“TL;DR” is internet-speak for “Too long; didn’t read.” You’ll see it used when some passionate nerd writes an exceptionally wordy comment or blog post. If one of your fellow online readers is nice enough, he or she will take the time to skim it and sum up the content in one snarky sentence. You’ll find these few words say essentially the same thing the obsessive author took a dissertation to explain. Since many readers are going back to school soon, we decided to use this technique to sum up the summer reading list you never got around to cracking. (What the hell, right? When else do we get to show off our really useful English degrees?) So think of ‘em as “ClutchNotes.” Read on, feel confident going into English class and use the time we’ve saved you to peruse our back catalog of genius.
1984 by George Orwell
Steve Jobs’ wet dream.
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Actually not about pigs at all–it’s an allegory for the Russian Revolution. Mmm. Bacon.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Sharing is for p***ies.
Beowulf by Anonymous
Do not f*** with other dudes’ moms.
Billy Budd by Herman Melville
Seamen, seamen everywhere…
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Everyone gets stoned, everyone gets laid, Alphas rule the world, Epsilons clean the toilets, but The Savage just wanted to be left alone.
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin’.
The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger
Emo traveler’s guide to NYC.
The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
Sharing is caring.
Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
One crime; a lot of punishment.
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Orphan leads crappy life. No magic.
Death In Venice by Thomas Mann
Pedophile gets cholera from stalking little boy.
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
Communism is a real bummer.
Emma by Jane Austen
Matchmakers weren’t always online dating sites.
A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway
Don’t knock up a nurse in a world war.
For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
Three G’s of Spanish Civil War: gore, guerrillas and gang rape.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
For the last time, it’s not the monster’s name.
The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
Girl collects glass animals to forget her loser family.
Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Money-hungry Southern belle falls in and out of love; should’ve tried therapy.
The Grapes Of Wrath by John Steinbeck
You’ll eat anything when starving, even a stranger’s breast milk.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Boy falls for bitchy girl (see: Gwyneth Paltrow); life of misery follows.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Don’t trust your wife’s ex-boyfriend if his first name is “The Great.”
Heart Of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
…the white man really f***ed things up.
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Autobiography of an African-American bird.
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Man only turns invisible metaphorically. Disappointing.
The Iliad by Homer
Two sides at war. One girl in the middle. Tons of Trojans. Pretty much “True Blood.”
Inferno by Dante
Hell: You do not want to go to there.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Cinderella, if she were ugly and didn’t have a fairy godmother.
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
You should be a vegetarian.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
No mockingbirds are killed. African-Americans are.
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
F*** le police.
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Pedophiles can be pretty likable.
Lord Of The Flies by William Golding
Humanity is depraved. Oh, and if you like bacon, you might be a rapist.
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Murder makes you crazy, man.
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Dude turns into a beetle, WTF?!?
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
Man versus food in extended phallic allegory.
Oedipus by Sophocles
Classic boy meets father, boy kills father, boy bangs mother, boy blinds himself love story
On The Road by Jack Kerouac
“Happy Days” was bulls***.
Our Town by Thornton Wilder
Stage Manager spoils the whole play.
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Bet on the poor kids in any rumble.
Paradise Lost by John Milton
Sinners have all the fun.
Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
When you get to Beelzebub, turn right, quickly.
Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen
Younger sister cock-blocks older sister.
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
“Pretty Woman” without the hookers.
A Raisin In The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
Things you shouldn’t blow a $10,000 inheritance on when trying to escape a bad neighborhood: a liquor store investment.
The Red Badge Of Courage by Stephen Crane
You can totally fake being a badass.
Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare
Don’t overreact when your girlfriend dies.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard
“Hamlet” without Hamlet.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Ho’s gonna ho. Haters gonna hate.
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Nothing good happens in slaughterhouses.
The Sound And The Fury by William Faulkner
Southern aristocracy according to the mentally handicapped.
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Men are small and lives are meaningless. Have a baguette.
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Sun rises; protagonist’s penis does not.
A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
It was the best of times and the worst of times, and you’ll wish you had a guillotine if you waited until now to start reading it for the first day of class.
War And Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Every war in a big nutshell.
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Bunnies are socialists.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Bitches need to get laid.
The Year Of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
It sucks when your husband dies.