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Not Quite the Classics

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  528 ratings  ·  98 reviews
"Colin Mochrie is a comedic and creative force to be reckoned with. Therefore, this book is a literary force to be reckoned with. If you are too lazy for reckoning, just read this book and everything will work out nicely." -BRAD SHERWOOD
"Colin Mochrie is devastatingly handsome, perilously smart, and smells like w
Paperback, 194 pages
Published July 12th 2013 by Diversion Publishing (first published November 6th 2012)
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This collection is by the famous Colin Mochrie, and if you do not know who he is, we can't really be friends (unless you are from a non-English speaking country, cause you get a pass). What Mochrie has done is take the first and last lines from famous novels and construct his own stories around them.

Three of the stories are relatively in the same view as the origin. "A Study in Ha-Ha" feature Sherlock Holmes and his study of comedy. "Casey at the Bar" is a Canadian take on the famous Casey at t
Aug 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian, humour
If you're even a casual fan of Colin Mochrie, then you already know that he is a funny, funny man. He has a peculiar sort of humor, blending Canadian stereotypical politeness with an often surprising edge, but he is as clever as he is frantic. When I first hear he was taking the Whose Line is it Anyway approach to a short story collection with Not Quite the Classics, I knew I was going to have to read it.

A Study in Ha Ha opens the collection with a Sherlock Holmes homage so absurd, so inconceiva
Rebecca McNutt
Canadian author Colin Mochrie's reimaginings of classic fiction, from old nursery rhymes to 20th century picture books, are hilarious and very creative.
Mathew Bookworm Smith
If you are at all familiar with who Colin Mochrie is you won't be surprised to hear that the stories are funny, quirky, and sometimes just plain weird. Mochrie is that joking Canadian who stars on Who's Line is it Anyways? (and is also a part of the This Hour Has 22 Minutes - The Classic Canadian political satire show anyone?), so he has the chops to make people laugh...but, you ask, does his humour translate well onto the written page?
For the most part, yes. And, to my surprise his overall writ
Nicola Mansfield
Dec 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Colin Mochrie, famous for his improv, has put his talent into story format and written a book! Not Quite the Classics is not quite literature but is full of a dozen rollicking good yarns. Each story starts with the first sentence of a classic piece of literature and ends with its last sentence. These are printed in bold so the reader knows when they start and stop. In between those appropriated words are rambling pieces of comedic buffoonery that could only come from the mind of Colin Mochrie. I ...more
Lexxi Kitty

I had been aware of this book for a while, but I'd only seen it available as an audio book. The other day I ran across it again, saw it was an ebook and . . . bought the audio book (and the ebook). Whereupon I found out that Colin Mochrie was a damn good narrator for the few stories I actually listened to instead of read. There were reasons, partially - 'it was easier at the time to read than to listen'; but mostly - 'I found that I needed to really pay attention to get the full enjoyment of the
Roy Bou Hadir
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is in short-story format and takes the first and last line of 12 classics and makes his own story in-between.
If you've read all 12 of them (Sherlock Holmes, Moby-Dick, Casey at the Bat, 1984, A Tale of Two Cities, The Cat in the Hat, Frankenstein, Slaughterhouse-five, Twas the Night Before Christmas, The Great Gatsby, Rebecca and Fahrenheit 451), you'd notice that each short story reflects the writing style and personalities that come from every one of those books.
If you've enjoyed a
Hannah Givens
Stories (and a few narrative poems) ranging from "that was okay" to "hey, that was pretty good!"
Avery (ThePagemaster)
YAY! I'VE REACHED 500 BOOKS READ ON GOODREADS! *cue confetti and fireworks and explosions* DAB!

Now, I've been a fan of Colin Mochrie ever since I discovered "Whose Line is it Anyway?", and for those of you that don't know that show, first off, move out of that rock you're living in. Anyway, WLiiA is a improv comedy show where four improv comics are given certain scenarios, objects or even impressions of famous people and make a quick scene with it. Colin Mochrie OWNED every episode with his quic
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reads
Colin Mochrie is best known for being a master of improvisational comedy. By his own admission he went into improv because he does not like to work; “One of the reasons I became an improvisor was so that my workload would be light. I don’t have to learn lines or go for wardrobe fittings … I just need a stage and someone to work with”. When encouraged to write a book – he balked – after all how can you translate improv into the written word and it sounded like a lot of work. Unrelenting, he was c ...more
Renny Barcelos
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
That's it, I'm now sure that there's nothing Colin Mochrie could do that I wouldn't love and laugh hysterically at.
Seriously, this man is absolutely brilliant.

