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Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don't Float: Classic Lit Signs on to Facebook

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  460 ratings  ·  105 reviews
When humorist Sarah Schmelling transformed Hamlet into a Facebook news feed, it launched the next big humor trend-Facebook lit. This hilarious book is the first to bring more than fifty authors and stories from classic literature back to life and online. Schmelling uses the conventions of social networking-profile pages, status updates, news feeds, and applications-to rete ...more
Paperback, 273 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by Plume Books (first published July 23rd 2009)
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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  460 ratings  ·  105 reviews

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Dec 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is such a hoot! My husband (an English major) and I both really enjoy it. (The part on Jane Austen's Profile and the News Feed with "Pride and Prejudice" characters is my especial delight!) It's a book that is just great fun to skim over now and then when you want a good chuckle; it's very clever and witty and pays homage to the greats in Literature. I love that it brings them current with "Facebook" without demeaning the actual stories/characters themselves. I haven't read all the ent ...more
Oct 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Several years ago, a "Hamlet on Facebook" floated around the internet... Well, the author has published a book, presenting many of literature's classics through the medium of Facebook. We get a newsfeed of Shakespeare's history plays... we can take a "What sort of adulterous woman are you" quiz and read Hester Prynne's and Madame Bovary's squabblings about it... or see famous authors argue on someone-or-other's profile... It's like one giant in-joke for English majors.

The book is best taken in
Oct 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: paper
This was amusing, but not quite as funny overall as I hoped it would be. I did chuckle at the sections on Jane Austen and the Brontes. My favorite part was Oscar Wilde's profile page, which devolved into a quip battle between Wilde, Mark Twain, and William Shakespeare. (I'm glad I just read The Picture of Dorian Gray, which helped me appreciate that section a lot more!) I also appreciated the arguments between Joyce & Faulkner and Hemingway. :-)
Aug 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Very funny, particularly to me as I'm a Facebook addict (but a fan of the old-style Facebook feed - which is the format used in this book) and a fan of classic literature.
Dec 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A must read for anyone who loves literature and uses facebook. Hysterically funny.
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
So I picked up the book Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don’t Float mainly because I love anything Hamlet and anything Ophelia.

What I got was WAY more than I expected. First off this book is hilarious. It goes through a number of the classics by making them all like facebook.

So each novel has clubs they join, news feed updates, games they play, apps they add, friend request and comments, and this is how the author tells their stories.

She also added some author input and some sarcastic snark
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: English majors, readers of classics
Shelves: non-fiction, humor
Entertaining and often laugh-out-loud funny, at least for the books I've actually read or read about.

Favorite Parts -

Pride & Prejudice Page:
Elizabeth sent Happy Feelings to Mr. Darcy.
Mr. Darcy: I don't receive gifts from people who are obviously beneath me.
Elizabeth: Yes, and it must be hard to see with your head so far up your butt.
Mr. Darcy has changed his privacy settings.

James Joyce's Profile:
James Joyce is.
Mark Twain: Is...what?
Charles Dickens: Yes, why not finish your sentence? You h
Feb 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Pretty darn funny, especially if you've read the books and authors parodied inside. And are a facebook user, of course. Some, of course were funnier than others. I think my favorites were Romeo and Juliet with its teen over-exaggeration and angst ("Juliet OMG hooked up with random guy! Don't even know his NAME"), Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with its differing font sizes and comments from a wide range of characters and authors (Morpheus and Neo from the Matrix, Charlie, Jack, Kate and Sawyer ...more
Jessamyn Leigh
Dec 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2015
Wow, I forgot what Facebook used to be like, lol.

This wasn't as funny as I hoped, but it had its moments. Gatsby was especially good.
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
It's no secret that I love classic lit, and I love literary jokes (I think it's safe to say this to other book lovers) so when I saw the book Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don't Float: Classic Lit Signs on to Facebook by Sarah Schmelling I had to buy it. Literally had to, I couldn't wait to get it. And let me tell you my friends, it was worth full-price. Let me sum up the book for you the short way: Classic Lit characters and authors on Facebook. Status updates, groups, poking and all. Th ...more
C.O. Bonham
Nov 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People on Facebook and Classic book snobs
This was a really funny book. And I firmly believe that you don't have to be a bookworm to get the jokes. I have only read about half of the books that Schmelling Spoofs. This is not a book club book (though I guess you could start a book club with it by trying to read every book it mentions) that is to say dont sit down and treat it like a novel (there is not plot)but you will get the same enjoyment if you read it cover to cover or if you just skip around. Though please do read it all because s ...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I first learned about this in a First Reads giveaway, and was intrigued by the title. Who wouldn't be? (Besides, of course, people who don't care for black humor.) I didn't win, alas; and since my library didn't get the book and I wasn't interested enough to buy it, I sort of let it sit on my to-read list for a while. Then, one day, I saw it sitting in the remainder bin at a Borders, and snagged it.

