An emeritus professor of English at University College London, John Sutherland, has whittled down some of the world’s most cherished stories into a tweet - summing up the hundreds of pages in just 140 characters.
While many of us have poured over novels long into the small hours, shed tears or laughed out loud in public while reading a beloved book, Prof Sutherland has stripped the storylines down to just a couple of sentences as he pokes fun at our obsession with Twitter.
However, he feels books will have their day in the sun again - once young people become a little older and jaded of the constant demands of social media. The 76-year-old felt the solitary nature of reading is more appealing as you get older and when the ‘yearning to share everything online’ had passed.
He disputed the idea that people would fall out of the habit of reading. “One of the things that strikes me, is, as telephone communications become shorter, narrative is becoming terribly long. Look ator
These are not soap operas. These are narrative stories with a beginning, middle and end. After we’ve sent off our 140-character text message we sit down and watch these long narratives. The long narrative is what books were invented for.”
So, while you are waiting to tire of social media, see if you agree with his summaries of some of the most popular books in the world.
(Warning: May contain spoilers):
– Orphan 11yo Harry = wizard! Off 2wizard skool. Temp defeats Lord Voldie (whohe?) + 3 headed dog 2 bag the stone
Katniss+Peeta r ’tributes’ in dystopian TVised fite2death. P ^3 K. K goes wiv it, as luv story= 4survival. They win 2getha
Amy&Nick r married. Amy fakes own murder 2 frame N. (who is rite?) A manipul8s every1, killz her ex. Evil A makes N stay w/ her 4 baby :(
30s U.S,6yo Scout+bro Jem try2c recluse Boo. Dad=lawyer4Tom, innocent black victim2racist trial. S+J attackd, saved by B & lern life-lessn
this book is garbage. Nowhere in here does it say how to kill a mockingbird. pic.twitter.com/pm19C6Jj62— Pics of Cute Cats (@PicsOfCuteCats) August 5, 2015
Holly+Gerry r married. G dies@ H is :’( ... But yay! 10 letters frm G each mnth (all end w/ PS. I Love You) makes her :) ++
Sweden: Man hired 2 find missing niece. Girl w/tattoo also investig8s. Find rape+murder conspiracy in clan@ exposed. Revenge=sweet
Corpse in Louvre=coded msg! Symbologist man + cryptologist wman (chased by killer Xtian sect). Solve it: rveals truth bout Jesus!
Shy meek Ana meets V rich control freak + BDSM dom: Christian Grey. Mild erotica + Xtreme wealth in feminism-free zone
20thC Pride+Prej:Bridget’s 30+, sgl ^3 booze+cigs+frends. Troubles w/diet,job+men + Y are guys crzy abt a grl’s 4XXXL undrpnts??
V.rich, enigmatic Jay Gatsby finds 1st luv Daisy, Tom’s wife. But it’s selfish D+T’s fault ends w/ Jay shot. Also “Gr8”Gatsby was bootlegger
Insignificant blu-green planet w/ primitive apelike life demolished 2 make way 4 bypass. Arthur rescued by alien hitchhiker + wanders galaxy
Nobles of Westeros fight/plot for throne of 7 kingdms, while icy zombie types threaten from North + girl frm deposed family gets dragons.
Dr.Dolittle on Noahs ark w/magic realism: Pi’s family own zoo, sail4Canada but Pi lost@sea alone except God...and animals incl. tiger!
Mythic epic: Sauron made ring2rule them all but loses it in battle. Mny yrs + a murder l8r, hobbit Frodo must destroy it w/ wizard+elves
Shopaholic Bex has 6k debt! Cook4self + wear same clothes for +1mth?! :-O Mebbe rich men help? No but TV job will! Can shop again – phew!