Conversations with Katniss: Early Review: Texts From Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg

November 3, 2014 / 6 Comments / Review, Uncategorized

My rating:

Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters
Author: Mallory Ortberg (website | twitter)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Source/Format: ARC provided by Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review (thank you!)
Expected publication date: November 4th 2014 (tomorrow!)
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. 
Buy it: Chapters/Indigo | | Indiebound | Barnes & Noble |

Hilariously imagined text conversations—the passive aggressive, the clever, and the strange—from classic and modern literary figures, from Scarlett O’Hara to Jessica Wakefield.

Mallory Ortberg, the co-creator of the cult-favorite website The Toast, presents this whimsical collection of hysterical text conversations from your favorite literary characters. Everyone knows that if Scarlett O’Hara had an unlimited text-and-data plan, she’d constantly try to tempt Ashley away from Melanie with suggestive messages. If Mr. Rochester could text Jane Eyre, his ardent missives would obviously be in all-caps. And Daisy Buchanan would not only text while driving, she’d text you to pick her up after she totaled her car.

Based on the popular web-feature, Texts from Jane Eyre is a witty, irreverent mashup that brings the characters from your favorite books into the twenty-first century. 


I’m calling it now: This book is your go-to Christmas or birthday present for anyone bookish. It’s the kind of book that I would probably never buy for myself – but I would definitely grab it for a literature-obsessed friend….and I would be delighted if someone got it for me.

The concept is simple – what if your favourite literary characters had cell phones and were able to text each other? What would they say? Would they use emoji? (Answer: YES).

As you can probably tell, this book is chock full of inside jokes. Most of the books that Ortberg turns into text form are classics – you’ll see everything from Odysseus to Pride & Prejudice to The Great Gatsby here. But there are also a few newer adult and YA books, like The Hunger Games, where Ortberg has spun into a hilarious story of Peeta and his obsession with baking (note: the illustrations in this book are great and I’m pretty sure that the final version will be much prettier than my ARC!)

This is just a small sample of the HG section – it’s SO good.

Ortberg has clearly read a lot more classics than I have, so there were definitely some “chapters” that I skimmed through simply because I didn’t know the book. But for the books, authors and poets that I have read and loved, she pretty much hits the nail on the head and had me rolling on the floor. I definitely snorted out loud a few times, because of COURSE Catherine and Heathcliff would be texting overwhelmingly scary “I love yous” to each other. 

Of COURSE John Keats would be obsessing over the prettiness of an urn. =P

And of course, Frank Churchill would be texting Emma about how much he doesn’t like reserved people.

There are a ton more books that have been “textified” – some of which are REALLY fun (Babysitters Club, anyone?).

The Final Word:

The best way to experience Texts From Jane Eyre is to read it a text conversation at a time – it’s not one where you’ll sit on your couch and read straight through (well, you might. I did!) – instead, it’s the kind of book you’ll leave on your coffee table and leaf through when you need a quick laugh, and pull out for your other literary-minded friends at a party so that you can giggle out loud together.

Are you interested in reading TEXTS FROM JANE EYRE? Do you like humor or joke books? Would you give this one to your friends (I will definitely be doing this!)? How much do you read classic literature? Let me know in the comments!

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6 responses to “Conversations with Katniss: Early Review: Texts From Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg

  1. Sam

    I just found out this book exists yesterday and it looks hilarious! Following Mallory on Twitter was one of the best decisions I’ve made 🙂

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