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The Faker's Guide to the Classics: Everything You Need To Know About the Books You Should Have Read (But Didn't) by Michelle Witte

I haven't been reading many (okay, any) books lately, but I read this one back in September.  The Faker's Guide by Michelle Witte is an alphabetical (by title) collection of summaries of all the classics that you "should have read but didn't."  From Jane Austen to Charles Dickens to Mark Twain and Edith Wharton to Dostoyevsky and Dumas, this collection of cheater's guides covers British literature, American literature, as well some titles from Spanish and Russian literature.

Each summary is fairly short and told in a tone and with language and commentary meant to keep the reader's interest.  However, the snarkiness that is prevalent in each summary grows old after several pages and instead comes across as try hard.  In many instances the snark confuses a reader not familiar with the plots and characters of these classic novels.  The author also has a penchant for nicknaming characters, and this is another element that causes confusion especially for readers not familiar with many of the titles.  The snarky quips also detract from the overall clarity of the summaries.  Some instances of quips read instead as typos or mangled turns of colloquialisms. By the end of the book the snarky quips and overall mocking tone of each summary becomes downright annoying.

If you're someone who has always meant to read more classics but never quite got around to it, this book is meant for you.  However, if you're a student looking for a short cut around reading some chunky assigned reading for school, steer clear because these bare bones summaries leave a lot out.

Reviewed by Ms. Angie

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