Skip to main content

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


Popular posts from this blog

Broken by Karin Slaughter

Before I begin the formal review there are a few things I need to get off my chest in the wake of finishing this book; I'll do so without giving away too many (or any) spoilers.
The OUTRAGE!: the identity of Detective Lena Adams' new beau; the low depths to which Grant County's interim chief has sunk and brought the police force down with him; agent Will Trent's wife, Angie's, sixth sense/nasty habit of reappearing in his life just when he's slipping away from her. Thank God for small miracles though because while Angie was certainly referred to during the book, the broad didn't make an appearance. One sign that I've become way too invested in these characters is that I'd like to employ John Connolly's odd pair of assassins, Louis and Angel, to contract out a hit on Angie; do you think Karin Slaughter and John Connolly could work out a special cross over?
Hallelujah: Dr. Sara Linton and agent Will Trent are both back. There is no hallelujah for…

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

When the end came, it seemed to do so completely out of the blue, and it wasn't until long afterward that I was able to see that there was a chain of events leading up to it. Some of those events had nothing to do with us, the Morrisons, but were solely the concern of the Pyes, who lived on a farm about a mile away and were our nearest neighbors." from page seven
I must confess that it took me longer than it really needed to in order to finish the novel Crow Lake by Mary Lawson. The entire story is building up to the big catastrophe that forever destroys all the hopes and dreams the Morrison clan ever dared to hope and dream for its future. In the eyes of the narrator, it is even worse than the tragedy of the car crash that claimed both parents' lives one evening on the heels of some good news the family has received and celebrated. Now you can see why I dreaded getting to the end of a book that drips in foreboding like nobody's business. What can be a worse tra…

In The Woods by Tana French

"What I warn you to remember is that I am a detective. Our relationship with the truth is fundamental, but cracked, refracting confusingly like fragmented glass. It is the core of our careers, the endgame of every move we make, and we pursue it with strategies painstakingly constructed of lies ... and every variation on deception. The truth is the most desirable woman in the world and we are the most jealous lovers, reflexively denying anyone else the slightest glimpse of her. We betray her routinely ... This is my job ... What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this--two things: I crave truth. And I lie." opening lines of In The Woods chapter 1, pages 3-4
In The Woods by Tana French, an Irish writer, is an extremely well-written and well-crafted mystery novel. The downside is that this is French's debut novel, and her website (located at does not offer any insi…