I don’t quite know how I got there, but I recently came across a site called Book-A-Minute Classics which delighted me. Their introductory text states, “…let’s face it — the Cliff’s Notes are pretty time-consuming too. Worry no more. Your troubles are over. We here at Book-A-Minute Classics have come up with a solution. We’ve taken all kinds of great works of literature and boiled them down to their essence, extracting all the filler (and believe me, there’s a lot of it sometimes). In just one minute, you can read entire books and learn everything your teachers will expect you to know.” They have, as they say, everything from Shakespeare to Steinbeck.
Here’s their summary of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace:
History controls everything we do, so there is no point in observing individual actions. Let’s examine the individual actions of over 500 characters at great length.
Check it out here to see if your favorite novel has been similarly “violated.”