Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Three Little Words

By Cornelia

Louise Ure's post at Murderati last week has stuck with me ever since. She started out with E.B. White's essay "Irtnog," a satirical history of digest publications:

Someone conceived the idea of digesting the digests. He brought out a little publication called Pith, no bigger than your thumb. It was a digest of Reader’s Digest, Time, Concise Spicy Tales, and the daily News Summary of the New York Herald Tribune. Everything was so extremely condensed that a reader could absorb everything that was being published in the world in about forty-five minutes.

Then challenged readers to come up with a "three-words-or-less summary of any book you want," starting the game with:

Example: A Tale of Two Cities "Off with tĂȘtes."

Among my favorite entries, Sharon Wheeler offered, "Any Dick Francis: Horsy chap suffers"

Janine jumped in with, "The Scarlet Letter ~ red suits you"

Alex Sokoloff did Rosemary's Baby: Happy Birthday, Satan.

Rob Gregory Brown did one in TWO words-- Children of the Corn: Kids Stalk

I got completely carried away and listed a few, which I've been adding to all week, starting with"

Anna Karenina: Slut vs. train.

The Great Gatsby: Nouveau laid low.

The Fountainhead: Mammon-gram

Atlas Shrugged: Dude, WTF Galt?

All Creatures Great and Small: Bully for ewe.

The Year of Magical Thinking: Dunne's one undone.

The Crucible: Hicks nix tricks.

Flowers for Algernon: Whither mouse goest...

Hannibal: What's up, Doc?

The Maltese Falcon: Bye bye birdy

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: Yeah, I'm guilty.

Memoirs of Casanova: Quicker picker-upper

Anybody else wanna play?


  1. Glad you liked the game, Miss C. And you made my day with "bye bye birdy" and "quicker picker upper."

    How about:

    Moby Dick = Whale tale

    The Bible = B.C. to A.D.

  2. The Things They Carried - An Eloquent Grunt

    Any Sherlock Holmes - Look closer, Doc

    Great Expectations - Old Bride Revisited

    Catch 22 - Regardless, you're fucked

    King Lear - Old Man Walking

    That's all I got.

  3. A Field of Darkness - Deb Does Death

    The Crazy School - Deb Does Ed.

  4. Hey Ms. C ~

    How about:

    A Field of Darkness = Dog Tags Redux


  5. I so love "Hicks nix tricks". How the heck do you think of this stuff?

    I could only come up with two, and they suck:

    Romeo and Juliet: Loved to Death
    Watership Down: Rabbits Gone Wild


  6. Here's a one-word plot summary:

    Gaudy Night - Bluestalkings

  7. Louise, LOVE your Moby Dick--way better than the actual book.

    David, Catch 22 is perfect and deserves a "beverage alert," tied with "Old Man Walking."

    Regina and Janine, you guys crack me up...

    Rae, I tried "Run Rabbit Run" for Watership Down, but then deleted it. Yours are WAY better!

    And JLW--Bluestalkings is PERFECT!

  8. Any diet book, ever:
    Eat less, exercise.

    Jurassic Park:
    Dinos eat jerks.

    Lord of the Rings:
    Force of hobbit.

  9. The Hound of the Baskervilles - Bog dog fog

  10. For Whom the Bell Tolls - Nun's gun's run

  11. You guys are all awesome!!!!

  12. JLW's are GREAT!

    New ones thought of while picking up the kids:

    Rebecca: Bride's shed revisited.

    An American Tragedy: Pimp my bride.

    Jonathan Livingston Seagull: Who is Jon Gull?

  13. "In Cold Blood"

    Klutzes Kill Clutters.

  14. And a few more for your consideration...

    Sharp Objects = Cut the Ties
    Lady Chatterley's Lover = The Mind Reels
    The Canterbury Tales = Heaven's Road Trip
    The Crazy School=Madeline Blows Up


  15. i HATE THIS BLOG!!!!!!

    sorry but i was the first to post - there was a big zero and i posted and it never got accepted. i HATE that!




  16. i HATE THIS BLOG!!!!!!

    sorry but i was the first to post - there was a big zero and i posted and it never got accepted. i HATE that!




  17. It doesn't rhyme I'm afraid, but

    Oliver Twist: "More please? No!"

    (Been trying for ages to think of one for Maisie Dobbs, which I've just finished, but nope! Nothing!)

  18. Great game! A day late, but:

    Huckleberry Finn: Boy meets river

    Alice Through the Looking Glass: Nonsense underground

    Any Harlan Coben: Witty always wins

  19. Go Edgy! And hey, you could even reverse the one for Harlan Coben and it would still work: Win's always witty.

    Robert, nice one with the Oliver!

    And Andi, I am so sorry the blog ate your comment. Bad blog! Down! Down!