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5.0 

The Western Lit Survival Kit

By Sandra Newman
The Western Lit Survival Kit by Sandra Newman digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

A side-splitting tour that makes it a blast to read the Western literary canon, from the ancient Greeks to the Modernists.

To many, the Great Books evoke angst: the complicated Renaissance dramas we bluffed our way through in college, the dusty Everyman's Library editions that look classy on the shelf but make us feel guilty because they've never been opened. On a mission to restore the West's great works to their rightful place (they were intended to be entertaining!), Sandra Newman has produced a reading guide like no other. Beginning with Greek and Roman literature, she takes readers through hilarious detours and captivating historical tidbits on the road to Modernism. Along the way, we find parallels between Rabelais and South Park, Jane Austen and Sex and the City, Jonathan Swift and Jon Stewart, uncovering the original humor and riskiness that propelled great authors to celebrity.

Packed with pop culture gems, stories of literary hoaxes, ironic day jobs for authors, bad reviews of books that would later become classics, and more.

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2 Reviews

5.0
“This book could be subtitled Western Lit for Dummies, and I mean that as a compliment. There are those who look down their noses at the For Dummies and Complete Idiot's Guide series, but they are wrong. The point of these books is to give a quick overview and inspire the reader to perhaps investigate more on their own if they find the topic, or a subtopic thereof, sparks their interest. Now, granted, I don't expect people reading The Complete Idiot's Guide to Car Repair to delve deeper into the history of the transportation industry, and to see people reading Parenting for Dummies is kind of depressing and may lead you to consider the ethics of a sterilization program, but that's beside the point. The point is that books like The Western Lit Survival Kit and most of the vast array of For Dummies and CIG books will tackle an otherwise unwieldy topic with aplomb and, best of all, humor. True, in some places the humor can seem forced, occasionally eye-rollingly so, but it still serves to lighten the mood so that you want to keep reading, and as Martha says, that's a good thing.”

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