There’s a lot of research that shows the Internet is rewiring our brains. We’re now addicted to instant information. If we need to know something, we need to know it now—and usually we can. But we don’t want exhausting explanation for us. No, sir. We want all our knowledge snack-sized. Who has time to, like, learn stuff? The long-winded be damned!

In the spirit of our current age—and because I have this forum in which to entertain my tens of fans—I’ve whittled down some big, familiar plots into as few words as possible. Why? Well—why not?

Wuthering Heights: Gypsy goes postal.

Grapes of Wrath: Dust. Car. California.

The Great Gatsby: Dreams, old sport.

1984: Big Brother’s watching.

Catcher in the Rye: You’re all phonies.

Lolita: Pervert has issues.

Harry Potter: Boy as wizard.

Lord of the Flies: Boy as chieftan.

The Outsiders: Boy as punk.

Blubber: Girl as bully.

The Scarlet Letter: Girl as hussy.

Alice in Wonderland: Girl on trip.*

Gone With the Wind: War. Reconstruction. Rhett.

To Kill a Mockingbird: Father as hero.

Beloved: 124 was spiteful.

Old Man and the Sea: Old man. Sea.

*Can have more than one interpretation.

Go forth in wisdom, friends.

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