90-second review: "Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don't Float"
Author: Sarah Schmelling
Synopsis: The McSweeney's contributor and D.C. resident has given Facebook a literary makeover. Books and authors including Hamlet, Edgar Allan Poe, Anna Karenina and Ernest Hemingway are introduced to social media -- with varying degrees of success.
Review: The book begins with an invitation to join "William Shakespeare's Admirable, Righteous, Singluar, and Incomparable Booke Club Group," and continues its pithy, saucy tone through Jack Kerouac's profile, in which his interests include "Jazz, spontaneity, the road, steam of consciousness and the mad people."
I especially enjoyed the Dante's Inferno Quiz, in which you can discover which circle of hell you are destined for; and of course Jane Austen's tumultuous affair with the Web site that begins with astonishment at 4,537 friend requests and ends with the literary genius' love of her own wordplay in status updates. And the 20th reunion for the Lord of the Flies is downright devilish -- I can absolutely imagine Jack mocking Survivor (no hunting?!) and working as a script advisor for Lost.
While it's difficult to read this book straight through, I did get a sense of timesuck that always accompanies my time on Facebook, so kudos to Schmelling for recreating the best and worst of the medium.
If you liked: Facebook, MySpace, classic literature, or making fun of every book you had to read in high school, you'll love reliving these tomes through the Internet prism.
Avoid this if: Making fun of Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, Oscar Wilde or Emily Bronte raises your blood pressure. No one is safe in Schmelling's social network!