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review 2018-05-10 00:00
The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror
The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror - Mallory Ortberg Those familiar with Mallory Ortberg (recently transitioned to Daniel Mallory Ortberg) from the Toast website or her first book, Texts from Jane Eyre, already know that he is extremely well-read and that his point-of-view can be truly unique and humorous. In his newest book, the Merry Spinster, Ortberg offers a modern and twisted take on 11 well-known fairy tales and children’s stories. Playing with ideas of gender, identity and the perpetuation of cultural norms, the stories in this collection are a mixture of traditional narrative and experimental storytelling. Some of the classics that served as influences include the Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Frog Prince, the Velveteen Rabbit and the Wind in the Willows. The Merry Spinster retains and highlights some of the darker elements of these old favorites while challenging their conventional morality and inherited norms. This quick read would be great for those who adore the old tales of childhood, but also appreciate innovative interpretations of these beloved works.
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review 2016-12-28 00:00
Texts from Jane Eyre
Texts from Jane Eyre - Mallory Ortberg As advertised.

This gave me a lot of laughs. Obviously, the more of these books you've read, the more mileage you'll get out of it, but some of the stories covered are so familiar that anyone could pick this up and find something to laugh about.
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text 2016-06-20 21:03
Finished with my re-listen
Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters - Mallory Ortberg,Zach Villa,Amy Landon,Tantor Audio

This time I dug around in Wikipedia for info on a couple of the people/characters I didn't know. For example, Little Women's Jo.


I don't think I've ever read Little Women. I had an illustrated edition when I was growing up, but it couldn't compete with my illustrated edition of Black Beauty (I really liked animals and stories that made me cry).

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text 2016-06-15 21:21
Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters - Mallory Ortberg,Zach Villa,Amy Landon,Tantor Audio

I'm listening to this again because I couldn't decide what to get from my Audible wishlist and this was the only thing in my library I had any hope of finishing in the few days before my credit needs to be spent. And also, the narrators are really excellent and make for enjoyable background noise while I'm checking other people's bibliographic records.

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review 2016-05-08 18:56
Texts from Jane Eyre: and Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters (audiobook) by Mallory Ortberg, narrated by Zach Villa, Amy Landon
Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters - Mallory Ortberg,Zach Villa,Amy Landon,Tantor Audio

I had previously read a few of these online, and liked them. I wanted to read the book but, with my TBR, who knows when I'd ever have gotten around to getting a copy? When Audible had this on sale for a dollar, I was interested but hesitant. How well would it translate into audio form?

Pretty well, as it turns out. One of the reasons I bought this, besides the price, was because the narrators (Zach Villa for the male parts, Amy Landon for the female) were so good. They made all the texting, even the emoticons, sound natural.

I felt iffier about the content. I preferred it when it was characters from famous works texting each other, although Ortberg took a lot of liberties with some of them. For example, the texts between Jane Eyre's Jane, Rochester, and St. John were funny while still, I felt, staying pretty true to the characters, while the texts between Sherlock and Watson, though funny, presented Sherlock as being such a cocaine fanatic he could barely be bothered to think about anything else.

Sometimes it was famous authors or philosophers texting, like Emily Dickinson, Rene Descartes, or William Blake. Those bits included what I'm assuming were direct quotes from their works, texted as though they were the thoughts and experiences they were having right at that moment. It was occasionally funny but often bizarre, and not nearly as clever as some of the texts from fictional characters.

I wish the sections hadn't been quite so mixed up. I'd have preferred it if all the Hamlet sections had been together, all the Daisy Miller, all the Great Gatsby, etc. In audio form it was difficult having to switch gears so much, especially since my knowledge of some of these people and works was often shaky or nonexistent.

All in all, this was an okay two hours and twenty minutes worth of listening. I probably wouldn't have been happy with it if I had paid Audible's member price for it, or if I had used one of my credits, but it was worth the dollar sale price.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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