But in fact, I have come to respect the author's perspective, judgment, and taste. Having earned a PhD in medieval and renaissance literature, author Jack Murnighan is quite knowledgeable about his subject, and is enormously enthusiastic and how and why literature should be read -- even by those who aren't inclined in that direction. The very idea that there has to be something 'sexy' about the books to keep a reader's interest strikes me as quite guy-centric -- or not so much that as it's a very consistent idea of what's sexy, or even more generally, what might draw a reader. The author is an extremely talented writer, I guess his work spans a doctorate in medieval literature as well as trendy online blogs, and so he has this truly magical ability to breathe new life into these works, without making it a snoozefest. 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. From the Trade Paperback edition. This is a book that is certain to have a large audience.
Book Summary: The title of this book is Beowulf on the Beach and it was written by. It seems when you don't have to read, you might end up really liking some hardcore academic stuff. I've already read about 17 out of his list of 50 classics, but I can't say that I've enjoyed all of them. About Beowulf on the Beach Feel bad about not reading or not enjoying the so-called great books? He loves the classics, but he loves any books that help any individual reader feel connected to books and to life. I love this book, and keep it by my bedside where I can refer to it.
I really loved this book. 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, Whats Sexy, and What to Skip. Faust; Ulysses; Tropic of Cancer; and Blood Meridian. I plowed through some stretches more out of a sense of duty than of enjoyment. To buy this book at the lowest price,. 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. His reviews are funny, irreverent, and utterly charming.
The book is neatly divided into fifty short chapters, each about a classic. 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. Murnighan includes offers a basic introduction the the author and the context in which the book was produced, a brief discussion of plot, and even a discussion of sections to skip or skim. So Beowulf at the Beach had nothing for me. Only someone with a huge intellect and tremendous passion for great literature. It seems when you don't have to read, you might end up really liking some hardcore academic stuff.
His love for his favorite books is clear, and it's just as clear to me that we don't have the same tastes in literature. And think that you can dispense with the real Beowulf in only five pages--if you choose to do so. While I truly do love to read, I have to say that I logged many boring and uninterested hours when reading some of those archaic classics - unable to understand much of what I was reading and unable to care. If that is true, Murnighan is our very own Virgil or Beatrice, our wise and wonderful guide through the literary Inferno that this terrible system makes of these great books. I'm not sure that I'll tackle all of the classics I've not yet read roughly half of those listed but I'm tempted to read some and to reread others.
I got along better with the author when he was discussing all the books I'd never read; whenever I had read the book, I ended up wincing at his description of it. He provides a fresh, funny and often compelling perspective on each book he writes about. Sit back, relax and enjoy the brilliance. A friend and I once had a long discussion about the fact that, if you wanted to, you could not come up with a better way to ruin literature for readers than the way it is taught in American high schools and colleges. My sister and I were practically in hysterics while reading his takes on some of literature's most heralded protagonists.
Having some quite fixed favourites of my own, I'm always intrigued by which books others choose, and why. This book is not only insightful and intelligent, it is also one of the funnier books I have read in a long time. I don't agree with all of Jack Murnighan's views, but I enjoyed reading them. It makes great summer reading, and especially perfect if you've been thinking about delving into some of the classics, but can't think where to start. So that is a kind of usefulness, Jack.
Nevertheless, I intend to read at least a dozen of his other recommendations. One was its title, which implied a cavalier and disrespectful approach to great literature. He takes a semi-chronological approach to what he regards as the 50 great classics of all time. 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? It is funny, intense, and full of insights and ideas. Anonymous Amateur Reader, now that I think of it, the prof I had for literature in college I only had time for the two required semesters was humorous and irreverent. They had devoted their life to studying and teaching great literature, most of which is humorous, irreverent, or both. 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.