Book Summaries from Someone Who May or May Not Have Read the Book Once Eight Years Ago

You know how you tell a lie so many times that over time you can’t remember how much of it was the truth? There are some memories that you just feel vaguely guilty about, so you have a feeling you made a lot of it up. I get that vaguely guilty twinge when I think about books I “read” in grade school. Because I almost never read them. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: fiction books bore me. So as for the following books, did I really read them? Or did I utilize a combination of peer aid, the Internet, adapted film versions, and USDA Grade-A bullshit? At this point only God knows. All I know is that I read enough to graduate.

The Great Gatsby

A man has everything except the thing he really wants: Daisy. Why he wants her is beyond me. Not only is she flaky, she turns out to be a bit of a psycho.

The Outsiders

Greasuhs, man. Teenagers in, like, let’s say the 60’s, who have no concerned parental influence to speak of, and who go through enough drama to rival any soap opera. A boy’s book where everyone has their own “coming-of-age” story and some kid dies in the end in the most sterotypically greaser way: stabbing in a rumble, of course.

The Scarlet Letter

A colonial woman has an affair with a priest (or whatever Puritans call their holymen) and history’s most famous slut-shaming follows. Determinedly bombastic book about judgment and hypocrisy.

Things Fall Apart

Something about Africa, I’m pretty sure. There was a missionary and father-son relationships and coming-of-age was explored. I’m pretty sure…I’m certain the cover was orange, at least. I can’t remember what year I was supposed to read this book, but I can’t tell you how astonished I am that I passed when I think of the fact that I didn’t read any parts of this book. I didn’t even own this book. Every other page of this book could have been illustrations of Donald Duck fucking Minnie Mouse and I’d have no way of knowing. The contents of this book exist to me only in the form of Sparknotes.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

The origin story of the most famous black radical of the American Civil Rights Movement. At this point all I remember about it is that Malcolm X used to have red hair and much reefer was smoked.

Beloved

Everyone is sexually attracted to the weirdest fucking woman ever described in a book. But it did give me the more pleasant term “shining” instead of horny.

Grendel

Beowolf from the monster’s perspective. P.S., I hate this book. It made me mad to read. I actively tried to forget this book. If you see the title on a bookshelf you should leave the room and claw your own eyes out just as a precaution.

The Canterbury Tales

People telling stories in a bar. Basically a Dark-Ages version of Cheers.

Lord of the Flies

Kids wash up on a deserted island, make fun of the fat kid, and burn the island to the goddamn ground.

The Little Prince

A pilot befriends an alien boy who is also the prince of a planet the size of a beach ball. His friends are all drawings on paper. Now that I think about it, pretty sad, isn’t it? It’s a French children’s book, but innovators buy it in english translation. At least it’s not another coming-of-age. More like an acid trip.

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