Verdict: the introduction is amusing, and the gimmick/premise is promising. The Facebook adaptatio
Anna Francesca
Aug 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
This book was great at first, but it went on too long. Also, while I have read many of the books parodied, some I have not. Most of those jokes went over my head, and I bet this is a common occurance. I still like the idea of this text and think it could be a jumping-off point for student projects. I am also impressed by how well-versed the author is in both classic literature and online formats. One amusing section, for example, is a quiz of whether a situation came from a Shakespearean comedy ...more
Eustacia Tan
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
A Very Short Review:

This book is perfect for lovers of literature. Provided, of course, you have a healthy sense of humour about the classics. If you think that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a travesty and that Android Karenina should be thrown into flames, you probably won't like this book. But if you like to make jokes about the various book (litmus test: watch Huck Finn in 4 minutes. If you laugh, the odds are you'll like it).

My literature (English A1 HL) class and I loved this book. We
Oct 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour
Really really funny, but probably only to big fans of English lit. At least, the numerous friends and relatives who I subjected to out loud recitations of (in my mind) some of the funniest parts did not find it that funny. They didn't laugh, and eye rolling was prevalent. I even got a few "Who's Hester Prynne?" Silly plebeian friends and relatives. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It made me want to go back and revisit some of my favourite classics and read some that I never got around to (i.e. Gr ...more
Oct 15, 2010 rated it liked it
What Facebook would be like if your favorite characters and authors all joined and began status-updating, friend requesting, and Farmville-playing their lives away. Mostly clever. You have to be pretty well-read to be able to enjoy all of it, which I am not, so there were a quite a few chapters I skipped. After the first few, some of it started to feel really repetitive. The first piece about Hamlet (the one that started it all) is still the best one. Read that and then if you're not an English ...more
Kristy Sherrod
Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves classic lit!
Recommended to Kristy by: Ash
Shelves: favorites
"Elizabeth threw a sheep at Mr. Darcy." This is only one of the many hilarious lines from the Sarah Schmelling's book Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don't Float: Classic Lit Signs on to Facebook. Schmelling has brilliantly taken our obsession with social networking and applied it to some of our favorite authors and characters from classic literature.

Read more at Coffee & Literature
Oct 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
I absolutely adored this book. HI-larious stuff. Of course it combines two of my favorite things: literature and facebook. Some of my favorite sections are the live feed for Hamlet and Jane Eyre and Oscar Wilde's profile.

The secret to continue loving this book is to equate it with the candy Sour Patch Kids. Taken in moderate doses, it provides excellent entertainment, it's stimulating, and induces a euphoric high (much like a sugar rush). But if the reader over-indulges it can leave one jaded,
Mar 16, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, humor
I never actually looked through this book before I bought it. I saw it when I was standing in line at the bookstore and went home to look it up on Amazon. I got the premise, classic literature does Facebook but for some reason I just thought it would be more...novel-y. It is literally classic literature done as a series of Facebook posts. Not that great. Humorous at times but it really didn't hold my interest. Also helps if you've read the books and/or authors under consideration recently.
Nov 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
"Pip became a fan of Mean Girls." The perfect book for the literary nerd with a substantial sense of humor. I loved it, and appreciated the author's obvious love of, and respect for, classic literature. Of course, it's not for everyone. However, even if you haven't read all the books included, it's still a very fun read, and the hilarious sum-ups of the books you haven't read may pique your interest in reading the actual book.
This was a really cool concept. Unfortunately, one of the pieces (Pride and Prejudice via Facebook) has already been done (see McSweeneys' website), and it the other version was better. Still, it was a funny concept, and Oscar Wilde's profile was pretty funny.

Schmelling might have done better focusing on a couple of pieces and making them really good rather than churning out a whole book of mediocre ones.
Nov 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Authors and characters from well-known books create Facebook pages with both info from their classic stories as well as imagined opinions, thoughts, and funny connections between them as seen by their feeds, the groups they join and writing on each other's walls. It's not necessary to read through it front to back, but rather perfect for randomly opening to various pages for a surprise that will make you laugh. I received this book through Goodreads First Reads giveaway.
Kristen Northrup
Nov 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, own
This is a book to browse periodically rather than read straight through. The gimmick is too specific for things to not get redundant after a chapter or two. That said, I was pleasantly surprised by how much variety she worked into that theme.

