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Thornton Melon's Guide to Literary Classics

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Hey, you know why they call 'em CliffsNotes? Because you want to jump off one when you realize you have to read all of Moby Dick! I mean, how can they expect me to read Slaughterhouse-Five if I haven't read One through Four? Seriously, though, I've compiled a "ThorntonsNotes" guide to some of the classics you'll be reading (or be expected to read) in your college lit courses! I've done all the work so you can spend your time doing things college students should be doing: getting massages, taking your teachers out to dinner, and hiring Oingo Boingo to play in your dorm room!

Paradise Lost, by John Milton

This one's about this guy who goes to Vegas (or maybe it's Reno? Doesn't matter!) and misplaces the dice at the craps table! He loses all his money, then makes it all back selling liquor during Prohibition.

David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens

Great movie starring W.C. Fields! Fields died before I opened the Tall & Fat stores, but I bet he would've been a good customer. Anyway, the book's about this British guy in the 1800s who works in a factory and becomes a famous magician who walks through the Great Wall of China. Brilliant.

Othello, by William Shakespeare

Another great movie. Orson Welles was one of my customers for years. He was very loyal, very talented, and very, very fat. I used to think that men couldn't possibly come as big as Orson, but then they invented the double bacon cheeseburger! Now, this one's a particular favorite of mine—its author makes it real easy to ask that blonde coed if she's interested in shakin' your spear!

A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens

A love story really, this one has the history of Brooklyn and the Bronx as its background. Two teenagers—one from each city—fall in love against the wishes of their parents and rival gangs. The ending's pretty gruesome—but hey, so is the Bronx!

A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway

This book is all about dismemberment, from the Venus de Milo, to drawing and quartering, to Jeffrey Dahmer.

The Taming of the Shrew, by William Shakespeare

This is the story of the marriage to my eventual ex-wife, Vanessa, though I never managed to tame her. I can't believe we stayed together for five years—on our honeymoon, the bellboy saw more of her shrew than I did!

The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner

It's all about Vanessa's reaction when I not only told her we were getting a divorce, but that she wasn't getting any of my money. But honestly, folks—it describes every day of our marriage, especially the fury! (Though the "sound" was pretty bad, too. "NAG, NAG, NAG!")

The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway

This is my story about how I got a passing grade in American history! Really, though, it's about an old man and the sea. See? College ain't hard!

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