BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Long Story Short: 100 Classic Books in Three Panels by Lisa Brown [in Booklist]

So this isn’t Shakespeare. No, wait … but it is! King Lear: “My daughter is DEAD!” Romeo and Juliet: “My girlfriend is DEAD . . . Not really.” Hamlet: “I am DEAD.” Okay, so it’s not Moby Dick, and yet, here’s man hunting beast: “Captain Ahab is going to get that whale if it KILLS him. Hey, whales are really big! It DID kill him.” Author-illustrator Lisa Brown even condenses hubby Lemony Snicket’s 13-volume A Series of Unfortunate Events to “Adults are incompetent … or evil.”

Well, then.

Pithily reductive, Brown distills a hundred books, some short stories, and a few poems, each into three(-ish) clever panels presented in 11 playful chapters – “Big Thoughts” pairs the Old Testament with Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird; “Friends and Frenemies” features The Great Gatsby and Harriet the Spy­. Brown even sustains the chuckles to the final pages. Her “Index by Subject” boasts such droll entries as “Hegemony, Painful Continuation of,” under which Little House on the Prairie can be found.

Long story short? It’s lighter than CliffsNotes and quite possibly more entertaining than the originals (the horror, the horror!).

Review: “Graphic Novels,” Booklist, May 15, 2020

Readers: Young Adult, Adult

Published: 2020


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