Literature classics in 140 characters

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 July, 2011, 12:00am


By Alexander Aciman and Emmett Rensin
Published by Penguin
ISBN 978 0141047713

Twittermania has been applied to the world's greatest literature. Students bewildered by Hamlet will finally understand what he's saying as the Prince of Denmark's self-doubt is translated into webspeak.

Welcome to Twitterature.

The book is by two University of Chicago students, Alex Aciman and Emmett Rensin.

With a full glossary of online acronyms and Twitter terms, Twitterature is an easy and hilarious introduction to more than 60 literature greats.

Writing from the perspective of the protagonist(s), Aciman and Rensin have converted everything from Macbeth to The Da Vinci Code into tweets (up to 140 characters each).

The book not only reduces the text, but translates it into contemporary, teen-relatable language (from The Great Gatsby: 'Gatsby is so emo. Who cries about his girlfriend while eating breakfast ... IN THE POOL?'), and incorporates common chat abbreviations (from Hamlet: '2bornt2b? Can one tweet beyond the mortal coil?'), as well as internet cultural references (from Frankenstein: 'Just did a bit-torrent-style grave robbery').

Even if you've never considered reading classics like the epic Latin poem The Aeneid or the 17th-century Paradise Lost, there is a lot to enjoy here. And literary enthusiasts, too, will be amused by the summarised versions of their favourites.

Needless to say, you'll impress others with your knowledge without having to plod through long, complicated texts.

Contains some strong language