Feel bad about not reading or not enjoying the so-called great books? Don’t sweat it, it’s not your fault. Did anyone tell you that Anna Karenina is a beach read, that Dickens is hilarious, that the Iliad ’s battle scenes rival Hollywood’s for gore, or that Joyce is at his best when he’s talking about booze, sex, or organ meats?
Writer and professor Jack Murnighan says it’s time to give literature another look, but this time you’ll enjoy yourself. With a little help, you’ll see just how great the great books are: how they can make you laugh, moisten your eyes, turn you on, and leave you awestruck and deeply moved. Beowulf on the Beach is your field guide–erudite, witty, and fun-loving–for helping you read and relish fifty of the biggest (and most skipped) classics of all time. For each book, Murnighan reveals how to get the most out of your reading and provides a crib sheet that includes the Buzz, the Best Line, What’s Sexy, and What to Skip.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of Religion eBook: Beowulf on the Beach|
|Release Date: 05-19-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||Beowulf on the Beach|
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Beowulf on the Beach
(c. 900 b.c.)
Because the gods of irony still rule the firmament, Homer happens to be the name of both the pater familias Simpson, cartoon mainstay of the living room box, and the acknowledged father of Western literature, oft called greatest writer of all time. Origins are a funny thing, of course, and while we point all our literature back to Homer, we neither know the exact time when he wrote (most modern scholars think between the 10th and 8th century b.c.) nor even whether the same person necessarily wrote The Iliad and The Odyssey (the latter of which is sometimes argued to have been written by a woman). Then there's the fact that this other guy named Hesiod might be even older than Homer and wrote a book called the Theogony where, among other things, the world is created and the gods come to be--one from hacked-off genitals floating in the ocean. You can see why most people prefer to leave him out of the conversation... .
But somehow or other, Western literature got itself going, whether by Homer, Hesiod, or someone else long forgotten or never recorded. As founding stories for a whole civilization go, however, The Iliad and Odyssey are pretty well suited, at least at first blush. Each appears to be a supremely heroic tale with a super-macho protagonist--Achilles in The Iliad, Odysseus in The Odyssey--offing his fair share of flunkies and weenie men. Most founding myths are based on just such triumphs at someone else's expense. The only problem is that anyone who reads The Iliad or The Odyssey closely will see that the heroes themselves are barely responsible for their actions; the gods interfere with nearly everything, handing out victories and failures whimsically and petula...