Itty bitty book reviews

Reading classic literature is a good thing.  Sometimes we just don’t have the time, or want to find out what it’s all about before diving in, so here are some famous books, summarized into bite-sized form.  Despite my smartass take on these, most of them are actually pretty good.  YMMV.  Now for your TL;DR pleasure:

RELIGION

Gilgamesh:  It ain’t all about how long you live, but how you live your life
The Bible:  In the beginning, God created the world.  Then we screwed it up.  Jeremiah was a bullfrog.
The Talmud:  Rabbis sometimes get a wicked case of OCD
Confessions:  The classic in which Saint Augustine created Catholic guilt singlehandedly
The Quran:  Make war on the unbelievers.  There is to be no compulsion in religion.
Paradise Lost:  Beware of talking snakes
The Book of Mormon:  Fan fiction like the Quran, except it’s pretty boring
Liber AL Vel Legis:  Pursue your purpose in life singlehandedly.  Party on too, and try our cookies with a secret ingredient.

HOMER

The Iliad:  The Greek-Turkish conflict, back in 800BC
The Odyssey:  The trip back to Greece isn’t quite a three hour tour after all

PLATO

The Republic:  Let’s imagine a perfect society in order to have a cool discussion about the nature of reality and the meaning of virtue
The Laws:  How to engineer a town of 5000 with an infrastructure suitable for a city of 200,000
Apology:  Being a smartass gets you in a lot of trouble
Gorgias:  Postmodernism was bullshit even 2300 years ago
Euthyphro:  Why does God need a starship?

DOSTOYEVSKY

Crime And Punishment:  Do the ends justify the means?  Oops, it’s not quite so simple…
The Brothers Karamazov:  If God doesn’t exist, then does this mean that anything goes?  That plus 1000 pages of commentary, which is actually more interesting than it sounds.

AYN RAND

We, The Living:  Communism doesn’t work.  Srsly.
The Fountainhead:  Creative, industrious architect who gives a damn less than honey badger.  Chick falls for him and tries to sabotage him because the world doesn’t deserve him.  Chicks are weird.
Atlas Shrugged:  Get off our backs, you slackers!
Anthem:  The essence of all of the above, with 3000 fewer pages to read

/dev/null

The Communist Manifesto:  The world would be awesome if everyone shared everything (and I have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn)
Catcher In the Rye:  The thrilling tale of a teenager going through a midlife crisis
Portnoy’s Complaint:  Wanker wangsting
The Tommyknockers:  Proof that Stephen King did the right thing when he quit sniffing coke
The Selfish Gene:  How to learn about natural selection and cure your insomnia at the same time
Foucault’s Pendulum:  I bet someone wearing a tinfoil hat thinks this is nonfiction, which was kind of the point of the story

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Itty bitty book reviews

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