Abbreviated classics

Mirror writer Jane Simon goes the new 100-Minute Bible one better, distilling the Good Book and a handful of literary classics down to 100 words apiece. Here’s the abbreviated War and Peace:

Pierre is clumsy, fat and Russian and once tied a policeman to the back of a bear.

But his stinking rich dad leaves him a fortune, so the beautiful Helene, Prince Vasili’s daughter, marries him.

Then the French invade Russia, “an irresistible tide of destiny”. Lots of Russians die but it’s a moral victory, except for the bit where they abandon Moscow and burn it down.

Helene divorces Pierre and he sets off to murder Napoleon. But he’s arrested and marries Natasha Rostov who has four kids in seven years and completely lets herself go.

In a good way, apparently.

Admittedly, the summaries don’t hold a candle to those old 25-word classics at I Love Books, but I’m all for anything that will absorb five minutes of a tedious workday afternoon.


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