I had to listen to this audiobook only at home, alone, so I wouldn't end up in a straightjacket, laughing by myself on the train. There's no way to control yourself while listening to Colin himself read these stories. This book is dangerous! Be prepared to laugh like you've never laughed before with a book!
I didn't read every story in this book, some were just too long or not funny. The ones I liked were really good though, especially the Night Before Christmas one, lol. Did I laugh out loud, not really, but I did giggle a few times. This book wasn't what I was expecting but I'm glad I gave it a go.
Sep 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I borrowed this book from my local book. It was a good comedy fiction book of stories that were classic stories with his comedic twist on them. I enjoyed reading it. I also enjoyed when he stared in the improve show on TV called whose line is it anyway. I liked that show.
Dec 13, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian, humour
Some stories were better than others. I liked the idea about using first and last lines of classic stories. I enjoyed the Night before Christmas poem - quite funny.
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Great concept with mostly mixed results. The Night before Xmas tale, and Sherlock stories were good.
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moch 12

The clever premise of this book of 12 short stories, is that Mochrie starts from the first and last line of a famous novel and weaves his own narrative in between with a nod or two to the original for comic effect. It’s a literary form of improv. Most are successful, which is good in improv terms. I agree with other reviewers that the best pieces are based on familiar poems, “Casey at the Bar” - Casey as a former Leaf’s goalie striking out as a ladies man; “The Cat and My Dad” - a hilario
Ben Lund
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book, not every one of the stories may work for every person, but you can't deny the humour in the simple idea of what Colin has done here. The concept sounds like it shouldn't work, but it really does. Fitting the stories between the first and last lines requires some subtle wordplay and some verbal gymnastics but the nature of Colin's improv background really shines as he gave me story after story that I was not expecting. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall of his tho ...more
Andrea Stoeckel
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“There is an improv game called First Line, Last Line, in which the beginning and the ending are supplied by the audience and the improvisers make up the rest. I could do that in a book. Take the first and last line of famous novels, make up the middle, and voila! So I found twelve classics with first and last lines that inspired me....”

I normally don’t buy ebooks from a regular email I get- going for the “freebies”. However, wave ANYTHING by Colin Mochrie in front of me, and I’m there.

In this c
Oct 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Colin Mochrie and his improv comedy, but when it comes to humor writing, he's really hit or miss. Not Quite the Classics is a collection of short stories with a cool concept: Take the first and last line of classics and then write a completely new story around them. However, I couldn't help but feel like Mochrie was a college creative writing student trying to meet a deadline and just crank out as much as possible (or more likely, his agent told him he had to write a book and this is what ...more
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I ordered this book once I found out that it was for sale. I began watching Whose Line Is It Anyway before it was ABC---when Colin Mochrie was on the BBC version. The man is hilarious. And so is this book. I have only found his spin-off on "The Great Gatsby" to be a little long and hard to follow, but I was half asleep when I read it. Colin Mochrie did an amazing job of writing funny stories, just as he does an amazing job on Whose Line Is It Anyway. I have been laughing ever since I bought this ...more
Olivia Ambrose
What a fun book! If I didn't know who had written this book, my guess probably would have been Colin Mochire. It definitely carries his sense of humor. And what a perfect book for an improv performer - I had fun guessing where the stories were going to go, especially the ones I knew the last lines of. I particularly enjoyed "A Tale of Two Citters," "Franken's Time," and "'Twas Not Right Before Christmas." That's not to say the otheres weren't good because they all are! Those are just my favorite ...more
May 20, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This makes me sad. I love his comedy, his quick wit, his off kilter style. I did not, however, love his book. It left me more confused than entertained. I give him credit for his ability to switch writing themes. Maybe it was the nasty head cold that kept me from laughing more than I had expected.
Stan Sieler
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable set of pastiches. Colin writes 13 short stories in the style of 13 authors,
ranging from Dickens, to Sherlock Holmes, to Moby Dick, to Frankenstein, to Fahrenheit 451.
[pardon my mixing authors and stories!]
Some are outright hilarious, a couple miss the mark a bit.
Overall: very enjoyable
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A creative tour de force, with imaginative storytelling and a wit like no other, Colin Mochire makes for an amazing selection of short stories based off of classic literature that most anyone is sure to enjoy.
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book of short stories and poems. I really enjoyed most of them. Some were not so great, but that is only my opinion.
I love Colin on the Who's Line show and he does say at the beginning of the book that writing is hard.
BTW some of it is really funny!!
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everything I've ever wanted in a book

Utterly charming. Deliciously written. Profoundly hilarious. I devoured this book. A good time read for those days when average prose starts to get you down.
Kay Cammack
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A classic of Its Own

This book is hilarious, sweet, perverse and definitely worth the read! The concept is brilliant. A Tale of Two Critters had me laughing from the first paragraph on, although it’s a somewhat melancholy tale. I absolutely love this book. Highly recommend it.
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny, creative
Original stories of classic tales. Very improvisation.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Might have rated this as 1.5 stars if it were available. Mochrie tried, so I give him credit, but where's the humor? I never smiled once.
Actual rating: 3.5/5

This was a lot go fun and there were really on two stories that were kind of slow otherwise it was unique short story ride that didn't take its self to seriously.
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“Tell me, Doctor. Which is funnier: a goat or a duck?” “I beg your pardon?” “It’s a simple query. Goat or duck?” “Well…duck.” At that, Holmes dropped down as if dodging a projectile. A few seconds later, he popped up. “Did you see what I did there? I mistook your meaning of duck and turned it into a humorous situation.” “Holmes, have you had any sleep?” “No time. Awake or asleep, the duck misunderstanding is highly amusing.” 5 likes
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