre was a fast (~1.5 hours) and funny read. I was expecting something along the lines of 2009's Twitterature, but unlike that popular literature-meets-meme book, this read had more genuine LOL moments than not. Filled with lots of wit and charm (Ortberg's occasional use of emoji is perfect), the text conversations are entertaining even when you haven't read the reference book—impressive! An ideal read for a long commute or a lazy afternoon at the beach. Having finished, I now so ...more
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