Many of the Facebook applications used here are long gone, but their gist is clear enough.

Most entries only make sense if you've actually read the source works. This is not a fun version of Cliffs Notes.
Suzan Alteri
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book - although at times it could be a bit even. Hear from your favorite (and not-so-favorite) characters from classic literature via News feeds in social media. A very clever idea a good introduction to some authors you probably never considered reading before. This would be a great book for reluctant readers who aren't into the canon, or for those who are and want a fun read.
Apr 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Funny way to modernize literature ala Facebook and Twitter update style. It should have had more separate sections to go over fully the other Shakespeare comedies instead of intertwining them (just my opinion). Also it would have nice to have some of the updates on Wilde stories, like Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest. And more profile information on Shakespeare, Shelley, Dickens, etc. In conclusion, literary buffs will find it a carefree way to look at the classics updated.
Nov 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: want-to-own
This book was somewhat bawdy (depending on which novel or play Schmelling was spoofing), funny, and a bit irreverent. Schmelling imagines what many of the English language classic works of literature would be like if they took place on facebook! This book is NOT a good source for literature summaries: it is purely tongue-in-cheek entertainment. HOWEVER, it will not be entirely funny to you if you aren't familiar with all of the literature that is referenced.
Nov 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: firstreads
What fun. A great coffee table book for any literature fanatic in the facebook age. I laughed aloud at Edgar Allan Poe's profile/wall and the Lost references that pop up in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It's like you're having a conversation with a fellow literature nerd, and she's pretty funny.
J. Alfred
Oct 12, 2010 rated it liked it
"Hester Prynne recieved a peice of flair."
"Richard III can't hear you cause I'm killing everybody!"
"The Serpent created the group Keeping the Tempted in Unattempted."
And, my favorite, Dickens on Joyce: "But why?"
I laughed and laughed. I may still be laughing.
If you're a big nerd (a category-Jed nerd), you might just enjoy this book.
Jan 05, 2011 rated it liked it
This little book has a clever premise. We see the Facebook pages and "walls" for literary figures. He modern electronic slant and quick jabs are often hilarious. The downside is you need to have read a lot of these books to get all the wit so I have got more out of the authors I have actually read.
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Sarah Schmelling is an American journalist and humor writer. She has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Spin, Slate, Variety, The Washington Post, Real Simple, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times and McSweeney's Internet Tendency, where the popular "Hamlet (Facebook News Feed Edition)" first appeared. The piece inspired her book, "Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don't Float: Classic ...more
“Suffice it to say I was compelled to create this group in order to find everyone who is, let's say, borrowing liberally from my INESTIMABLE FOLIO OF CANONICAL MASTERPIECES (sorry, I just do that sometimes), and get you all together. It's the least I could do.

I mean, seriously. Those soliloquies in Moby-Dick? Sooo Hamlet and/or Othello, with maybe a little Shylock thrown in. Everyone from Pip in Great Expectations to freakin' Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre mentions my plays, sometimes completely mangling my words in nineteenth-century middle-American dialect for humorous effect (thank you, Sir Clemens). Many people (cough Virginia Woolf cough) just quote me over and over again without attribution. I hear James Joyce even devoted a chapter of his giant novel to something called the "Hamlet theory," though do you have some sort of newfangled English? It looks like gobbledygook to me. The only people who don't seek me out are like Chaucer and Dante and those ancient Greeks. For whatever reason.

And then there are the titles. The Sound and the Fury? Mine. Infinite Jest? Mine. Proust, Nabokov, Steinbeck, and Agatha Christie all have titles that are me-inspired. Brave New World? Not just the title, but half the plot has to do with my work. Even Edgar Allan Poe named a character after my Tempest's Prospero (though, not surprisingly, things didn't turn out well for him!). I'm like the star to every wandering bark, the arrow of every compass, the buzzard to every hawk and gillyflower ... oh, I don't even know what I'm talking about half the time. I just run with it, creating some of the SEMINAL TOURS DE FORCE OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. You're welcome.”
“Hester received Punishment Flair. She was sent an A to wear upon her chest and told she must stand before the town with her baby, Pearl.
Hester is not enjoying her flair.”
More quotes…