Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don't Float: Classic Lit Signs on to Facebook

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Penguin, Aug 25, 2009 - Social Science - 288 pages
8 Reviews
Read Sarah Schmelling's posts on the Penguin Blog.

When humorist Sarah Schmelling transformed Hamlet into a Facebook news feed on McSweeney’s, it launched the next big humor trend—Facebook lit. In this world, the king “pokes” the queen, Hamlet becomes a fan of daggers, and Ophelia renounces her interest in moody princes. Now, what began as an internet phenomenon is a book. Ophelia Joined The Group Maidens Who Don’t Float: Classic Lit Signs on to Facebook is a clever spoof of the most-trafficked social networking website and a playful game of literary who’s who. The book brings more than fifty authors and stories from classic literature back to life and online, and it is sure to have book lovers and Facebook addicts alike twittering with joy.

From The Odyssey to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Pride and Prejudice to Lolita, Schmelling brings the conventions of social networking—profile pages, status updates, news feeds, games and quizzes—to some of literature’s most well-known works, authors and characters. What would Edgar Allan Poe, Jane Austen or James Joyce post on their “walls”? What would Gulliver, Miss Havisham or Captain Ahab say in a status update? After William Shakespeare welcomes all of these players into his network, mayhem quickly ensues:

  • Elizabeth Bennet throws a sheep at Mr. Darcy
  • Hamlet posts an event: A Play That’s Totally Fictional and In No Way About My Family
  • Jane Eyre listens to “Hard Knock Life” on repeat
  • The Lord of the Flies boys form a reunion group
  • Ernest Hemingway questions the validity of the “Are you a real man?” quiz
  • Mark Twain infiltrates Oscar Wilde’s profile page and challenges him to a “quip off”
  • Oedipus works on his family tree

Following everyone from Frankenstein’s Monster to King Lear’s Fool, Charles Dickens to Virginia Woolf, Ophelia Joined The Group Maidens Who Don’t Float is a loving spoof of our literary favorites, and a hilarious collection for a twenty-first century generation of readers. Long live the Classics: 2.0!


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Katya0133 - LibraryThing

The worst thing I can say about this book is that it's going to become dated, fast. This is not because it's a badly written (far from it), but because Facebook is going to look very different in 5 or ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - EustaciaTan - LibraryThing

I loved this book! I first saw it when I was still in IB English HL, and fell in love with the idea of parodying the great works. While I haven't studied, or even read, all of them, I (and my class ... Read full review


The Odyssey
The Canterbury Tales
The Wife of Baths Tale
Paradise Lost
Twenty Questions for the Author of Beowulf
Shakespeares Comedies
Pride and Prejudice
Edgar Allan Poe
The Metamorphosis
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
The Evil That MenDo Network
Deathmatch Quiz

Jane Austen
Jane Eyre
Wuthering Heights
Anna Karenina
The Scarlet Letter
Juliet Capulet
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
To Kill a Mockingbird
Great Expectations
A Christmas Carol
Holden Caulfield
Little Women
Alices Adventures in Wonderland
Shakespeares Histories
Gullivers Travels
A Farewell to Arms
Ernest Hemingway
Gone with the Wind
Lord of the Flies
Don Quixote
And now the Man versus Society Network presents Abridged News Feeds for Books About Man and Society That People Pretend to Have Read to I...
Lady Chatterleys Lover
Oscar Wilde
King Lear
Oedipus Rex
Of Mice and Men
Death of a Salesman
The Great Gatsby
The House of Mirth
Jack Kerouac
Yoknapatawpha County
William Faulkner
Mrs Dalloway
James Joyce
Waiting for Godot
Maidens Who Dont Float
Famous Last Words

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About the author (2009)

Sarah Schmelling has written about entertainment, travel, and pop culture for The Washington Post, Spin, Paste, Salon, Newsweek, Real Simple, the Los Angeles Times, Variety, McSweeney’s, and The Huffington Post. She lives with her husband and son outside of Washington, DC. Ophelia Joined The Group Maidens Who Don’t Float: Classic Lit Signs On To Facebook is her first book.

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