The Return of the Classic Books, In One Minute or Less

April 9, 2010 by Michael Wayne  
Filed under Humor

Classic Books EX1101_EX1105Today the series on humor continues with the return of the classic books, in one minute or less.

I say return, because last year I had an article called, In One Minute or Less, the Greatest Books Ever Written. It was completely irreverent and funny, so in keeping with the spirit of distilling books down to their ultimate essence, I give you a whole new slew of books.

So throw away your Kindle, and throw away your iPad. Because who needs to read, when you can have the entire book in one minute or less?

Our thanks to the scholars at Book-a-Minute Classics.

animal-farm-graphic-big-pig-close-mouth-713368Animal Farm
By George Orwell

Some pigs lead a revolt against people, act like jerks, and play poker.

THE END

The Oedipus Trilogy
By Sophocles

Prophecy
Laios and Iocaste, your son will kill his father and marry his mother.

Laios and Iocaste
Let’s kill it.

Prophecy
Oedipus, you will kill your father and marry your mother.

(Oedipus runs away and fulfills the prophecy.)

Everyone
Woe are us. (die)

THE END

frankenstein-jj-001Frankenstein
By Mary Shelley

Walton
Dear Margaret: My ship picked up this guy. He RULES.

Frankenstein
I discovered the secret of life, and everyone died. (dies)

Frankenstein’s Monster
Inexplicably, I have become suicidal. (jumps out a window)

THE END

The Pearl
By John Steinbeck

Kino and Juana
Our son is sick. Can you help him?

Doctor
Eat my doorstep, penniless bum.

(Kino finds a pearl.)

Juana
Now that we’re rich, I’ve lost my spirituality.

Coyotito
Yeah, and I’ve been killed.

THE END

RomeoJuliet001051805Romeo and Juliet
By William Shakespeare

Romeo
Oh, Juliet!

Juliet
Oh, Romeo!

Romeo
Oh, Juliet!

Juliet
Oh, Romeo!

Romeo
Oh, Juliet! (dies)

Juliet
Oh, Romeo!……Romeo?……Dammit.

THE END

moby-dickMoby Dick
By Herman Melville

Ishmael
Call me Ishmael.

Captain Ahab
Crew, we will seek the white whale and kill it, because I am insane.

Crew
Alas, your destructive obsession will be our undoing.

(They almost find the white whale. Then they almost find the white whale. Then they find it.)

Captain Ahab
I stab at thee. I stab at thee.

(Everybody dies except Ishmael, although this is no surprise, because it was foreshadowed CONTINUALLY from the BEGINNING.)

THE END

The Crucible
By Arthur Miller

Reverend Parris
Abigail Williams, you and your friends are in trouble, unless you can shift the blame to someone else.

Abigail Williams
She did it! He did it! They did it! Everybody but us did it!

Judge Danforth
Ah, now we are getting somewhere.

(Everybody gets hanged, which just goes to show how evil McCarthyism is.)

THE END

Catch-22
By Joseph Heller

Colonel Cathcart
I want a promotion, so I screw over all my men.

Yossarian
I want to get out of here, so I walk around naked and pretend to be sick.

Colonel Cathcart
Fine. Praise us, and we’ll let you go home.

Yossarian
No. I’ll desert instead, because I’ve learned that war is crazy, and it’s bad too, because it makes people do really weird things and die. Also, high ranking military officers are evil incarnate.

Easily Deluded Reader
Look at all the subtext. This must be one of the greatest anti-war pieces of our time.

THE END

crimeandpunishmentCrime and Punishment
By Fyodor Dostoevsky

Raskolnikov
I’m so extraordinary, I can commit crimes. (kills some people)

Sonia
I’m the spiritual side of Raskolnikov.

Porfiry
I’m the intellectual side of Raskolnikov.

Raskolnikov
I have reconciled the two sides of my personality, represented so well by Sonia and Porfiry. (confesses)

THE END

The Great Gatsby
By F. Scott Fitzgerald

Gatsby
Daisy, I made all this money for you, because I love you.

Daisy
I cannot reciprocate, because I represent the American Dream.

Gatsby
Now I must die, because I also represent the American Dream.

(Gatsby DIES.)

Nick
I hate New Yorkers.

THE END

b6800c98b7c25f912a3f0081135fb74dGulliver’s Travels
By Jonathan Swift

(Gulliver visits some places.)

A Lilliputian
We’re small.

A Brobdingnagian
We’re big.

A Horse
We can talk.

(Gulliver goes home.)

Gulliver
Humanity sucks. I hate people.

THE END

The Jungle
By Upton Sinclair

Bad things happen. Worse things happen. Better things happen. Awful things happen. Jurgis discovers socialism and gets all happy.

THE END

Gravity’s Rainbow
By Thomas Pynchon

Thomas Pynchon
A screaming thing comes across the sky. It’s a V-2 rocket carrying twelve thousand pounds of symbolism, and it’s coming down on your poor, deluded, postmodern head.

THE END